Daniel Craig hates being James Bond. We all know this. He’s been complaining about the role ever since he first took it on. The actor’s swansong as the super-spy, No Time to Die, has been delayed multiple times, giving us plenty of time to speculate who might replace Craig when the franchise inevitably continues.
Bond Keeps Getting Older
As written by Ian Fleming, James Bond is in his early 30s. Sean Connery was 32 when Dr. No hit theaters. George Lazenby was 30. However, the other Bonds have all be in their 40s. Roger Moore (often reviled as the worst Bond) began his run at 46. Timothy Dalton was 41, and Pierce Brosnan was 40.
Daniel Craig is now in his early 50s, and his world-weary Bond has a certain gravitas that younger actors might struggle to achieve. But maybe that’s okay.
Returning to a younger actor for the role isn’t the worst idea. For one thing, a younger man (or woman!) might have an easier time with the physicality of the role. Craig is in excellent shape, but the filming of No Time to Die was still delayed due to an ankle injury he experienced on set.
For another, a younger Bond could bring a more youthful energy to the franchise. The Bond film universe is nearing 60 years old at this point. It, like Daniel Craig, is looking a little tired.
The bookies marked Tom Hardy as the most likely replacement for Craig. However, I would argue that Hardy is a lateral move at best. Hardy is currently 43, and although immensely talented in his own right, does not bring anything significantly new to the table.
If Hardy is cast in the role, I’m sure it will be fine. But it’s not the shot in the arm that this franchise needs. So who should play James Bond? I’m so glad you asked!
Definitely Not Tom Hiddleston
For a while, Tom Hiddleston seemed to be aggressively campaigning for the role. Then, well, Hiddleswift happened and his professional reputation hasn’t fully recovered.
We can’t unsee the image of the pale, lanky Brit wearing a handmade “I [Heart] TS” tank top while frolicking on the beach with Taylor.
James Bond doesn’t frolic on the beach. He may sometimes emerge from the ocean wearing very small shorts, but he does not frolic.
Henry Cavill Wants It, Bad
Earlier this week, Henry Cavill announced that he would love to play James Bond. Cavill looks the part, and he’s shown more range than I expected after first seeing him as Superman. He actually auditioned for the role as a twenty-something; obviously, Daniel Craig got the job then. But has Cavill matured enough to helm the franchise?
The issue here isn’t necessarily Cavill’s fitness for the role. The man looks like a cartoon and fills out a tux nicely. But his track record with blockbusters isn’t great.
The Man from U.N.C.L.E. was such a flop that you probably didn’t remember it existed until just now. His run as Superman was a disappointment, too. Cavill has been doing much better on streaming these days, what with The Witcher and Enola Holmes.
Are They Brave Enough to Pick the Best Actor for the Job?
Judging by the internet chatter, quite a few fans would like to see an actor of color step into the role. For a long time–as in over a decade–the number-one fantasy pick was Idris Elba. The man’s smoldering good looks, seductive baritone, and impressive physicality would have made him an amazing Bond.
But Elba is 48. Sure, he looks fantastic for his age, but his chance to be cast in the role has almost certainly passed. But–and this might be a surprise to Hollywood casting agents–there are other non-white actors with British accents available. In fact, there’s one man in particular who would be the perfect choice.
Henry Golding has the accent. He has the ability to look good in a tuxedo. He has charisma for days. And best of all, he’s just 33 years old. Golding doesn’t have baggage from failed franchises, either.
Most audiences only know him from his super-successful starring role in Crazy Rich Asians. Frankly, he’s the ideal casting choice if the producers hope to breathe new life into the franchise.
Barring that, cast Domhnall Gleeson. It’s about time Bond was a ginger.