James Bond, British Icon
Daniel Craig looks to have signed for the new James Bond movie coming out in Fall 2015, and there’s rumors that he’ll make one more 007 film after that, yet the bookies are already contemplating who will play James Bond beyond then.
Unlike with who is going to play The Doctor, there’s no regeneration worries, a new actor is just hired for the role and we ignore the fact that there ever was a different Bond. If people tried to keep it on the same timeline it simply wouldn’t work. We could imagine that everyone with the code name 007 was co-incidentally called Bond, James Bond, but it’s easier to accept a new actor and move on.
James Bond is an important part of Britain’s image around the world, he even made an appearance in Danny Boyle’s fabulous Olympic ceremony, accompanying The Queento the Olympic Park. Choosing the right actor has an impact on Britain, and particularly London’s tourist revenues.
The Hot Favorite To Play James Bond
Idris Elba is the current bookies favorite to play 007. Dashingly handsome, with a great acting talent, he could be a brilliant choice. He’s English, but having starred as Stringer Bell in The Wire he’s easily recognizable to a global audience. He’s black, which would be a first for Bond, but certainly not something that would make it weird. I think he’d be a great 007.
Hollywood has already come calling for Idris, with Pacific Rim on his resume, will the producers of James Bond be next? Elba is already winning fans with his portrayal of DCI Luther. Dark, obsessive and just a little unhinged, he pulls it off brilliantly, dominating the screen. In possibly the finest TV ever made, Idris Elba’s contribution as Stringer Bell, the intelligent yet ruthless drug dealer, helped to make this show a classic.
Surprising Frontrunners To Play James Bond
Michael Fassbender is a frontrunner to play James Bond. Whilst Brosnan was an Irish actor playing 007, a German-Irish actor may be a step too far to play the quintessentially British Bond. Tom Hardy is also in the running, I think with a little more credibility. He started his career as a model, so he has the looks, but he has a great acting talent too.
As Eames in the fabulous yet bonkers Inception, Tom Hardy picked up a bucket load of awards and nominations in what was his breakthrough role.
As Magento in X Men, Fassbender knows what life as an actor in a popular franchise feels like. X-Men is not on the same level as James Bond, but it certainly has fans who love the characters.
Fassbender can play it straight outside of a superhero costume in films like Shame. He is a great actor, but is he 007 material? Hard to spot in costume, Tom Hardy played Bane in the recent Batman blockbuster, The Dark Knight Rises.
The Eton Boys
Britain has both a Prime Minister and a Chancellor who went to Eton College, founded by Henry VI, who was possibly bumped of by Richard III and his brothers. James Bond also studied at Eton, although he was expelled after getting a maid into trouble (yes I know James Bond is a fictional character, but play along).
Eton churns out plenty of politicians, writers, newspaper editors, senior civil servants, spies, and even actors. Damian Lewis and Dominic West both went to Eton, and they’d both make great James Bonds. If I had to pick I’d go with Lewis.
The American public may find it tough to get to grips with Damien Lewis as James Bond. After all, he was an American hero, a Marine, although some people feared he was a terrorist. What a shock to learn it was all a British plot all along.
Dominic West was fabulous in The Wire as slightly morally questionable Detective Jimmy McNulty. I could not be a bigger fan of The Wire. If you haven’t watched it then I’m jealous of you, because you get to watch it for the first time. Lucky you.
An Australian James Bond?
Sam Worthington is Australian, but British born. He’s an odd character, having had some TV and film success, but the only frontrunner who is best known for his acting in a video game.
I think that makes him an interesting choice as he could really stamp his personality on the role without too much baggage.
Alex O’Loughlin stars as LCDR Steve McGarrett in the new 5-0. It’s not your mama’s Hawaii 5-0.
Will the casting director “Book em Danno”?
The Usual Suspects To Play 007
Whenever casting for a new male lead is debated at the moment a few names crop up, regardless of their suitability. Whether it’s to play The Doctor in Dr Who, Christian Grey in 50 Shades of Grey, or the new superhero in any given blockbuster we see the same names added to the list.
Henry Cavill is currently 12/1 to play 007. I can only assume people think his Superman franchise won’t last long. Benedict Cumberbatch would make an interesting choice, he’s certainly British with a huge fanbase. He doesn’t fit with the muscular Bond we’ve seen recently, but Roger Moore did a great job with only eyebrow muscles to flex.
Dougray Scott fills the official Scottish person, you know, like Sean Connery. (who hasn’t lived in Scotland since he got rich, opting instead to live in a tax haven, a decision he justifies to himself). He wouldn’t be a terrible Bond, but I think he lacks the little bit of necessary menace.