Weekend Roundtable: Casting the Next James Bond

Daniel Craig swears that he’s done playing James Bond, and just turned down a huge payday to return as secret agent 007. Who should replace him?

Shannon Nutt

While I still think that Craig will re-up for one more Bond adventure, my vote for the new James Bond is Chiwetel Ejiofor. I think we can all agree that it’s time for an actor of color to be given a shot at the role, and Ejiofor fits all the criteria: He’s British, he’s the perfect age (38 as of this writing), and he’s one hell of a good actor. While others are yelling for Idris Elba, Tom Hiddleston or Michael Fassbender for the part, I think Ejiofor has the potential to be one of the best 007s ever.

Tom Landy

You know who would make an excellent Bond? Peter Dinklage! Actually, on second thought, he’s too old. But I really wouldn’t mind seeing his ‘Game of Thrones’ co-star Nikolaj Coster-Waldau (a.k.a. Jaime Lannister) slide into an Aston Martin DB5 with his trusty Walther PPK in one hand and a well-made martini in the other (shaken, not stirred of course). He has the looks, he has the charisma, and hey, 007’s eyes haven’t been brown in a while so there’s that, too. Not to mention, he has plenty of experience with gold fingers already!

Mike Attebery

Although Daniel Craig has been a great James Bond, I’ve gotten really tired of the “Will he or won’t he?” game Craig plays before each movie begins shooting. That, and his dismissive way of discussing the part, as if it’s the most taxing way to make a living, short of working in a coal mine, has gotten to be a real turnoff. The ideal Bond star has to be cool and tough on screen and off. Or at least give that impression. The only actor whose name has been mentioned quite frequently over the last few years and who embodies cool, is a strong actor, and had the physique to be a solid 007 (sorry, Tom Hiddleston, but you look like a mouse) is Idris Elba. I’d really like to see him take over the part.

Brian Hoss

Pursuing the possible choices has led me to Aidan Turner from the British TV series ‘Poldark’. Bond actors have to step up into the role, and shouldn’t already be too famous when they take it.

Having recently watched ‘On Her Majesty’s Secret Service’ gave me plenty of time to consider the challenge of finding a new Bond actor. Of course, the franchise has been successful recently with a younger Bond, and I have to believe that with a new star it’ll be time to turn the years back. Meanwhile, actors like Michael Fassbender and Idris Elba are much too well known to suit this search. They’d remind me of Val Kilmer or George Clooney playing Batman. ‘The Man from U.N.C.L.E.’ was great, but Henry Cavill shouldn’t be the next 007 either.

Luke Hickman

For the past few years, I’ve been waiting for the world to realize how great Idris Elba is. Finally, he’s starting to take off. I’d love to see him take the reins as 007. He’s shown his ability to play suave, cool, tough and intimidating. He commands a scene like very few can. The conviction of his performances – no matter whether it’s in a good movie or a so-so movie – is always strong. With an intensity that some of the very best actors can’t match, he’s definitely one of Britain’s finest. Sure, there would be a fleet of racist haters who would be up in arms about a black Bond, but just like the casting of Heath Ledger as The Joker, the haters would come around the moment they saw him on-screen. Idris Elba has my vote.

M. Enois Duarte

If we’re going based on the archetypal, classic Bond look created by Sean Connery and then cemented by Roger Moore, I think Jon Hamm might make an excellent 007. Not only does he possess the handsome, charming good looks expected of the MI-6 secret agent, Hamm knows how to act sophisticated and gentlemanly when needed, usually when trying to extract information from others. For crying out loud, he even makes smoking, drinking and gambling look cool while suavely seducing the ladies.

Adam Tyner (DVDTalk)

Since everyone is going to chant “Idris Elba!” in unison, I’ll go in a completely different direction: Adam Tyner. Hear me out! He can do what he is told is a passable British accent. He has a wry sense of humor but can get deadly serious when the situation demands it. He’s approximately the same age that Daniel Craig was when ‘Casino Royale’ stormed into theaters, ensuring that he’s young enough to get at least a few movies out of him. He has just enough gray in his hair to look distinguished but not enough to read as old. He looks pretty good in a tux. Men want to be him; women want to be with him. It won’t take $100 million to bribe him into signing a two picture deal. Let’s make this happen!

Josh Zyber

I’ll tell you one thing – it definitely shouldn’t be Jamie Bell, who’s allegedly in talks with the producers about the part. I don’t care if he’s all grown up now, he’s forever Billy Elliot to me.

Tom Hiddleston’s name has been thrown around a lot recently as well. His recent role in ‘The Night Manager’ sure felt like a James Bond audition reel. I think he’d be great if the franchise shifted its focus back towards espionage and away from superheroics, but that seems incredibly unlikely to happen in the current film marketplace.

