There is a choice to be made. A choice that will impact generations to come. A choice that will change, or leave unchanged, the landscape of the world we live in. It is more important than the EU Referendum and more influential than the US Presidential election. The question that we must decide? Who shall be our next Bond?
With Daniel Craig settling into the ejector seat, the choices to fill his immaculate shoes are stacking up. From the rough and ready to the plucked and pruned, 007’s trademark Aston Martin could be headed down a number of paths. I have been joined by a panel of (reasonably-esteemed) cinephiles to debrief you, the treasured reader, on our recommendations to replace Mr. Craig. We hope to leave you both shaken and stirred.
First up is: Me, @wlsnjk –
Charming? Yep. Commanding? Certainly. Looks smart in a suit? I’m blushing already. He has it all. He’s British, experienced and showed his class in this year’s devilish High Rise. A career born on London’s West End, his stock has blossomed in recent years, having taken a collection of leading roles on screen, and impressing throughout. He announced himself to the world as part of a billion-dollar-franchise, where his charismatic turn stole the show. He is the obvious choice. He is Luke Evans.
Hey! Put down your pitchforks, pick your jaws up off the floor, and hear me out. Bond needs to be strong, but feel pain, succeed whilst forever struggling and hold an elevated sense of duty alongside a crippled sense of happiness. Evans can hold these semi-contradictions with ease. His roguish crusader in High Rise was deeply flawed, but violently opposed to injustice. His turn as Bard in the The Hobbit trilogy, was a similarly tragic, facing a foe much more powerful than himself, unafraid, without flashy weapons.
Many can hold these qualities, but Evans has an edge. Bond has to move with the times. It is no accident that Spectre touched on the theme of worldwide surveillance. Bond 7.0 needs to have a fresh air and a new relevance to his world. Evans’ aura and cinematic past would bring this in bucketloads. Though he has played many men from the past, he is a man of his time: quiet, thoughtful and ever-ready to roll-up his sleeves.
So why don’t we move away from the middle-class dominance that has fallen over British cinema? If Elba isn’t our man, and after Pacific Rim I’m not sure he is, I think the Welshman just could be. His intoxicating blend of charm, style and testosterone makes him a near-perfect candidate to helm the classic British hero. Luke no further, we’ve found our man.
Bec, @Becky_828 –
Who should be the next James Bond? Idris Elba. Bond and Elba’s names have been linked ever since those infamous studio emails containing his name were leaked. Whilst most of us reacted naturally to this and became totally excited, some showed scepticism. Most notably, those comments that Elba is “too street”. Elba is best known for playing gritty roles, most famously Luther. Although he could bring this more dangerous, gritty edge to Bond, to suggest that he is incapable of playing it in any other way is typecasting and an insult to his acting ability. He has more than proven his acting chops, and has received critical acclaim for Beasts of No Nation, Mandela: Long Walk To Freedom and Pacific Rim. Okay… so maybe not the last one.
I know what you’re thinking, Elba is very different from previous Bond actors, after all none of the others are established DJs… Jokes aside, it’s time to talk about race. With Daniel Craig’s casting as a “Blonde Bond” causing controversy back in 2005, the potential media frenzy following the casting of a black actor for Bond would be astronomical. But in 2016 how shocking is it really for Bond not to be white? The Bond film franchise has become an entirely separate entity to the original Fleming novels, so why should we restrict ourselves to a morally out-dated book series?
Elba ticks all the boxes; he has the look, the charm and all the qualities of a leading man. So ask yourself, if Hermione can be black, why can’t Bond?
Dan, @dando444 –
Which way will Bond go in a post-Daniel Craig universe?
1. Probably a u-turn back to the suave and sophisticated Bonds of Moore or Brosnan. An old school, ‘Hiddlestonian’ Bond that sips at martinis and babbles one-liners.
2. Or, just maybe, further down the darker path – a more intense look at ‘Bond the soldier’. It’s time for Bond the weapon; deployed by his country to save the world before crawling back to recover inside of a bottle. So – I give you: Michael Fassbonder.
“But Dan!” You shout collectively from beneath the rocks you live under, “Bond ought to be glamorous! He ought to be classy, clean-cut, and courteous!” – “Shut up!”, I interrupt, rudely, “Have you read all the books? No, you haven’t? Well I have, and Bond is a chauvinistic pig and a borderline racist. But modern Bond CAN be whatever WE want him to be!” (Liberated, the readers cheer in sheep-like agreement.)
If BBC’s The Night Manager qualifies as Hiddlestone’s application for Bond then what do we look for from Fassbender? Well, don’t worry reader (provided you are still reading), I’ve already thought long and hard about this so you don’t have to. On Fassbender’s CV should be three unexpected films; Shame, Macbeth, and X-Men: First Class.
Now, if I still haven’t lost you, here’s why:
“Shame? A movie about a sex-addict?” – Yes, and that’s exactly what Fassbonder ought to be – a high-functioning addict. His dependence on alcohol, women, and killing ruthlessly for Queen and Country is what makes this character so interesting. And, like Fassbender’s Macbeth, Bond ought to suffer. He is a professional killer who has seen countless battles to become the Bond we know; no doubt dragging some emotional baggage along behind him.
Finally, watch this from X-Men: First Class and just think “Bond, James Bond”:
Will it be Fassbender? No, democracy is flawed and the people have chosen. But after we’ve all sat through 007: Manager of the Night, you’ll come crawling back to Fassbonder and I still won’t have forgiven you.
Jay, @JakeA_Williams –
In a move that will no doubt discredit my input, I’ll admit to being no Bond fanatic. Having seen 3 and a half Craig films (deservedly fell asleep during Quantum) and not one more, I am the epitome of the casual fan, the embodiment of an inconsequential shrug.
However, I think I know who would make the best next Bond. I say this because I know what it is to be an outsider to Bond and like to think I can gauge what the average person-on-the-street wants from their spy; charm, charisma, with more than a hint of danger and sexuality. No doubt this description matches many, but it suits Tom Hardy down to a tee.
Think about it; one of the biggest names in film right now, a man delivering fantastic performances one after another, playing one of the most coveted roles. Hardy has the chops and experience that others up for the role can only dream of, his name alone is almost a by-word for commercial success. Not only that, but when was the last time he put in a ‘bad’ performance? He showed in Legend that he can scrub up well and be as cool as you like whilst never losing that edge that has always made him stand out. He’d be a nice change to his predecessors too, a more rough-around-the-edges Bond, less refined, more dangerous.
Simply on the evidence of the backlog of his previous films, Hardy would provide the catalyst to make a ‘good’ Bond film, of which we’ve had a few, into a ‘great’ film, Bond or otherwise. It wouldn’t be as daring a choice as Elba, but commercially and theatrically? More sensible all-round.
Now, the choice is yours. I know many of you will be clamouring for the Hiddle or looking for Lewis, but the question I have for you is: Which actor would you now be most interested to see replace Daniel Craig? Vote in the poll below to have your say. The winner will be announced as Wilson Reviews’ Bond-to-Be, supposing Daniel Craig doesn’t want it that is… We’re not trying to take the mantle from him before he’s done. Anyway, get voting!