Film and TV

It's Never Too Early To Guess The Next James Bond

Jason Statham co-stars in the upcoming comedy Spy. Saw it last night, and my review, as always, will be hard-hitting and incisive. However, I'm more concerned with an interview Statham recently gave to the Guardian, in which he asserted his enthusiasm for playing 007:
“Could I do it? Abso-fucking-lutely,” he says. “Would I do it? Abso-fucking-lutely. Is Daniel Craig a great Bond? Abso-fucking-lutely.”
Aside from being quite the vulgarian, Statham simply appears to be preemptively throwing his hat into the ring. The upcoming Spectre will be Daniel Craig's fourth Bond movie. He's signed on for five, with the last (probably) hitting theaters in 2017 or 2018.

One marginal reason Statham couldn't be 007 is age. He and Craig are both 47, which would put Statham at roughly the same age as Sean Connery was when he made Never Say Never Again. Pierce Brosnan was 53 in Die Another Day, and Roger Moore was almost 60 when A View To A Kill was released, and it shows. Statham is certainly in better physical condition than either Connery or Moore, but Craig was the last actor to start the franchise before he turned 40 (38 in Casino Royale). Before that, you have to go back to George Lazenby (30 in OHMSS).

Statham is also too bald. We've already had one 007 with a rug. 

The theorizing about who would take up the Walther PPK when Pierce Brosnan hung it up was hilariously terrifying. Goran Visnjic? Karl Urban? Sam Worthington? And those were the ones actually considered by Eon. For really terrifying casting rumors, you had to go to the internet. From Hugh Jackman ("G'day, Moneypenny.") to Orlando Bloom, who I'm guessing they'd have surf on top of the fuel truck in CR, it was quite a time to be alive.

I want to relive that era again, dammit. I know we're still a Presidential election and change away from serious consideration for the next JB, but let's get our speculation engines going early, people. Here are my (00)7 likely(?) candidates for a post-Craig Bond.

Idris Elba
Pros: Dapper, British, is allegedly appealing to the fairer sex.
Cons: But, but ... he's blek.

Elba has been making his way up many lists of potential double-0 replacements for years. Between The Wire and Luther and Thor (strike that last one), I don't think anybody doubts the man's chops. Well, not counting the predictable cretins who'll claim Bond can't be played by a black guy. Maybe they have a point. I mean, it isn't as if — I don't know — a British dude could convincingly play a drug dealer from Baltimore or something.

Michael Fassbender
 Wears a mean suit, most resembles "classic Bond" (white, male, haughty).
Cons: Germans are traditional enemies of England.

He's not even 40 years old, and it's probably too soon to tell if involvement in the X-Men movies has soured Fassbender on franchise properties. Then again, being forced to choose between artistically acclaimed indies and millions of dollars in blockbuster profit sharing is exactly the kind of problem I wish I had.

Henry Cavill

Pros: Beef Supreme, is no longer engaged to my future wife (Gina Carano).
Cons: Has already played Theseus, Superman, and Napoleon Solo., so may be in legendary hero overload.

The race to replace Pierce Brosnan reportedly came down to Craig and Cavill, with the latter ultimately considered too young. He'd be the perfect age when "Bond 26" starts filming, though he might need to deflate those Kryptonian pecs beforehand.

Chiwetel Ejiofor

Pros: Has definite action movie bona fides, he'd be the first actor to take the role after winning a Best Actor Oscar.
Cons: See also Idris Elba, let Marky Mark beat him up.

Ejiofor might have the most varied resume of the bunch, everything from Broadway adaptations (Kinky Boots) to sci-fi (Serenity) to searing historical epic (12 Years a Slave). He's kept a pretty low profile since winning the Oscar (this years The Martian will end that), but being five years younger than Elba might convince Eon to choose him if they go that route.

Emily Blunt

Pros: Would be first woman in the role, .
Cons: Marriage to The Office's John Krasinski forces us to question her decision-making capabilities.

Well, why not "Jane Bond?" Blunt proved her bad-assedness in Edge of Tomorrow (with the added bonus of getting to shoot Tom Cruise in the head a few thousand times), and since Marvel doesn't sound like they're going to get off their asses and make a Black Widow movie any time soon, it's a perfect time for Eon to steal their thunder.

Ewan McGregor
Pros: Shares original Bond Sean Connery's Scottish origins, recent roles demonstrate he'll appear in just about anything.
Cons: He probably won't get his junk out onscreen (see Trainspotting, The Pillow Book, Velvet Goldmine, Young Adam).

The former Obi-Wan Kenobi seems a little, I dunno, slight for the role. Not short, like fellow Scot James McAvoy, just unserious, and the last thing the role needs is another Roger Moore.

Tom Hardy
Pros: Young, occasionally tidy, likes dogs.
Cons: Would prevent him from making 10 more Mad Max movies.

Man, Hardy would be a weird Bond. I have no doubts he's versatile enough to do it, but tying himself down to one character for over a decade isn't really his style. I can see a Lazenby style one-off, however.

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Peter Vonder Haar writes movie reviews for the Houston Press and the occasional book. The first three novels in the "Clarke & Clarke Mysteries" - Lucky Town, Point Blank, and Empty Sky - are out now.
Contact: Pete Vonder Haar