Is not going to be Idris Elba. Which is annoying for many, many reasons. At least partly because I suspect Eon know he’s not going to be James Bond and they’re only getting people’s hopes up.
I’m going to give Eon a pass, because I don’t think their main reason is going to be Elba’s race (and any fanboys who want to complain about having a black James Bond given the present James Blond are being awfully peculiar about which book details they demand from an actor). I think his age is going to be the main problem. Elba is 43, and would be replacing the 48 year old Daniel Craig. Presuming that it takes 3 years to make a Bond fil, then that’s only one or two films before they’re likely to bring the next guy in.
I would love for the next James Bond to be Idris Elba having been a fan since Ultraviolet (Ultraviolet still being in the top two shows about its subject matter ever) but I have reached acceptance on the matter.
So who is likely to be the guy that gets the backlash for not being Idris Elba?
For a while it seemed like it might be Henry Cavill, and large chunks of the Man From U.N.C.L.E. acts as a very fine audition tape. But there is one problem.
Given the time and effort it takes to make a blockbuster, if he’s already Superman, I doubt Eon would be willing to work around DC/WB’s timetable. Now, in an ideal world, that would mean they’d take Superman away from the people who can’t write him and Cavill would be free to play Bond, but since it looks like they’re going to be a Justice League series of films, that’s not going to happen.
The moment I saw the snow chase scene in Inception, I went “there is our next James Bond”. I would love to have Tom Hardy as James Bond. He can wear the heck out of a suit, he can do the violence, he can do the character, including that worrying lack of care about violence and he’s young enough that they could get a fair few films out of him. Friend L insists that Hardy couldn’t do the suave bits of the Bond character, the way Bond is supposed to be able to choke someone to death with his bare hands while calmly discussing the right wine for the situation. I think he could do that though.
A more significant problem is that I’m not sure Tom Hardy would want to do a franchise, or certainly not be the lead in one that so heavily relies on its main character. Maybe if we got Christopher Nolan to direct. By the way, if Nolan does ever direct a Bond film, I may have to be restrained for my own safety. I would be excessively excited.
The aforementioned L has two desires when it comes to James Bond: Michael Fassbender to play Red Grant in a ‘From Russia with Love’ remake and Tom Hiddleston as James Bond.
I try to be supportive, as I’ve already had my perfect Bond. (It is Timothy Dalton. I accept no substitutes.) L points out that Hiddleston can do the sharpness of Bond, and the well-spoken public schoolboy thing (because he is a well-spoken public schoolboy). My problem is that I’m not sure Hiddleston can do the dead-eyed violent sociopathy bit. I worry that he’d be too sympathetic. I’m also not sure he can do violent menace. L says I am being ridiculous, and that Michael Fassbender, who I don’t want as Bond but can do the violent dangerous bit is every bit the same sort of wiry and lithe that Hiddleston is. I keep trying to explain to him that Fassbender has dangerous shoulders and Hiddleston doesn’t, which he says makes no sense. The problem is I know exactly what I mean but I can’t explain myself properly. It has nothing to do with whether or not Hiddleston can do stunts and fightscenes. I’ve seen enough clips of his Coriolanus to know he can fight. It’s something else, something intangible, which doesn’t help on the explaining front.
Of the four actors I’ve mentioned, I suspect Hiddleston is the most likely at the moment, but that doesn’t mean Eon won’t go for someone truly random, see also Daniel Craig over Clive Owen much though I ❤ Craig’s Bond and Daniel Craig himself.
I’ve had to explain to one of the PhD students that no, Channing Tatum should not be the next James Bond, much though I also ❤ Channing Tatum and would be utterly behind him as either the CIA’s best and brightest in his own series of films, or Felix Leiter if Jeffrey Wright gets bored of playing him, but not James Bond.
At the minute Tom Hardy is the bookies favourite as well as mine, but that doesn’t mean that much because I remember Clive Owen being the favourite before the last announcement.
I think that’s a reasonable run-down of the runners and riders. Anyone I’ve missed?