After much speculation, Neil Calloway looks at some runners and riders to be the next 007…
This week came the frankly ridiculous news that David Beckham was being lined up to be the next James Bond. Now, it could be true, or it could just be that the British tabloid the Daily Star needed a front page, and one of their journalists noticed that Beckham had shot cameos for The Man From U.N.C.L.E. and Guy Ritchie’s forthcoming King Arthur movie. I know which I think is more likely.
As Bond has never been called on to take a free kick from just outside the box, it is fair to say that Beckham will not be donning a tuxedo and driving an Aston Martin anytime soon, but as the release of Spectre draws near, it’s worth looking at who will eventually replace Daniel Craig as 007.
Much has been made of the possibility of Idris Elba being lined up for the role, with both former Bond Roger Moore and Anthony Horowitz, author of Trigger Mortis, the new continuity Bond novel, expressing their doubts over Elba’s suitability for the role.
Now I’d be surprised if Elba did end up as Bond, as the role doesn’t seem to go to the favourite, the one every has talked up for years never gets it, and I doubt that will change this time. There are other possibilities, however.
Damian Lewis is second favourite, but for me his best work has been on TV, and by the time he’s cast as Bond he’ll be closer to 50 than 40. That all but rules him out, even if he did attend Eton, which Bond apparently went to until he was expelled for cavorting with a maid.
Tom Hardy, the third favourite with bookmakers, has the momentum right now and might be a good shout,with Legend acting as his audition tape in the same way that Layer Cake did for Daniel Craig. Both films showcase the violence that Bond needs, and the style required for any actor to pull it off, but then the question needs to be asked if Hardy isn’t too famous. A star is never cast as Bond;it might be an actor who you recognise, but it’s never a really big name. Hardy is just the wrong side of the famous line to get the role.
Henry Cavill has been mentioned, and came close to being cast before Daniel Craig got the role. If he was too young to be cast then, he’s too busy with Superman now. That’s just bad timing. Tom Hiddleston doesn’t quite fit the role, despite going to the right school, but might be worth a bet.
There are names you can get odds on being the next Bond that are just ridiculous; Barack Obama is at 300/1, slightly behind William Hague at 200/1. You could make a case for Obama; he’s out of work next year, is globally recognisable and has never starred in a box office bomb (he’s never starred in a successful film either, but that doesn’t matter). If you look on frankly bonkers corners of the internet, some people will claim that as a student in the 1980s, the future President was involved in a secret CIA project that involved being teleported to Mars. If this is true, he’s already intimately aware of the workings of the intelligence services. As an American though, he might be better off playing Felix Leiter to David Cameron’s Bond (another old Etonian, though I’m not sure a man who can’t remember what football team he supports could pull off Bond’s suaveness).
Perhaps the most bizarre name you can get odds on is football manager Alan Curbishley, at 1000/1. Just as we can rule out Beckham because Bond’s dead ball skills are not required, 007 has never been tasked with managing a team in the second tier of English football. I wouldn’t put your money on him if I was you.
In reality, Matthew Goode at 50/1 is probably a decent bet. Not too famous, but recognisable. Then again, it’ll probably be someone you never expected, that fans will complain about but grow to love, like it always is.
Who would you like to see as the next Bond? Let us know in the comments below…
Neil Calloway is a pub quiz extraordinaire and Top Gun obsessive. He will return in October (that’s not a teaser for a new Bond film).