Anghus Houvouras with his pick for the next James Bond…
Playing armchair casting director is hardly the sport of kings and for the most part it’s something I stay away from. Every so often an idea pops up in my cerebral cortex and hangs out long enough to warrant consideration. In 20 years of writing film columns, I’ve written less than five pieces speculating on casting choices for upcoming films. Here’s a quick recap:
Choices I stand by. Though in hindsight I think Waltz would have made a better Doctor Sivana (better than Mark Strong anyway). Then there was the time I made a choice that actually materialized into the material world:
Hard to argue with that one. I mean, when Kevin Feige and the combined might of Marvel Studios have personally validated your choice, you feel a little bit emboldened. It’s been a few years since I’ve had any actor epiphanies. But one hit me like a freight train this week when I watched Crazy Rich Asians.
Henry Golding should be the next James Bond.
The stars may not align for this choice, however I am bound by my pact with the universe to share my thoughts on casting when they gift me with a vision of the perfect actor for the perfect role. And I think Henry Golding from Crazy Rich Asians should be the next actor to portray Hollywood’s most enduring icon.
I’ll grant you, this is an unconventional choice. Golding is a relative newcomer with only one high profile studio film under his belt, unproven in a larger, more demanding role. Co-starring in a hit comedy isn’t quite the same as being required to carry a legendary franchise on your shoulders.
James Bond is a role that requires someone that has charisma and intensity. An actor that can seem perfectly whether sipping martinis at a black tie event or dispatching villainous henchman at the top of the Eiffel Tower. Bond works best when there’s a layer of polish to the pugilism. I believe Henry Golding has that perfect balance to play everyone’s favorite super-spy. He has the looks, the accent and the on-screen presence to perfectly encapsulate Ian Fleming’s creation on-screen.
It would be a departure from Daniel Craig’s more abrassive rough-around-the-edges/blunt instrument portrayal of Bond. Golding feels like the kind of actor who would bring a little swagger back to the role. He has the air of a classic leading man. Much closer to Roger Moore than Daniel Craig on the Bond spectrum of grittiness.
I’m not sure which direction the franchise will take after Daniel Craig wraps up the next Bond film. But if the Producers want to make an inspired decision, they should cast Henry Golding as the next James Bond.