Hi peoples! I know that I haven’t updated any of my fanfic recently, tomorrow I promise! In the meantime, I thought this would keep you occupied.
Once again, there has been discourse over who should be the next James Bond. Fair enough; Daniel Craig will be moving on shortly. But who should be the next Bond? What characteristics make for the perfect super-spy?
Join me under the cut to find out!
Not Too Old, Not Too Young
Bond, in the original novels, is thirty-five years old. Consistently thirty-five, because comic book time is not limited to comic books.
At any rate, this is about the age that an actor playing James should be. There’s some leeway here (Sean Connery was 32 when he first played Bond; Lazenby 30, Dalton 41, Brosnan 42, and Craig 38), but not much. Roger Moore was 45 when he first got his license to kill, and that’s how we ended up with the creepiness of A View To A Kill where Bond was older than his co-star’s (Tanya Roberts) mother. Yeah, no fucking thank you!
James’ Suavity Must Cover An Innate Brutality
I’m going to pick on Roger Moore a lot in this essay, not because he wasn’t a good actor. But because he was rather miscast in the role.
Here’s the thing. Fleming’s Bond was a thug. Brutal, callous and unkind through and through. Had that been the Bond that translated onto screen, there would be no Bond franchise today.
Director Terence Young was the man who rescued Bond from the depths of history. Young was a dandy; fashionable, arrogant and generous. And he told Sean Connery to act just like him. Which Connery did.
But the brutality never went away. This is best illustrated in the scene where Bond executes Professor Dent. It was designed to underscore the ‘license to kill’ aspect of Bond, where he could and did kill without it being clear cut self-defence.
Obviously, Bond’s brutality has ebbed and flowed over the years. The problem is Roger Moore.
Moore was too sophisticated, to urbane. And so the producers, in his first couple of outings (Live and Let Die and The Man With The Golden Gun) make Moore much more brutal than Connery’s Bond had ever been to compensate. This includes much more overt misogyny, as well.
To avert that, we need someone who can convincingly play a ‘cultured thug’, in other words.
James Bond Should Be Mostly An Unknown
Again, there’s a lot of leeway here. All of the Bonds had previous acting experience (in some cases, substantial experience) and both Moore and Brosnan were stars in their own right before donning the tux. Moore from The Saint and Brosnan from Remington Steele.
But none of them were headliners of or had starred in major Hollywood blockbusters, and there’s a good reason for that. We’re here to see James Bond, not Chris Hemsworth or Pratt or whatever schmuck is popular these days.
Bond Must Not Be A Baby Face
There’s absolutely no leeway here. An actor who is smooth faced and lacking in facial character must not ever play Bond. Make Bond blond, a woman, black/Indian/East Asian/First Nations whatever. But no baby faces! Or guys who are like fifty and still completely smooth, like Jude Law.
Facial character. Someone who looks like they’ve actually lived in the real, rough world.
That’s it, my thoughts on the qualities necessary for the next James Bond. See you next time!
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