20 December 2019 1622 Views

After No Time to Die: The Eternal Question of Who will be the 007th 007?

by James Murphy

5 Candidates To Be The Next James Bond

Come in, 007. Your time is up. The first trailer has been released for the upcoming 25th James Bond movie No Time To Die, and as we’ve covered elsewhere on this website, it already looks set to be a classic. There are fast cars, there are fancy gadgets, there are big explosions, and there are classic quips.

To put it another way, it looks like a textbook James Bond movie. It will also be a landmark James Bond movie. As well as being the 25th ‘official’ movie in the long-running franchise, it will also be the very last to feature outgoing 51-year-old star Daniel Craig. Unless he plays M, of course! 

Although people were unsure about Craig’s suitability for the part when he first took it all those years ago for Casino Royale, he’s won over all but the most determined of doubters, and he belongs at the top end of the actors who’ve played the famous British secret agent.

He’s in the company of Sean Connery and Roger Moore as opposed to George Lazenby and Timothy Dalton. Pierce Brosnan sits somewhere in the middle. We’ve loved him in the role, but the time has come to say goodbye. That leads us to an obvious question. Given all the money that the films make, there’s no chance that this will be the last-ever James Bond movie, so who will be next up to wear the tuxedo?

There’s no doubt that there are many who would love to play the part. The name of Idris Elba has been touted many times, but the hard truth of the matter is that Elba is probably too seasoned a star and expensive to start playing the role now.

He’s only four years younger than Craig and already felt that he was too old when he was directly asked whether he’d be interested three years ago. Craig held onto the part for too long for Elba to get a look in, and so with the once-obvious choice now out of the window, who should producers turn to? Let’s run our rule over the candidates.

Lashana Lynch

Just the fact that we’re mentioning her name will turn some readers apoplectic with rage, but she’s in with a chance. In ‘No Time To Die,’ Bond is retired, and Lynch’s character Nomi has inherited the 007 license from him. There’s nothing stopping her from branching out on her own and having a whole series of secret agent movies created for her character. As Lynch demonstrated aptly with her performance in ‘Captain Marvel,’ she’s more than capable as an actor.

It’s perhaps a sad indictment of the times that we live in that some people feel that someone who’s black, female, or both can’t play the James Bond role. We’ve already seen it done at UK online slots websites, where the ‘Agent Jane Blonde’ slot has attracted millions of players. Indeed, that slot games was so popular that a sequel was released earlier this year. Typically (although less so in recent times), online slots are mostly played by men. If they can cope with a female Bond at the casinos, they can cope with one on their cinema screens.

Tom Hardy

The only thing that might stop Tom Hardy taking the Bond role at this point is his own decision not to take it. Tom Hardy is a bonafide, A-list box office star. Virtually every other Bond actor to take the role was at a lesser stage than Hardy in their career when the part came to them. Hardy would make an excellent Bond and has even been endorsed as a candidate by former 007 Piers Brosnan, but he doesn’t need the part.

If he can be persuaded to put the suit on, it’s hard to imagine anyone who would be a better fit. Hardy has it all. He’s attractive, convincingly tough and brooding, and at an age where he doesn’t look too young to be a seasoned secret agent but also isn’t yet so old that he’d be implausible in the position. He’s suave, sophisticated, and compelling – but is he also too obvious?

Richard Madden

Compared to being the King of the North in Game of Thrones as Robb Stark, being James Bond should be a walk in the park for Richard Madden. He wouldn’t be the first Scot in the role, and it certainly didn’t do Sean Connery’s career any harm. Madden doesn’t look quite as tough as Hardy, but he’s far from being a drip.

Madden even had a dry run of sorts for playing Bond when he was cast in the BBC drama Bodyguard, which got excellent reviews and demonstrated that Madden has the acting chops required to carry off the role without it becoming too camp – a trait that surfaced too often during the Brosnan years. He’d also probably be cheaper to acquire than Hardy.

Daniel Kaluuya

Other than a brief appearance in a supporting role in a special episode of Doctor Who, very few people had heard of Daniel Kaluuya until he starred in ‘Get Out.’ It was immediately apparent that we’d all been sleeping on a stellar acting talent. Kaluuya might not come from the same school of charm as the Bond actors of the past, but neither did Daniel Craig. He’d be a left-field choice, but also an inspired one.

Given that the part of Bond has been exclusive to white (and often middle or upper class) actors in the past, there will be a lot of clamor for a non-white actor to get the role next time it comes up. Kaluuya has as good a chance of being in the frame as anybody else, and we’ve seen enough from him to believe he’d be an excellent fit.

Cillian Murphy

Yes, we know Cillian Murphy always plays the bad guy in movies. He’s great at it. He’s so great at it that he’s almost become typecast, but ask yourself this question. Is James Bond actually a good guy? We root for him, and we want him to win, but when you boil the character down, he’s actually a womanizing murderer with legal impunity. That doesn’t sound like a good guy to us, and so Murphy is in the running.

Murphy is on record as having said in the past that he wouldn’t want the part, but something about having a huge check waved under your nose changes people’s minds on things like that.

Craig said he wasn’t interested until it happened, and he also swore he was done after Spectre until the money tempted him back one last time. Murphy could be a brilliantly morally conflicted, sinister Bond, and he could give us a nuanced interpretation of the character’s darker side that we’ve never seen before. He’d be compelling.

If we’ve missed off your favorite actor, we apologize. If you’re furious with us for including Lashana Lynch, take it up with the producers of No Time To Die. Another Bond is coming soon, and we think it’s probably one of the five names on our list!


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