As huge fans of the James Bond franchise, we have been waiting for the next 007 seemingly forever. It’s been over two years since Craig officially retired from the role, leaving an admirable legacy behind him. We saw him reviving the franchise when it was at a low point, with Casino Royale and Skyfall being one of the best-known James Bond movies ever. For many, Craig combined emotional vulnerability with physical ruggedness, something that was seen as a novel and welcomed edition to the franchise.
With all that behind, it’s not hard to see why the studio is taking its time. Not only Craig left big boots to fill despite being an unpopular choice back in 2005 but being cast as James Bond is no small feat in general. The role does not only require an actor with certain physical features but also a British nationality and that certain charm that every James Bond actor had. Albeit, some more than others, but still a charm that is needed in order to make James Bond who he really is. Barbara Broccoli, a James Bond franchise producer, revealed several other requirements on top of those previously mentioned. This time, they are looking for a younger actor, someone in their 30s, who is ready for a 10-12 year contract. Sorry to disappoint you, but this means Henry Cavill was out of the picture from the start!
Take Rumours With a Grain of Salt
There has been an overwhelming number of names being thrown into the mix last two years. From Elba to Henry Cavill, it seems like there’s hardly any popular British actor that hasn’t been mentioned by the fans or the press. And each name has a different vibe.
Some believed that Elba would bring a much-needed diversity, while others argued that Cavill’s suave and sophisticated demeanour is what Bond needs. Some thought Hardy would excel at bringing an edgy and rugged side to the character, while Norton would be praised for his acting range.
New names pop and disappear, but the important thing to remember is – the casting process hasn’t even officially begun yet. So at this point, it’s just name-throwing, and your guess is as good as anyone’s. As previously mentioned, Broccoli already stated they are looking for a younger actor, meaning many of the popular names are just wishful thinking from the fans. Also, popular suggestions like Elba, Hardy or Cavill, were doomed from the beginning, as they are established actors with successful careers. It’s highly doubtful they would have time for a 10-12 year commitment.
Walking on a Board
One step at a time – wrong foot, and you’re down! Alright, perhaps we’re being a bit dramatic, but keeping the franchise alive for so long is no small task. You must understand James Bond franchise goes beyond movies and actors. It’s a whole ecosystem that needs careful management. There must be a balance between old and new, the expectations from the fans, and what can actually be delivered. Think of it this way – James Bond is an established brand with millions of fans, merchandise, a complex network of legal documents, licensed video games, and even themed slot machines, be it physical machines or digital ones found on online casino websites like Spinfever. And let’s not forget about serious faces in suits called investors. So not only do the producers have to consider casting an actor that will embody Bond’s character, but also someone who can synergise with this whole ecosystem. Would you jeopardise the whole franchise with a rushed cast? Because investors would not like that at all.
Lessons From the Past
While many were sceptical about Craig as an actor known mainly for indie films, he proved to be a brave choice that paid off well. Let’s not forget the backlash from fans when he was first announced. A blonde James Bond? What!? But once Casino Royale hit theatres, critics were quickly silenced and with time, Craig grew on us. And to be honest, after all these years, it’s almost hard to imagine a completely new James Bond face. Maybe it’s one of the reasons why the studio is not rushing with any decisions. Allow the fans to “forget” Craig before the new Bond is introduced. And we can respect that.
So, what can the past teach us about the next Bond? Well, a decade-long commitment means any established actor would have to drop his current contracts, which is not likely. Age limitation set by the studio further narrows down the list, meaning we might be seeing a completely fresh face, just like it was the case with Craig. Regé-Jean Page is currently one of the main contenders, with Henry Golding, Richard Madden and Jacob Elordi being popular fan choices.
And lastly – it’s all about trusting the process. As Broccoli said in an interview with The Guardian, “In this business, you have to trust your instincts and try to make the right choices.” After all, the casting process is not just about finding someone who looks good in a suit and can handle action scenes. It’s about finding an actor who can bring something new to the character, while still staying true to the iconic James Bond we all know and love. And who knows, maybe in our search for male actors we are completely ignoring the fact that the next Bond might as well be a female!