As the waves of excitement surrounding Spectre break, the question remains- who will play the next Bond? In this article three of our writers weigh up the favourites.
There’s a great deal of gravitas attached to the name and legacy of James Bond. This superspy’s name alone is associated with cleverness, charm, dashing good looks, and martinis (shaken, not stirred), just to name a few things. There are many actors who desire to step into 007’s shoes, but only so many with the acting chops required to really fit the role.
An obvious choice? Tom Hardy. It’s difficult to look at the standards fans of the James Bond films set and not see Tom Hardy checking off every necessary item.
In terms of variety in acting, Tom Hardy has crossed genres and types of characters. There is no denying—jokes about his garbled speech aside—that his portrayal of Bane, with only his eyes to portray how he felt, was fantastic. In Legend, he played opposite himself as the Kray twins, creating two believable separate identities on screen in a way that, perhaps to the un-informed, could have come across as actual twins. With his biographical portrayal of Charles Bronson in Bronson, it became even more evident that Tom Hardy can fluidly step into the life of another person—even a fictional one. Special mention also goes to his role as the devious, dastardly, and oh-so-creepy Praetor Shinzon in Star Trek: Nemesis. (Before even thinking more about him as James Bond, go watch that.) The take-home point is that it’s not so difficult to see Hardy as an international man of mystery. It certainly doesn’t hurt that he’s a native of the UK, which will help prevent drawing any immediate ire from fans.
Can Tom Hardy handle the action that goes with the gadgets and charm of 007? Undoubtedly so.
Can Tom Hardy handle the action that goes with the gadgets and charm of 007? Undoubtedly so. He’s done a wealth of fight scenes already, ranging from duking it out with Batman to his work with Band of Brothers. It’s not a stretch to envision Tom brawling with henchmen in a secret underground lair, and last, but far from least… the man looks good in a suit.
Tom Hardy: the obvious choice for the next 007.
By Phil Gorski
Idris Elba should be the next James Bond. Why? Not because he would be the first black actor in the role but because he has the wide experience and urban grittiness that any new James Bond seemingly requires. If the Craig years have done anything for James Bond, they have reflected his character far more faithfully than earlier incarnations. Yes Bond can be a smooth charmer but he is also a deeply insecure and unstable man.
If there is any rising British star who can portray that new Bond fittingly and fluently, it is Elba. Not only as Luther has he demonstrated that he has the emotional range needed to bring such a character to life, but his own life has reflected that same sense of insecurity. Leaving Britain for America in order to carve himself a name as an actor, Elba also had to supplement that with jobs on the side, working as a DJ around the time his first child was born, before finding a route to success through The Wire and then returning to Britain for Luther.
Idris Elba, with his wealth of experience and contemporary slant, could be the perfect choice to portray a modern Bond.
His successes since then have seen him become an international star, whose credits include Thor, Prometheus, Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom and American Gangster. Such a portfolio only reinforces his suitability for Bond, since any actor playing 007 has very, very big boots to step in to. Anthony Horowitz’s claim that Elba is ‘too street’ only strengthens the actor’s claim on the role- Bond after all has to be his own man and Idris Elba, with his wealth of experience and contemporary slant, could be the perfect choice to portray a modern Bond.
By Gareth Wood
While some of Damien Lewis’s feature film appearances have been criminally under-appreciated, his output on both the big and small screen has been of a remarkable quality. Highlights include Wolf Hall, The Escapist, Band of Brothers, The Baker and Homeland all of which were massively enjoyable, though only some of which were hugely financially successful. All of these productions are fantastic showcases of the talent Lewis possesses.
In many ways, Lewis as Bond would be harking back to the days of Brosnan, Moor and Connery…
Firstly, the range within Lewis’s abilities has to be commended- he’s played Henry VIII, he’s played one of the most memorable WWII officers ever to take to our screens and he’s played one of the most sinister convicts in cinema. Essentially, and crucially, his ability is absolutely magnificent. As an on-screen presence he captures imaginations and single-handedly carries storylines but his quintessential Britishness would be absolutely perfect in the Bond tux.
The Baker is a dark comedy in which Lewis plays an assassin on the run- it’s perhaps the closest he’s come to a role like Bond, but only in that it really shows him in the guise of a secretive and remarkable British Professional whereas in his career defining roles in Band of Brothers and Homeland, he portrays Americans. It’s this window into the refined British persona that Lewis can play so well, in combination with the hard-nosed brutality his other roles offer, that shows just how good a Bond he could be.
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In many ways, Lewis as Bond would be harking back to the days of Brosnan, Moor and Connery, in that he’s refined and suave, but not remarkably athletic and gritty in the same immediately noticeable and appealing way as Daniel Craig, Tom Hardy or Idris Elba. However given the franchises move, (in Skyfall and Spectre,) towards a more classic, slightly comedic Bond- which falls more in line with the now well established on screen persona rather than the Bond established in the original novels, Lewis would be the perfect choice. He’s not the man Fleming wrote, but he’s the man Cubby Brocolli created and for better or worse, it’s arguably Brocolli’s creation we are all more familiar and enamored with today.
By George Storr