October 4, 2022
WRITTEN BY:
Melinda Head

The Next James Bond

24 hrs. to go until the long-awaited reveal

The next James Bond is slated to be announced tomorrow, Wednesday, October 5th.

It will be a career-defining move for the lucky man. Or, have some have said, the unlucky man.

The big challenge is the likely multi-year commitment and the obvious typecasting that will always stick to the actor like glue.

“When we cast Bond, it’s a 10-12 year commitment. So he’s probably thinking, ‘Do I really want that thing?’. Not everybody wants to do that.” (Barbara Broccoli, James Bond Producer)

Many of us were initially against the notion of a blue-eyed, blonde-haired Bond, but Daniel Craig proved us wrong. Dead wrong.

Daniel Craig starred in 5 Bond films between 2006 and 2021

Is it time for a first? A female Bond? A non white-skinned Bond?  

One thing we know for sure: James Bond will remain a male figure, a woman will not step into his shoes. Frankly, I’m disappointed, but I do understand that it would be “off brand”.

“James Bond can be any colour, but he is male. I believe we should be creating new characters for women, strong female characters. I’m not particularly interested in taking a male character and having a woman play it. I think women are far more interesting than that.” (Barbara Broccoli, James Bond Producer)

Barbara Broccoli and Michael Wilson own EON Productions, a UK-based production company that makes James Bond films

When Hillary Clinton ran against Barack Obama in 2008, the same question was on everyone’s mind. We had a white woman vs. a mixed-race man vying to become the President of a Country that is rife with racism. The XY chromosomes won.

But, in this case, there are no women at the table. So, will a Caucasian man, a Black man, an Asian man or an Hispanic man get the gig? There’s no question that co-owner of the Bond movie rights, MGM (now owned by Amazon, purchased for $8.5 billion in March) will want to appeal to the largest market possible. In the United States, 75.8% of the population is Caucasian, 18.% is Hispanic or Latino, 13.6% is Black or African American, and 6.1% is Asian. Globally, the mix fluctuates wildly. We’ve all heard the expression: “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it”, which is exactly what I expect Broccoli and Wilson to conclude. I predict that the next 007 will remain as sacred as Bond’s vodka martini – “shaken, not stirred”, whether we like it or not. And that man will be British, because British is synonymous with James Bond.

We know that historically Bond has been elevated to the “A” list, but doesn’t come in at that level, so big names are unlikely to be considered for the role.

We also know that James Bond has to be mature enough to credibly play the role of 007, but young enough to propel the franchise forward for at least a decade. That means actors in their 20’s are too young (such as Tom Holland), and those in their late 40’s or early 50’s (such as Ewan McGregor) are too old.

“It’s a big decision. It’s not just casting a role. It’s about a whole rethink about where we’re going.” (Barbara Broccoli, Producer)

The next James Bond will become the 8th actor to play Ian Fleming’s iconic character in film, following in the footsteps of Sean Connery, David Niven, George Lazenby, Roger Moore, Timothy Dalton, Pierce Brosnan and Daniel Craig.

Considering these criteria, here are the top 3 men for the job, in my humble opinion … including 1 wild card who is my personal favorite and is not purely Caucasian:

NICHOLAS HOULT

32 years old

British

You might remember him in his breakout role as 12 year-old Marcus Brewer in the 2002 comedy-drama film “About a Boy”

X-Men alumnus

JACK LOWDEN

32 years old

Scottish (as was Sean Connery)

Starred in “Dunkirk”, “Capone” and “Benediction”, winner of Rising Star Award by the British Academy of Film and Television Arts (BAFTA)

ROBERT PATTINSON

36 years old

British

“Twilight” Saga and “Batman” alumnus

Wild Card

REGÉ-JEAN PAGE

34 years old

British

Mixed-race, which could tip the scale away from a purely Caucasian James Bond without too much fuss, while showing sensitivity for diversity

“Bridgerton” (Netflix) was his breakthrough role. Is known in the U.S. but is not yet an A category actor there

I’ve laid my cards down on the table. Who are you placing your bets on?

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About the Author

A serial entrepreneur, Melinda is a sociologist and statistician who believes there is no currency with greater value than knowledge

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