Michael Fassbender is perhaps the best choice I can think of. He’s handsome, he’s the right age, he’s a hell of an actor, and he’s about to prove his chops as a kick-ass action hero with the ‘Assassin’s Creed’ movie. Is he too famous? Maybe. I’m not sure that’s a drawback anymore, though. With $200 million budgets, the stakes are too high on these movies for the producers to choose an unknown or little-known star. I think those days may be over.

Who would you cast as the next 007? Tell us your suggestions in the Comments below.

Note: We’re taking Monday off for the Memorial Day holiday. We’ll be back with new posts on Tuesday. Have a great long weekend, everybody!

89 comments

  1. How about Dan Stevens? He’s a handsome british dude who played a super-lethal role in The Guest. Plus he’s young enough to fit the role for several years.

  2. John Smith

    Who the heck is Adam Tyner?

    Personally I like to Luke Evans taking over 007 role but since he’s openly gay, that probably disqualified him already.

    I also like Fassbender and having recently finished watching The Night Manager, I don’t mind seeing Hiddleston as 007; he just need to learn how to fight and bulk up a bit.

  3. Shannon Nutt

    I hadn’t heard about Jamie Bell…honestly, the only reason to pick him is because he kinda looks like a younger version of Craig. I’ve watched him in TURN and don’t see anything there that would lead me to believe he could handle BOND – unless they’re planning on making him softer/funnier…he doesn’t give off that “killer” vibe though, like a Craig, Dalton or Connery.

  4. Deaditelord

    I’m completely on board with Tom Huddleston or Idris Elba as Bond. Jamie Bell, on the other hand, should not have even been asked for a meeting. Far too young, not a good actor. Not only that, but put him in a tux and he’d look more like the maitre d’ at a hotel rather than a suave British agent.

  5. Timcharger

    How about a lady Bond?
    Bond, Jane Bond.

    I’m surprised no one suggested a chick.
    That would a roundtable response that
    is so much easier and fun to write up.

    (Eva Green can be a Bond girl and a Bond.)

  6. Csm101

    I guess he’s not traditionally handsome or “bankable” enough, but when I googled descriptions of Bond in the novels, I thought actor Jack Davenport would make a good choice for Bond. I remember his character from the Pirates movie who was kind of uptight, but also seemed cold, calculating, and potentially dangerous. He’s kind of plain looking but handsome and has a steely cold gaze. He also played Lancelot in the Kingsman movie and that small part alone convinced me even more he could pull it off. Richard Armitage would make an interesting choice as well.

  7. EM

    I don’t care whether Jamie Bell plays that other JB or not—but if he does, there’d better be no interference with more Tintin, which has been delayed and back-burnered enough already, closer and closer to the edge of oblivion.

  8. Jason Radcliff

    Count me as one that doesn’t agree it’s “time” for a man of “color” to play Bond. While we’re at it, how about Jackie Chan as Bond? No? Perhaps George Lopez? As long as they aren’t white and can pull off a British accent…….it’s “time”.

    One a side note, I see we needed an Uncle Buck TV show with a “colored” cast. It must have been time for that, too.

    Ya know, because that solves societies race relations….

    • Jim

      I agree. The man of “color” is not that great to me either. The books is where all this started and that wouldn’t be true to the original source material. End of story!

      • Josh Zyber
        Author

        There’s a lot of stuff in the source material that you absolutely never want to see put into a movie. Many of Fleming’s books are quite shockingly racist.

    • Timcharger

      Yeah, since America is really “new” England we should just eat white/brown food, too. Bangers and mash/fish n chips all day.

      It’s “time” for diversity like Thai spices, French culinary arts, Italian pasta, Chinese dim sum, Japanese sushi, Korean BBQ, Ramen, fajitas, salsas… humbug! Monotonous lifestyle is best.

      Race relations are better when everyone stays segregated right?

    • Timcharger

      You mentioned Jackie Chan?!

      Why even know that he exists? Why even watch foreign films? And why does Jackie play secret agent roles in his films? He should just stick to his traditional Kung Fu genre right? Blending (American) Chaplin and (Chinese) martial arts?! Stay on your lane, Jackie! Or stay in your rickshaw, you would say, right?

    • agentalbert

      I don’t agree that it is “time for an actor of color” for Bond anymore than I would agree that it is time for an Asian John Shaft or a female Jason Bourne. There’s certainly nothing wrong with Idris Elba or any other black actor or actress being in a Bond movie and even being a 00. I just don’t think they should be 007.

