Each month, our new Movie Chat section will play host to a top 10 list and a post relating to some current movie news or discussion. We kicked things off two weeks ago with our first top 10 list, where we ranked the films of David Fincher, which you can find here. This week, the lads from JumpCut UK – Jakob and Nick – return to join me in discussing who we think should take up the role of Agent 007 in the next James Bond outing.
First up Jakob takes a look at the potential on offer from our current Bond, Daniel Craig, as well as Michael Fassbender and Damien Lewis.
Daniel Craig: When Daniel Craig was first cast as James Bond back in 2005, there was uproar and protest from many fans of the franchise. Now, with ‘Spectre’ out of the way, and Craig four films in to a reported five film contract, those same fans (and plenty of new ones) are desperate for him to take on the next installment. Unfortunately, the chances of that happening have taken quite a hit over the last couple of months, with an infamous Craig quote suggesting he would rather slit his wrists than continue as Bond. With director Sam Mendes now finished with the franchise too, it’s hard to imagine his star staying on beyond ‘Spectre’. Whilst it would be interesting to see a fresh face adopt the 007 name, Daniel Craig has arguably become the best Bond we’ve ever had, changing the game completely with his uniquely dark and dangerous edge.
Michael Fassbender: Since his breakout role in indie-hit ‘Fish Tank’, Michael Fassbender has produced performance after performance of the highest quality, and now stands as one of the most accomplished actors in Hollywood today. Fassbender has certainly proven he has all the qualities required to make a perfect James Bond; displaying intelligence in ‘Steve Jobs’, aggression and strength in ‘Macbeth’, a dark side in ‘12 Years A Slave’, and of course, charisma and an enthusiasm for sex scenes in films like ‘Shame’ and ‘The Counsellor’. No matter what role he takes on, Fassbender always brings a clear level of commitment and an undeniably cool aura, and he’s an actor upon which the Bond franchise could most definitely trust to continue the success achieved by Daniel Craig.
Damien Lewis: Ever since there were doubts over the future of Daniel Craig’s James Bond, the star of ‘Homeland’ has been touted as a potential successor. Predominantly a TV actor, and a good one at that, Lewis would most probably be up to the task in terms of acting credentials, but it is the more physical elements of the Bond role which cast doubts over his chances. James Bond can, of course, take on any appearance, but we just don’t think Damien Lewis has that 007 look which conveys charm and power.
Jakob’s Number One Choice: Michael Fassbender
Next, Nick highlights what Tom Hardy and Henry Cavill could bring to the role.
Tom Hardy: Arguably one of the biggest names in Hollywood at present, it’s inevitable that Britain’s most prominent male star was going to be touted to take on Britain’s most iconic male role. It’s hard not to argue with the reasoning either. He’s certainly up for an adrenaline-pumping fight, as his performances in ‘Mad Max: Fury Road’ and ‘Warrior’ have proven, and he also possesses a brutality and ruthlessness (look no further than ‘Bronson’) which would be perfect if the Bond producers wanted to continue this new, more aggressive Bond that Daniel Craig has given life to. Yet, whilst he is the definition of a “heartthrob” for many women across the globe, his “bad boy” image and canny knack of looking a bit “rough around the edges” may impede his suitability for the role. We don’t doubt that he could pull off the slick, sophisticated, charming, British gentleman with ease, but that’s an attribute that may come more naturally to other contenders for the role. But it’s difficult to argue against Hardy’s reputation and credibility for the role, and we think he’d be a lot of people’s number one choice for it.
Henry Cavill: This suggestion might be slightly left field for some, but Henry Cavill deserves his name to be mentioned amongst the contenders for Bond. Firstly, he looks the part; if you look back at Bond in the eras of Timothy Dalton, George Lazenby and Pierce Brosnan, Cavill ticks the tall, dark and handsome (with a slightly rugged edge) boxes very well. Whilst he might not have the acting portfolio to match some of the other actors here, we can’t ignore the fact that he’s the face of one of cinema’s other great franchises in Superman, so he knows what it takes to be part of something huge and understands all the pressures that come with playing the titular role of such an iconic series of films. We’d definitely put him in the “dark horse” category for the role, but you know what they always say – expect the unexpected. After all, he was on the final shortlist when they gave the role to Craig back in 2005, so with a bit more experience and age on his side this time around, could he go one step further?
Nick’s Number One Choice: Michael Fassbender
Finally, HC discusses the merits of Idris Elba, or an unknown actor taking up the famous spy mantle.
Idris Elba: This is the name that has probably created the most buzz surrounding the casting chat. Elba is a fantastic British actor who has a wide range of acting experience, spanning from TV hits to blockbuster movies, so he certainly has the credentials. However, some may question whether James Bond can be portrayed by a black actor? Personally, I see no issue with this, but it’s something that will be considered; remember the “Blonde Bond” row that broke out over Craig’s casting? Elba’s name really hit the headlines when 007 author Anthony Horowitz claimed that Elba was “too street” to play the role. Since then, Horowitz has acknowledged his poor choice of words and apologized for any offense caused. However, I think there was some merit to what he was saying. Like Tom Hardy, Elba is a bit rough around the edges and maybe doesn’t match the likes of Henry Cavill or Michael Fassbender for the suaveness that Bond requires. Regardless, each Bond has the opportunity to be their own version of the character and we think that Elba could do this wonderfully. Although, if the Bond producers wanted to make use of that roughness Elba possesses, we think he’d make a great adversary for Bond; make him the next Bond villain if nothing else!
Unknown Actor: Jakob has already reflected back on the uproar that followed Daniel Craig’s casting as Bond, and the monumental turn-around he’s achieved with fans of the franchise. When Craig was announced as Bond, many fans were unsure as to who he even was, and I think that was a great thing. There wasn’t a lot of roles that we could compare him too, and it certainly helped with the origin style reboot we got in ‘Casino Royale’. We think there could be potential for the same to happen again, especially with many of the actors we’ve discussed above being quite recognisable from other roles; could Magneto, Superman or Mad Max really be Bond as well? I’ve no doubt that the actors in question could step up, but the franchise might benefit from a completely fresh face, without any other movie baggage.
HC’s Number Once Choice: Unknown Actor
(or Michael Fassbender from the big names)