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Editorials

Who Will Be The Next James Bond?

May 19, 2019

Daniel Craig will be stepping down from the iconic role of James Bond after the next film and I think it’s fair to say his run as Bond has been a huge success. The high point to me was Skyfall which while still an amazing spy-thriller also has something to say about Bond as a character, who he is, what his life means. More so than ever a change in the actor playing Bond will mean a change in the character so who are the contenders to play Bond, and what type of Bond would they be?

The Contenders

Idris Elba

Idris Elba (dailytimes.com)

Why Him? As always many names are being thrown around but Idris Elba has been a contender for some time. Elba not only brings a lot of experience for action films he is also a very talented actor lauded for his performances in The Wire and Beast of No Nation. Two other things would work for Elba – he is an exceptionally handsome man and he is very cool.

What Type Of Bond Would He Be? In his mid-forties already Elba could carry on the Daniel Craig persona of an old-hand, someone who hasn’t changed with the world. Skyfall played with the idea that Bond was “past his best”, in Goldeneye, Pierce Brosnan’s first Bond film, he was described as a Cold War dinosaur, so for some this idea has been a big part of Bond.

Cillian Murphy

Cillian Murphy (weheartit.com)

Why Him? I think it’s with recent hit Peaky Blinders that Cillian showed he could play this kind of character. In that show, he plays crime boss Thomas Shelby, who while very tough, is most effective when using his mind.

What Type of Bond Would He Be? – Murphy doesn’t exactly look tough, nor does he look his age, seemingly barely ageing since his star-turn in 28 Days Later all those years ago. To me Bond often doesn’t seem very good at espionage. Don’t get me wrong – he’s very good at killing and fighting, but being subtle and discreet? Never. So maybe this could be what Murphy brings – a more intellectual hero who is actually good at being a spy.

Charlize Theron

Charlize Theron (flickdirect.com)

Why Her? She might just be the best actress working today. Not only that she starred in the best action film of recent times, Mad Max: Fury Road and showed in Atomic Blonde that she is absolutely capable of all the fighting and action a Bond film would throw at her.

What Type Of Bond Would She Be? Theron was very cold and extremely ruthless in Atomic Blonde so maybe we could get an anti-hero Bond. After all, the world of espionage is not made up of heroes, it’s made up of liars and con artists who are perhaps not terribly likeable.

Daniel Kaluuya

Daniel Kaluuya (latimes.com)

Why Him? This British actor has been on fire the past few years and already has been successful in America, from horror gem Get Out to a supporting role in superhero success Black Panther. He can play law enforcer with a conscience, as he did in Sicario or simply be intimidating as he was in Widows.

What Kind Of Bond Would He Be? Kaluuya is a good deal younger than many contenders which could take the franchise in a new direction. – a young man brought into MI6 with lots of potential. This could perhaps a more idealistic Bond, a man not worn down by years of fighting.

Henry Cavill

Henry Cavill (yahoo.com)

Why Him? Cavill is perhaps the most obvious choice to go with. In terms of his previous acting experience, it’s almost like he has been destined for this part- he’s already played spies in The Man From U.N.C.L.E and apprenticed with Tom Cruise in Mission Impossible: Fallout as well as headlining a major franchise by playing Superman in the recent DC films. He certainly has the right look for a Bond and undoubtedly has the physical presence, who can forget the amazing bathroom fight scene in Mission Impossible: Fallout and the even more amazing moment where Cavill “reloads” his arms?

What Kind Of Bond Would He Be? I expect this Bond would be a more typical hero. Honourable.Decent. Noble. Perhaps a bit boring?

An interesting bit of Bond news was reported not long ago in that they had hired an additional writer for the next Daniel Craig film – Phoebe Waller-Bridge. The woman behind two recent television hits – Fleabag and Killing – is certainly a hugely talented writer but perhaps not the sort of person who would usually be found writing for James Bond. This could be suggesting a change in tone in Bond, and well, if Phoebe Waller-Bridge is writing it we might as well cast….

Jodie Comer

Jodie Comer (latimes)

As Villanelle in Killing Eve Comer gave us a compelling and mesmerising performance as well as being something of a cultural sensation and I would love to see her take on such a well-established character as Bond.

What Type Of Bond Would She Be? This would really feel like a real change, not because Comer is a woman, but she’s most famous for playing a sociopath assassin and is absolutely the bad-guy. But if you really want a change she could be it. When you look at what Bond does and how he behaves, he’s already the villain, just he’s on “our side” so we see him as the good guy. This wouldn’t even be an anti-hero or someone a bit morally grey but an outright villain. Let’s unleash a truly wicked Bond and see what happens.

Also Read: The Movie Villains Who Nailed It (And Those That Didn’t) – Part 2: James Bond.

Richard Norton
Gentleman, podcaster and pop culture nerd, I love talking and writing about pretty much all pop culture.