Two years ago I speculated on who would take over from Daniel Craig as James Bond. After championing him in 2010 I decided Idris Elba would be too old by the time the role became available. I considered it to be between Michael Fassbinder, Henry Cavill, Tom Hiddleston or Nicholas Hoult if they wanted to try something new with a younger Bond. I made the same mistake as everyone else. Here are the current favourites for the part along with their odds according to an odds comparison website:
- Damian Lewis 5/2
- Tom Hardy 5/2
- Idris Elba 9/2
- Henry Cavill 11/2
- David Oyelowo 12/1
- Michael Fassbender 14/1
So what’s the problem? Take a look at the actors who have played Bond:
Daniel Craig’s most notable part before Bond was Layer Cake (2004), but he had already been announced as bond by the time it came out. Prior to that he had starred in smaller films like Enduring Love (2004) and Sylvia (2003) or had supporting roles in larger films like Road to Perdition 2002 or Lara Croft: Tomb Raider 2001. For many he was best remembered for the 90’s TV show Our Friends in the North.
Pierce Brosnan was best known for the TV show Remington Steele and a string on low budget features and TV movies. To be more precise, he was best known for missing out on Bond in the 80’s because of his commitment to Remington Steele.
Roger Moore had been kicking around for a about 30 years, mainly on television, before getting the Bond gig. He played the title role in Ivanhoe in the late 50’s. In the early 60’s he replaced James Garner in Maverick playing Garner’s cousin Beau Maverick ( a part turned down by Sean Connery). His most famous role was in the late 60’s as The Saint. Then in the 70’s The Persuaders! alongside Tony Curtis.
George Lazenby was a martial arts instructor and reported to have been the highest paid male model in Europe. Prior to James Bond his only acting credit was an episode of the TV Series General Hospital.
Can you see the problem? Most of the actors who are being suggested are a little too A list or top end B list. I’m not suggesting the next Bond will be an unknown, but if EON stick to their formula he won’t be a huge star. The one exception has more of a TV background and has recently moved into pole position: Damian Lewis. Dominic Cooper who played Bond creator Ian Fleming in a TV miniseries has been gaining some traction. In a recent interview on the BBC radio 4 Film Program Bond casting director Debbie McWilliams spoke about how she had championed Rupert Friend to play a younger Bond in Casino Royale.
Whatever happens we must remember that Daniel Craig is still in the role and is unlikely to say anything until after SPECTRE’s cinema run and video release. SPECTRE left it open for him to walk away or return. Although I think he has been a great Bond, I think his job is done and it is time to walk away. I’m sure there are will be lots of twists and turns before things are decided. Until then:
I still stand by an idea I had back in 2010. The next film should be a one off stop gap with Timothy Dalton returning as an older retired Bond before a reboot two or three years later with a new young Bond. It will never happen, but I still think it is a great idea.