SPECTRE is only a few months away. The anticipation is growing with intriguing trailers and the rumours over the coveted job of the singer of the iconic title music in full flow. Another question that has been heavily discussed is that of who will continue to play 007 after Daniel Craig has left the franchise. Originally, Craig was going to exit after Skyfall, but is reuniting with director Sam Mendes for SPECTRE which is frequently being touted as his last outing in the role. He will leave the franchise with not only his dignity intact after a barrage of criticism before Casino Royale but with the honour of reigniting the series and making it something new and exciting.
Speculation about the new Bond is already well underway with pretty much every actor working in the film industry being suggested as a possible replacement. Look at the betting odds and you’ll find such names as Peter Dinklage, Vinnie Jones and even John Travolta further down the odds list but here are some of the people more likely to fill Bond’s shoes…
The Bookies Favourite – Damien Lewis
Originally touted as a dark horse, in recent months Damien Lewis emerged as the bookie’s favourite for the next reincarnation of James Bond. You can see what appeals about him; in Homeland and Wolf Hall he has exhibited his wide acting range. He has a strong voice and domineering presence whilst being charming and likeable. But with the swathes of criticism aimed at Daniel Craig of him being blond how will everyone react if a redhead takes over the role?
The Fan’s Favourite – Idris Elba
Idris Elba was once almost nailed on to get the role of James Bond before Craig departed. The current 007 has stated how great he would be in the role. Elba is hugely popular with film critics and audiences alike and everyone thought the time had come to finally get out of the dark ages and present Bond as black.
Sir Roger Moore, however, thought otherwise and infamously vocalised the small minority that still doesn’t want a black actor stating that Bond should be “English-English”. With this slip of bigotry not only did Moore damage his own reputation somewhat but he seems to forget that his predecessor in the role was Scottish and his replacement was a Welshman.
If we can suspend belief and allow the fact that Bond has been played by a variety of people of varying nationalities why can’t Idris Elba play him. Elba admitted recently that “If there was any chance of me getting Bond it’s gone” but with his cool personality and touch of class I’m hoping this isn’t the case.
The Traditional Choice – Henry Cavill
If you were a casting director it is clear that Henry Cavill is the no brainer choice for the part. He’s suave, sophisticated, British (from the proud island nation of Jersey) and according to my wife “No man should ever be that good looking.” He’s got everything and almost got the job back in 2005 for Casino Royale. There was a time that he could have easily given up after not only being second choice for Bond, but also for Batman and The Man of Steel for Superman Returns in 2006. His persistence paid off and he eventually became Superman a few years later whilst cementing himself as a real Hollywood A-Lister. His upcoming role as Napoleon Solo in The Man From U.N.C.L.E will no doubt showcase his abilities acting in a spy role and you’d think he’d be the best choice.
The No Brainer – Tom Hardy
Tom Hardy’s name keeps cropping up as one of the favourites for the role and it’s clear why. He has been excellent in every role he’s played and would be remarkably cool as Bond. It would also maintain a nice consistency that Craig’s replacement would also come from the excellent Layer Cake. He’d bring a real energy and intensity to the role and has stated he’d love to play the role, especially if Christopher Nolan, who is eager to direct a Bond film is on board which would be a dream match. Audiences would be massively on board with Hardy and he’d look right at home in that tuxedo.
The Juggernaut – Michael Fassbender
Why wouldn’t people consider one of the best actors of the last ten years? Michael Fassbinder’s eclectic body of work has demonstrated his huge acting abilities. His role as Lt. Archie Hicox in Inglorious Basterds is a great of example of the Irishman looking suave and doling out the charm. He would be a natural choice and would lend a real authority to the character.The question is would he want to dedicate himself to another franchise after playing Magneto in X-Men?
The Oscar Winner – Eddie Redmayne
It is a truth universally acknowledged that a British actor who wins a Best Actor Oscar will be considered for James Bond. The casting directors could do worse than Eddie Redmayne as well. Although many would deem him perhaps too ‘soft’ for the role the charm and style is certainly there. He’s probably got a lot on his plate with upcoming roles in The Danish Girl and Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, but who knows?
The Outsider – Kit Harington
With the uncertainty of how long again before we see Jon Snow, if ever again, on Game of Thrones we can assume that Kit Harington is going to want to embrace a variety of roles in the near future. So, why not go for the most coveted role in the film industry and audition for James Bond? He has already dipped his toe in the espionage genre with Spooks: The Greater Good and shown his flair for action in Pompeii. He’s well liked and has the right hair colour for all the die-hard Bond fans so why not? He’s certainly one to consider.
These are just a few of the candidates, just like Damien Lewis, someone else could just one day became the favourite and steal the role from under everyone’s nose. Other actors suggested for the role include Dan Stevens, Richard Armitage, Jamie Dornan, Dominic Cooper and Tom Hiddlestone. Until the decision is reached though, at least we’ve got SPECTRE to look forward to in October!
This blog post is dedicated to my wife Hannah. Without whom I would have never watched all the Bond films 🙂