Who Should Be The Next James Bond?

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Considering he spent the weekend adding $85 million to an international box office haul worth over $400 million, and that his latest adventure did so after a daring escape from the financial ruins of MGM’s bankruptcy, it’s pretty great to be James Bond right now. Thanks to the inspired choice of Sam Mendes as director, a deliciously menacing turn by Javier Bardem, and a uniquely introspective take on the character from A-list scribe John Logan, Skyfall is already making a name for itself as one of the best Bond films of all time.

With both Daniel Craig and John Logan already onboard for at least two more 007 outings, the immediate future is clear, but with the franchise having just turned 50, rest assured, plans are already being made for what Bond will look like many years from now. Seeing as the character is the franchise, the only real question is who will be taking up the well-tailored mantle next. Craig’s made it clear that he wants out once his contract is up, but who could possibly follow in his icon-redefining footsteps?

After five films with James Blonde, the field of potential replacements is broader than ever, so dark-haired and dapper aren’t the only qualifications anymore. With that in mind, we’ve put together a list of six leading men we’d like to see replace Daniel Craig as cinema’s greatest spy.

Continue onto the next page to see our picks for the next James Bond

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Tom Hardy

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He’d be competing with Craig over the title of “Most Prominent Ears,” but they’d be hard to notice when attached to the kind of mug Tom Hardy has. Inception introduced him to a wider audience as a suave hunk, but he’s also been able to show off his feral side as a scrappy fighter in Warrior, and an overbearing hulk in The Dark Knight Rises. An applicant out of the bruiser academy, Hardy’s intimidating stature and smooth style would lend themselves to the role of a Bond villain as easily as the man himself.

While he may have already played an agent of MI6 in Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy, John le Carré’s vision of espionage is a far cry from Ian Fleming’s, so Hardy might be even better once some theatricality is thrown into the mix. He’s got the range to play Bond as sexy and sensitive, grim and grizzled, or even a bit of both, depending on who he’s trying to woo, and who he’s trying to wound. Just don’t expect to see the 10 years sober beefcake pitching vodka brands anytime soon.

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Henry Cavill

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When Martin Campbell was originally trying to find someone to replace Pierce Brosnan, he almost picked future Superman Henry Cavill, but decided the then 22 year-old actor was too boyish for the part. Back in 2006, he would have beaten George Lazenby’s record for being the youngest actor to play Bond by a good eight years, but with some time still left on Craig’s lease, Cavill will be at a much more appropriate age once the reins are passed onto someone else.

While most press photos of Cavill have him looking no older than the clean-shaven young gun Campbell was interested in years ago, early Man of Steel footage of a thick-bearded Clark Kent makes it clear that there’s a reason why the movie isn’t called Boy of Steel. If Cavill is looking to trade franchise horses, he could drop the muscle mass and continue Craig’s more metrosexual twist on the character, or keep the bulk, and make a mountain man out of Bond.

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Idris Elba

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How do you fill the shoes of a Bond known for being a brutal rough and tumble? By getting a guy with bigger feet, bigger hands, bigger everything. Craig actually ranks as the shortest Bond ever, but even his predecessors pale in comparison to Idris Elba’s 6’2”, 215lbs frame. Of course, he’s got the facial features that make audiences quiver at the mere twitch of an eyebrow, but Elba’s physicality would extend the recent trend of Bond preferring to pack a punch, rather than a pistol.

Series producer Barbara Broccoli has reportedly already met with Elba concerning the future of 007, and while we don’t know what came out of that meeting, it’s good to know that the guiding hand in the franchises’ direction doesn’t see a problem in the next Bond being black. People got over the fact that Craig was blonde as Ursula Andress once they saw how good he was in the role, and it goes to show that the Bond identity has more to do with affects and attitude than a single consistent look.

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Damian Lewis

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If you thought people were resistant to a Bond that looked like an Aryan poster boy, imagine the outcry if MI6’s best agent was ginger. Worse yet, most people would mistake him for an American, having mastered the accent over his tenure in shows like Band of Brothers and Homeland (the latter of which already has him working on his spycraft). Underneath the strawberry mop though, is a venerated actor’s actor who can brood and smolder with the best of them.

Lewis would make up for his smaller size by being a fresher face for the franchise, but one no less intense. His softer features stand in contrast to the often haunted man wearing them, something that could be an asset, given the increased interest recent Bond films have had in the psychology of a man who drinks, screws and kills his way through life. And since his wife Helen McCrory was just in Skyfall, he can cross “getting with a Bond girl” off the to-do list of role preparation.

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Joseph Gordon-Levitt

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Okay, so an American playing Bond is pretty much sacrilege, but bare in mind, we’re living in an age where M’s a woman, Q looks like a member of One Direction, and Bond can make a non-hetero joke about his sexuality. Considering that the role has been played by an Australian, an Irishman and, originally, a Scot, is it that much of a stretch to see the title transfer across the Atlantic? That’s not to say he’d be shaking beer cans instead of martinis, and getting his Dodge pickup outfitted with an ejecting seat; you’d just need the right Yank to be a part of her majesty’s secret service.

Joseph Gordon-Levitt has already proven he knows how to look good in a suit, and the guy is catnip for the fairer sex, so the only real hurdle left would be in mastering the accent. Sure, right now he looks a bit more like Jimmy Bond than James, but half the fun of a new Bond could be watching him go from an unfledged rookie, to the expert agent that we all know and love.

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Daniel Day-Lewis

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Yes, he’ll be pushing 60 before ever even auditioning for the part, and becoming the face of a multi-billion dollar blockbuster series is the last thing an actor as reclusive as Day-Lewis would do, but this would be more groundbreaking for society than cinema. Think about it: in addition to being pretty much the greatest actor of his generation, Daniel Day-Lewis has a frightening commitment to his craft, spending most of the filming of The Last of the Mohicans living in the woods, and only eating food he acquired himself by hunting it.

So imagine this scenario: getting into character, Daniel Day-Lewis decides to try out being a spy for real. Now, taking into account that the man is a human chameleon with two Oscars, and espionage is basically dependent on how good a pretender you are, in all likelihood, he’d have his hands on every covert blacklist and nuclear launch code the world over, in about a week. Think of what he could do with all the world’s secrets at his fingertips? Come to think of it, that actually makes him sound more like a Bond villain, so we’d have to wait and see what he does with unlimited power before getting him into casting.

What do you think? Who should play James Bond after Daniel Craig is done?

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  • jacobcrim

    Michael Fassbender.

  • Matt

    Of those choices I actually like Idris Elba the best and it has nothing to do with him being black. He just seems the most like Bond to me as far as coolness goes.

    • Sam

      Totally agree. Perhaps it’s because I’m a big fan of Elba because of The Wire, but check him out doing anything in his native accent, and it becomes painfully obvious how good for the role he would be.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_IDSILNCFMNUXLKUMBZ5UVWMCF4 Sweetdaddy

    Richard Armitage for sure if they get him before he gets too much older. I’ve long thought he would be the perfect Bond…very handsome, rugged, elegant, black hair, blue eyes…Bond in other words.

  • doro8202

    If they made Tom the new James Bond, and they should, I would start going to see them again. YUM!!!

  • Roadkill

    Clive Owen.

  • http://www.facebook.com/angie.major1 Angie Anderson Major

    Matt Bomer would make the best Bond EVER!!!!

  • changbeer

    i vote for jackie chan.. anyone with me?