  9. I don’t really give a shit if the next actor they cast as James Bond is black. We live in a modern society and it’s obviously far more plausible nowadyas then in other periods in history that an englishman of african descent could serve in the british military and then join MI6. I would happily go watch such an installment in the theater and enjoy it as long as it was a good film.

    I would just take a major issue with those that propose the idea of changing Bond to a woman. You can’t just switch the gender of the most iconic film character in cinema and act like it’s no big deal. If you want a female british secret agent…CREATE A NEW CHARACTER. Don’t try and piggyback off the success of the Bond franchise.

  10. EM

    As for the calls for a female 007, I think the change could make the…interactions with the Bond girls all the more interesting.

    • Timcharger

      I like how you think.

      Is my suggestion motivated by my perversions or interest in gender equality?

      Kill two birds.

  11. agentalbert

    For some time I rooted for Clive Owen to get the part. Probably too old now. I like Tom Hiddleston best of the suggested possibilities.

  12. Timcharger

    No one has INSISTED Bond be Black. No one has INSISTED that Bond be female.

    A discussion, a suggestion, a roundtable…

    No one suggested this would fix the racist/sexist crimes of society.

    White guilt? You are so wrong. In person, you would see. But no thanks, not interested in your company.

    But once a non-White male is suggested, the defend-the-majority-brigade must poo-poo any change.

    Reverse-White-guilt is more prevalent than reverse racism.

    Notice, you felt no need to poo-poo the Adam Tyner suggestion, right? Strange huh? Bet you don’t want Adam to be the next Bond.

    But if Adam was Antoine Tyrone, you’ll comment, right?

    • agentalbert

      Nobody poo-poo’d the Adam Tyner suggestion because nobody took it seriously. It’s pretty silly of you to read anything into that.

      • Timcharger

        Chiwetel Ejiofor and Idris Elba were absolutely unacceptable, it’s a safe bet a Antoine Tyrone version of Adam Tyner wouldn’t be either.

        And the same guy felt compelled to disparage Asians and Mexicans despite no one suggested Chan and Lopez. You sure you have the reading-into-that part correct?

        • agentalbert

          i don’t know what guy (“the same guy”?) you’re talking about and don’t really care. I do know that it is silly for you to think people saying they don’t think Idris Elba should be Bond but not saying so about Adam Tyner means anything. One is a serious suggestion, the other isn’t. For the record, if it actually came down to it, I would prefer Idris Elba or Chewitel Ejiofor to Adam Tyner or any High Def Digest reviewer or any other non-actor. Mmmkay?

  13. Josh Zyber
    Author

    I really don’t want to have to moderate this thread all weekend, but personal attacks and offensive or bigoted remarks will get deleted. There is no need for this conversation to go that way. Please behave yourselves. Thank you.

  14. Wait, how many of us here buy into the idea that “James Bond” is a codename MI6 gives to their top agent? Given the length of the franchise and how many actors have played the role, this is a rather plausible explanation for the differing appearances and lack of continuity. It’s also the reason a black James Bond is a perfectly acceptable notion…

    • Timcharger

      So if whoever is the current top agent…

      A brown haired White man can be Bond.
      A black haired White man.
      A blond White man.
      A Black man, is possible now you say.

      Hmmm, then if the top agent IS a lady…

      Another Chris B:. “Because the character is a man. The end.”

      …maybe not The-end, huh?

      Just following your logic. 🙂

      • Race and gender are two different things. I’ve certainly never met a woman named “James” and I doubt you have either. Nice try though 😉

        • Timcharger

          Pls try reading that again:
          “Bond, Jane Bond.”

          Point is: once you thought Black was impossible and now it is plausible.

          Race and gender ARE two different things. You’re getting better at equality with one of them. But progress is a good thing, so keep up the good work.

          • I don’t follow that logic at all Tim. From the begining I’ve maintained I wouldn’t have any problems with a non-white bond, but I think changing ghe character’s gender is a bit much. You can type all the rambling you want but I think you’d be wasting your time. You want a female Bond? Ok, I don’t…the end?

        • EM

          I’m not sure anyone here has met her—and she’s still a little young to be considered a woman—but actor Ryan Reynolds’ daughter is named James.

          • Timcharger

            You crack me up.

