Rupert Grint (27)
We touched on Harry Potter and then followed it up with Damien Lewis. Naturally a rogue thought considers Ronald Weasley. Think about it, he’s got a cliché look that could be reconfigured. Scrap the cheeky grin and silliness. Cut his long hair and with a serious edge, he might be able to pull it off. An audition tape would be worth the time. Perhaps it’s the same issues as Radcliffe though. If Rupert Grint made a film similar to Layer Cake (the Brit-gangster movie showcasing Daniel Craig’s James-Bond-ness) then we could see if this is even on the cards.
Andrew Garfield (32)
He’s been catapulted out of The Amazing Spider-Man series after two films and we know it wasn’t his fault. Re-watch The Social Network and he has that tall, sincere presence. Bulk him out a bit so he’s less gangly and trim his hair so it isn’t so…big, and he might be a new Sean Connery (nb. Connery was 32 in Dr No). But he does lack a brutishness. Remember Daniel Craig ploughing through walls in Casino Royale? Or Moore kicking the car off a cliff in For Your Eyes Only. Now think of Garfield…
Chiwetel Ejiofor (38)
What made Chiwetel Ejiofor such an outstanding presence in 12 Years a Slave was his transition from accepted member of affluent society to slave on the plantations. It proves, without a doubt, that Ejiofor can be refined for the occasion and tough to fight his way out. But, after joining Doctor Strange, he’s now a part of the Marvel Universe. Does he need to be James Bond too?
Cillian Murphy (40)
For the last couple of years, Murphy has been in Peaky Blinders. But, before that, he was the rich kid in Inception and the creepy Scarecrow in The Dark Knight Akin to Pierce Brosnan, Murphy was born in Ireland and has the blue eyes that’d melt the hearts of Bond girls of the future. But, so far, he often plays creepy characters or younger ones. James Bond is confident, tough and bullish; not three words that come to mind when I think of Murphy.
Gillian Anderson (47)
She put it out there on Twitter and now many can see it happening. In fairness, there is definitely something quietly upsetting at the end of Skyfall when Bond returns to the vintage 1962 office including a male M and Moneypenny relegated to the front office again. Casting Anderson would be a major middle-finger to that reversal and would transform the set-up entirely. Ignoring the gender-swap, she’s older than Dominic West and Damien Lewis. This is a series for multiple films over decades and, lest we forget, Roger Moore looked awful in those last few films.
David Oyelowo (40)
In Rise of the Planet of the Apes, Oyelowo was the smart boss of the company experimenting on chimps. He exudes class and charisma and, at 40, he’s the perfect age. Considering his transformation into Martin Luther King in Selma, it’d be easy to trust Oyelowo in interpreting James Bond in a manner that reinvents him for the future.
Samira Whiley (29)
From Orange is the New Black, imagine Poussay holding a gun in each hand, Trinity-in-The-Matrix style and tackling villains with hand to hand combat in the same way as Jason Bourne. We’ve seen her as tough as nails and seen the sweet side to her, showing the breadth she can cover. Granted, she won’t be James Bond, but a fellow agent Bond girl? A spin-off? Or just a new action movie with Whiley front and centre. Why don’t the Bond producers branch out and, with James Bond the UK secret agent, Whiley could be the US version. The JBU (James Bond Universe) has begun…
Tom Hardy (38)
His cocky well-dressed architect in Inception is what we can use as a starting point. Combined with his successful lead performance in Mad Max: Fury Road and Legend, it surely proves that Hardy has the chops to be the suave spy. But, after playing a villain in both Star Trek: Nemesis and The Dark Knight Rises maybe playing the good guy isn’t his forte. As with Michael Fassbender, perhaps the 007 team don’t need Hardy’s known name. The question lingers as to whether Hardy has been pining after this particular role and whether this is the type of James Bond for the future.
Colin Salmon (53)
When all this talk of a ‘black James Bond’ began, it was Salmon that set the standard. His slick persona and posture as Robinson, showcased in Die Another Day, is all you needed to consider him as the next Bond after Brosnan. But he is the oldest option in this long list and, unless I refer to David Niven’s 57-year-old James Bond in an early Casino Royale, then it’d be an out-there choice. Then again, what about a spin-off helmed by ‘Robinson’?