It is that time again. There isn’t any DB9 chasing through the downtown area. There isn’t anyone slipping in or out of a sleek silver gown after making promiscuous eye contact on the casino floor. And there’s no well-suited guy instructing the bar tender on how he wants his martini. But it is that time of the year again. The time when the whole world waits with bated breath just for one name; the name of the next actor who’ll play Ian Fleming’s British agent. Who will be the next Bond?
If you haven’t been living under a rock, you probably know all about Daniel Craig‘s statement to the producers. His "I’m-done-with-playing-Bond". The 48-year-old actor’s statement led to all hell breaking loose. Names are being tossed up high in the air. From Tom Hiddleston to James McAvoy, all eligible actors are being considered by the frenzied faithful fans. Last heard, there’s even a fan campaign suggesting Gillian Anderson‘s name for Jane Bond. The fans want to broaden the spectrum. Hear, hear.
Ian Fleming‘s character is a brilliant spy who has been portrayed by some equally brilliant actors. It all started in 1962 when although Marlon Brando was being considered, the producers went with the suave Sean Connery. He was the Golden Bond if you consider the box office numbers. His personality was in congruence with the sleek and slither of the British spy. Sir Connery‘s coiffed locks (read toupee) stole hearts. The next casting wasn’t as successful and the producers quickly replaced George Lazenby. Next came Roger Moore‘s Bond who was a rather successful one too. Who can forget him in Octopussy? Moore gave Bond a more likable persona although the movie plots became softer, riddled with corny jokes and all-to-familiar decrepit plot lines. Somewhere along the way, Bond began to stumble. The high-octane films needed an outstanding actor. Enter Timothy Dalton. His Bond revitalized the character. The ride was a short one though. He did only two films for the franchise, and the tux was passed on yet again.
Pierce Brosnan was the next Bond. He was seen as the balanced Bond. Between Sean Connery’s cocky and Roger Moore’s debonair, Brosnan’s Bond was perfect. He says he was never comfortable playing Bond, even though we know he did a good job. Next came the current Bond – Daniel Craig. He is considered the most believable Bond. The vulnerability, the looks, the guarded yet brooding intensity he emanates; it is all there, and it is there in perfect measure. Even though his recent statement breaks our heart, we must move on. So who can be the next 007?
Tom Hiddleston is a top bet. Even though we think it would be a struggle to breakaway from his on-screen sinister Loki persona and that feline grace that is just so so wrong for Bond. Agility, yes. Felinity, no. Damian Lewis is another contender but we aren’t sure if he has us convinced with his Homeland run. James Norton and Aidan Turner come close, so do the other usual suspects like Michael Fassbender, Benedict Cumberbatch and Eddie Redmayne; whose names are tossed up for any and every role nowadays. Tom Hardy fits the bill. He is vulnerable and witty. But is he as suave? Idris Elba is a keen contender, and a strong one.
Jane Bond. Yes the ladies are in the running too. Gillian Anderson is a strong contender. So is Emily Bunt, Emilia Clarke and Rosario Dawson. Closer home, Priyanka Chopra is totally up for it. She doesn’t want to be restricted to playing a Bond girl either. Could any of the Indian male actors do it? In the 60s and 70s, we bet you’d consider everyone from Rajesh Khanna to Dev Anand to Amitabh Bachchan. But now, we aren’t so sure. Is there any Indian male actor who can be considered? Hrithik Roshan is the only one who fits the bill with his looks. But we aren’t so sure about agility. Hrithik’s Bond will be sort of bulky. Siddharth Malhotra comes close, but does’t quite convince us.
We conducted a poll to see if you’d agree and here’s what our Twitter audience said: