Who Should Be The Next James Bond?
The next James Bond is a topic that has become a cauldron of discussion by everyone from the producers and directors of the Bond films, the current cast members, the potential replacements themselves, the acting community in general, celebrities not in the acting field and people on social media. James Bond is the creation of the brilliant Ian Fleming and has been successfully transferred from the pages of his books to the cinema screens seen by millions for over half a century.
The favourites are Damian Lewis, Idris Elba and Tom Hardy. Personally, I would prefer if none of them got the role as James Bond. They are all great actors and I love them in some of the films and TV shows that I have witnessed their considerable acting abilities in. These three are the favourites because even though James Bond is a British book and film series, it is increasingly pandering to the global audience it now reaches rather than the formula that made it successful naturally. Lewis (Homeland), Elba (The Wire) and Hardy (Mad Max) have each made a name for themselves in America, which is why they are the favourites for the role of James Bond as SONY and MGM would probably want a Brit who has cracked America to give them a better chance of making it a hit at the box=office.
Damian Lewis (44) | 44 years old now, and with the next Bond film not expected to be out for at least 3 years or so Lewis will be at least 47 when he gets a chance which will be too late for him in my opinion as he’ll be the same age as Craig now! He would also be the first ginger Bond or would he have to dye his hair? He has become one of the favourites for the role mainly because of his role in the critically acclaimed Homeland. He would make a suave and sophisticated Bond, but I don’t think he would fit the image that Bond fans associate with their beloved special agent. Will the producers and directors have the same opinion?
Idris Elba (43) | He has the same problem as Lewis in terms of age, so will be closing in on 50 when he eventually starts filming his first Bond film. Best known for his roles in The Wire and Luther, he has accumulated a lot of fans and added to the fact that he could be the first black Bond, he has gained momentum in the betting as his odds have been slashed throughout the year. James Bond is a character created by Ian Fleming and he has been described as white, British and looks like Hoagie Carmichael. Obviously it would be impossible to have every Bond to look exactly like Carmichael, but surely respect has to be shown to the original material and not to deviate from Fleming’s creation for the sake of showing diversity in Hollywood. It would be like having a a black Gandalf in The Hobbit films after Ian McKellan’s performances in the Lord of the Rings trilogy, or having a white Blade after appearing in Marvel Comics 40 years ago and in the 3 films, or even a white Shaft. Shaft is an African-American detective therefore someone who is capable of performing that role is eligible, James Bond is white British Eton-educated spy, therefore someone who is able to fit that description is the person considered for the role. Elba doesn’t fit the description of Bond, therefore to avoid deviating from the original source material and Bond’s identity Elba shouldn’t be chosen. I think Elba is a fantastic actor and he seems like a genuinely nice guy too, and I think he could head his own action/espionage/thriller film series if the decision-makers behind the Bond films decide against picking him. Many fans of his will be vocal on social media, championing him for the role, but will the producers listen to them or the die-hard Bond fans?
Tom Hardy (38) | He has become popular with the younger generation who have seen him in The Dark Knight Rises as Bane and in Mad Max, while his reputation has been bolstered by films like Warrior, Lawless and Legend. His roles in those films have portrayed him as a tough and gritty character with a ripped, hulking body with equally noticeable tattoos covering large parts of his upper body. However, though this toughness and his considerable frame has brought him fame and adulation from guys and girls alike, this is what prevents him from being the next ideal Bond for me. Though Bond has a tough streak in him as is needed for his job, he also appears as sophisticated and suave in many scenes, whether it be wining and dining with a beautiful woman and talking at length about the food and wine, or calculating the odds of a card game, I just don’t see Hardy being that convincing in that aspect of Bond’s character. He will be very popular with the young generation that have seen him in Mad Max and Dark Knight Rises, which is what they’ll base their opinion on, and will no doubt voice it on Twitter and Facebook. We’ll see if they get their way?
My Candidates For The Next James Bond
Richard Madden (29) | Most known for his role as Robb Stark in Game of Thrones and *spoiler alert* he is no longer part of. Heils from Scotland, which coincidentally is Bond’s father’s nationality. He is actually due to appear in action film Bastille Day next year alongside Bond frontrunner Idris Elba. He has yet to land a role which would see him showcase himself as a Bond contender yet, but in 3 years time, that could change. He would bring a legion of fans from Game of Thrones, especially as he was a central character in the most talked about episode of the entire show, Red Wedding.
Alex Pettyfer (25) | Though he is probably best known for his role in Magic Mike and unfortunately or fortunately he’ll bring fans from there to the Bond arena. But the role that will help him the most is Alex Rider from Stormbreaker. He is the youngest of my picks, but when Craig’s contract comes to an end Pettyfer will be almost 30 and he has the combination of good looks, good body and by then plenty more acting experience under his belt. Probably the most physically adept of anyone on my list and among the 3 favourites in terms of speed, agility and physique, which is complimented by his good looks and six-pac. Has the best chance of becoming a superb long-term Bond, especially has more spy experience than most contenders (Hardy, appeared in Tinker, Tailor but the film had a whole different pace to Bond).
Tom Hiddleston (34) | A quintessential Bond choice. Classy, suave and quick-witted. He would be a return to a charming and clever Bond. Hopefully his role of Loki in the over-saturated universe of Superhero movies doesn’t prevent him from being in contention when the time arrives. He is just the right amount of famous, he isn’t massively well known, nor is he not known at all. He has a good blend of film, television and theatre experience that shows that he is probably the most accomplished actor on the list, but apart from his role as Loki in Thor and The Avengers film, there is not a great many films that many have seen. He has small roles in War Horse and Midnight in Paris, therefore he is not a stellar name that will overshadow a potential appearance as Bond, nor will he be in awe of the role.
Benedict Cumberbatch (39) | Similar to Hiddleston, in terms of character, but he is beginning to garner plenty of attention from his Cumbercookies mainly because of his appearance as Sherlock Holmes. However, he may be seen as “too successful” to be a new Bond when the time comes, as it has been the theme to go for someone who hadn’t had international acclaim already (Brosnan, Craig). With his roles in Sherlock, Star Trek, The Hobbit and The Imitation Game already he is already a star. He has repeatedly stated in many interviews that he loves the James Bond series and thinks he could be a good Bond. He could be a short term Bond as he will already be in his 40s when and if he becomes Bond.
Sam Claflin (29) | Starred in Pirates of the Caribbean and The Hunger Games, he has already had a couple of supporting roles in films containing action. Is he ready to lead a franchise as big as Bond? Claflin is an outsider, but in a few years time when the decision comes around for the next Bond, his credentials will have improved and could be in contention. He has the looks and body, but will he be able to do the tough and killer-like scenes?
Here are a list of some others that have been mentioned among the bookies; Michael Fassbender (a decent choice, but will the producers go for a half-Irish/half-German Bond?), Henry Cavill (Typecasted as Superman, and has recently appeared in spy movie), Clive Owen (too old when the time comes) and Richard Armitage (same bracket as Lewis, Elba and Owen).
Or… we could just wait for someone else, Pierce Brosnan didn’t appear in a James Bond till 6 years after Timothy Dalton’s last outing in Licence to Kill. Maybe it would be best to wait for the right man to be Bond, rather than to pick someone rashly in order to milk the Bond-money-making-machine as quickly as possible.