Despite a couple of rumours to the contrary (about 60 million of them to be exact), I think it’s safe to say that Daniel Craig will no longer be shaking or stirring anything as James Bond. After 10 years and four movies, Craig appears to have hung up the Walther PPK for good, by all appearances. That means we’re getting a new 007. Previously we had heard that Damien Lewis was a frontrunner for the gig, as well as Idris Elba – the latter was a huge fan favourite pick for a long time, but received so much attention because of it, that he essentially took himself out of contention. Now a new name has popped and it’s a very low key one: Tom Hiddleston!
The Thor and Avengers actor has already publicly proclaimed that he wants the much coveted gig, and according to a report that broke at Birth.Movies.Death. over the weekend, he is now in advanced talks with the EON Productions about the job. BMD do take pains to make clear that “while talks have indeed taken place, and that Hiddleston very much wants the job (a fact of which he’s made no secret), no official offer has been made – yet.” BMD also go on to speculate that while franchise producers Barbara Broccoli and Michael G. Wilson could genuinely be interested in Hiddleston as the next Bond, it could also be nothing more than a cutthroat negotiating tactic to perhaps force Craig back to the table for another go-round.
Personally, while I’ve enjoyed Craig’s time as Bond, and would genuinely prefer that he end his tenure on a high instead of the dud of Spectre, I’m genuinely excited for what Hiddleston could bring to the role. He may not be as thuggishly physical as Craig, but Hiddleston definitely has a menacing dark side to him that could make for a very nicely layered Bond. He sure as hell has the whole smoothly eloquent and charming part of the role down pat, and the man definitely knows how to wear a suit. Plus, Hiddleston is currently already doing the whole spy thing and receiving tons of plaudits for it with BBC’s adaptation of John le Carre’s The Night Manager.
Whether Hiddleston gets the nod or whether Craig gets offered enough cash to convince him to come back for one more, we now know for a fact that it will be a fresh set of hands guiding the franchise as Skyfall and Spectre director is now officially done with the world of James Bond. Speaking at the Hay festival (via Guardian), Mendes confirmed what many had suspected would be the case.
“I’m a storyteller, and at the end of the day, I want to make stories with new characters… It was an incredible adventure, I loved every second of it. But I think it’s time for somebody else.”
Mendes didn’t shed any light on the whether Craig is indeed still considering a return to the franchise, but did offer his thoughts on how the decision would be made if a new actor had to pick up the reins.
“I can guarantee whatever happens with it, it will not be what you expect. That’s what [Barbara Broccoli] has been brilliant at, and that’s how it’ll survive.”
And speaking of names that you won’t expect, just a day before the reports about Tom Hiddleston started coming in, another very unlikely name was thrown into the mix. UK tabloid The Sun (via The Daily Mail) claim that Fantastic Four and erstwhile Billy Elliot star Jamie Bell is apparently also chatting to EON Productions about playing Bond. And if the tabloid nature of this report is throwing you off, then know that the much more reliable Deadline have confirmed that Bell and Broccoli are indeed talking. The two are currently working on Film Stars Don’t Die together and Broccoli and co were apparently very impressed with Bell. during the film’s production.
At first glance, Bell is certainly an unconventional, out of left field choice as he hasn’t really done anything immediately Bond-ish (not discounting AMC’s US Civil War spy drama Turn, in which Bell stars). But then again, the same can be – and definitely was – said about Daniel Craig, Sean Connery and Timothy Dalton as well. At age 30, Bell would also be matching George Lazenby as the youngest actor to play the role, though based on how long these movies take to make, you can probably add a year or two to his age. That being said, there’s admittedly something about Bell’s appearance – at least to me – that just doesn’t convey the type of maturity the role normally requires. Unless of course EON decide to “reboot” the whole thing again with a younger Bond.
Whatever’s happening, and whomever’s going to be doing it, I think it’s still going to be a bit of time before we get any concrete announcements. As Deadline point out, there’s currently no script, no director and none of the necessary creative elements in place yet for another Bond movie. I would guess that those would need to be sorted out first – so that the next film’s tone can be established – before an actor is cast.
So what do you guys think of the possible choices? Excited about Hiddleston as Bond, or can you see something in Bell that I’m just missing? Also, where do you want the franchise to go next? The producers have been a bit inconsistent with their plans, kicking off this latest era with the very gritty and barebones Casino Royale that was a fresh departure from what came before, only to end on Spectre‘s poor man’s cover versions of the franchise’s greatest hits.
Personally, as a lifelong fan of the franchise who has a ridiculous amount of love for the classic movies, I want some kind of middle-ground. As undeniable as the influence of the Bourne series has been on the modern Bond movies, I really don’t want the latter to become the former. By all means have the grittiness and physically impressive action (which Craig handled brilliantly, by the way), but still keep around a few Bond staples like the gadgets, the cars, and the colourful villains. Hell, don’t be afraid to tell massive stories, but just don’t turn it into a cartoon. The world doesn’t need another Die Another Day.
Last Updated: May 30, 2016