            I’m assuming you didn’t know that trivia, but
            read these comments asking, well wait, let’s
            not assume every premise is true. Is there a
            girl named James? There was a boy named
            Sue. Let’s google that…

            So in around 30 years, then “it’s time” for a
            lady Bond?
            🙂

          • EM

            I read about the Reynolds girl’s name back when the news hit. But you are correct: I had forgotten that trivium and took Chris’ statement as a challenge. I figured a common name like James had to be borne by born females. For one thing, it’s also a common surname, and sometimes people, irrespective of gender, are given surnames (e.g., in the family tree) as personal names—in fact, this is what happened in the case I cited. Other explanations would also be possible. I was hoping my research would not be so desperate as to lead me to citing a Catholic nun (it’s not unusual for nuns to choose religious names traditionally associated with either sex), for I thought the world—or at least this blog topic’s readership—was still not ready for Sister James Bond.

    • Timcharger

      I customize my own dictionary.

      Poo-poo sounds right when somone sh*ts all
      over a suggestion. And Pooh is a cuddly bear
      who adores honey.
      🙂

  15. What surprises me is that none of you had an issue with changing Bond from a brunette (Connery, Lazenby, Moore, and Dalton) to a blonde (Craig), but some of you have an issue from changing him from white to black. Both are just genetic pigments.

    • Csm101

      Actually it bothered me a bit when Craig was first announced as Bond. I was hoping he would dye his hair. 🙂

  16. William Henley

    While not an actor, I could totally see Simon Cowell as Bond. He has the right personality and the right look.

    A couple of others who fit the look are Christopher Eccleston and Peter Capaldi

      • Eh, he’s only 4 years older than Daniel Craig, and he reminds me of Craig, which is what made me think of him. He could probably carry the series for 6-8 years before he is too old for the part.

  17. Jason radcliff

    I don’t have an issue with bond being black. I have an issue with people saying it’s “time” bond is black. Yeah I know…..that’s “racist”.

      • Jason radcliff

        I’m not waiting for anything. It’s not a problem, nor is that a solution to anything. You also work for Msnbc don’t you?

      • Timcharger

        Shannon, you can rephrase it to:
        I think the “times” are ready for a Black actor to play Bond.

        “It’s time for it” rubs certain people the wrong way. They read into it.

        They think it means their ways are outdated, if they just don’t want, never ever, can’t accept Black. They think it means, the time for White actors are over. They are afraid once Bond goes Black, he’ll never come back.

        They read into it, that it doesn’t solve a solution (that you never claimed you were trying to solve), yet claim there wasn’t a problem to begin with.

        You know Shannon, it doesn’t solve racism, because racism doesn’t exist.

  18. I think my issue with a lot of this discussion is – are all the Bond’s supposed to be the same character (that was my understanding watching the movies) or is it a name given to their current top agent?

    I am all up for a female spy and a spy of a different ethnic background. I think it would do very well to spin them off – so they still work for MI6 and may have other 00 numbers.

    If it is supposed to be the same character throughout all the movies, changing the character’s ethnicity or gender breaks continuity with the series. However, if it is a title given to their top agent, then either could work.

  19. Nick

    Some good suggestions above but the only one that meets all the criteria I think is Dan Stevens. Hes proved he can do the charming British stuff in Downton. And he’s also proved he can do the nasty gritty (but charming) stuff with The Guest of course.

    Not very well known. Quite young so could do a few Bonds too.

  20. Timcharger

    Shannon’s blonde hair pigmentation point is apt
    and well-behaved. It shouldn’t have been deleted,
    in my opinion.

    And it is fair to use the same argument against
    blonde as it was made against Black to
    demonstrate the fallacy of that reasoning.

    If asking Shannon-works-at-MSNBC isn’t deleted,
    then using irony to ask if Shannon works at the
    fictitious National Association of the Advancement
    of Hair Color and Perms (NAAHCP) is very fair and
    well-behaved. Just holding up a mirror is what I’m
    doing.

  21. Hey so since it’s now confirmed that Sam Mendes will NOT be directing the next Bond film (after directing Skyfall and Spectre). Can next weekend’s roundtable be us arguing about who should? I’m sure that will result in much bickering and hurt feelings as well!

      • Josh Zyber
        Author

        Also, I think it should be pointed out that there was a time when it was confirmed that Sam Mendes would not do another Bond film after Skyfall… until he did anyway.

        With the way Spectre underperformed, however, it’s probably unlikely for him to do a third.

  22. I think it’s funny that anyone in Hollywood can claim ‘SPECTRE’ underperformed with a $880.7 million gross, the SECOND best ever for a Bond film and only ‘disappointing’ compared to ‘Skyfall’ but still WAY more than what the third best performing Bond made.

    Did anyone realistically expect SPECTRE to top Skyfall? No Bond film ever did 1 billion before. Skyfall had the added attractions of ‘Hey! It’s made by an excellent director!’ and the Adele song. $880 is a huge success in anyone’s book. It’s just plain and simple greed.

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