An heir (or an heiress) for James Bond? Daniel Craig’s scheduled farewell to the role of Her Majesty’s most famous spy raises the question of the succession of a character who must remain both iconic and up to date.
For fifteen years, James Bond had the eyes of Daniel Craig. The 53-year-old actor, who first donned the costume in 2006 with Casino Royale and had agreed to come back for a final episode, should this time leave his place.
It’s not easy to replace it: in five films, including Sky Fall and Spectrum, Daniel Craig will have known how to bring his paw to the character of the agent with the license to kill, without upsetting the fundamentals put in place by the writer Ian Fleming 70 years ago.
Daniel craig “sublimated the human side of the character”, exploiting the idea of a James Bond “believable, who doubts, who is afraid, who is a killer but has feelings”, summarizes for AFP the specialist of the saga Laurent Perriot, co-author in particular of Cult replicas of the Bond saga, coming out this fall.
A year after the death of Sean Connery, who inaugurated the character in the 1960s as a manly hero until the cartoon, the most popular cast on the planet is once again open. Will the production take advantage of this to take a step towards diversity, or even entrust the role to a woman, definitively taking liberties with the work of Ian Fleming?
On paper, the actor must be “young, vigorous and attractive, it is the founding triptych. At the time, the morphotype was that of a white man but nothing prevents to imagine a black, Asian Bond …”, explains Guillaume Evin, author of numerous books on James Bond, including Bond, the Legend in 25 films, released this fall. A choice that would send a message, in a film industry which never ceases to question its propensity to perpetuate stereotypes: the hypothesis of entrusting the role to the black British actor Idris Elba (The Wire, Luther), backed by ex-007 Pierce Brosnan, has already sparked racist comments.
As for the idea of a female James Bond, it does not seem to hold the rope: in To die can wait, James Bond tries to taste retirement and it is a young recruit, Nomi, who collects the number “007”. On the screen, it is therefore a 33-year-old black British actress, Lashana Lynch, who should don the costume of the spy but without taking the name, a way of “strengthen female characters” without replacing James Bond himself, underlines Guillaume Evin. A small revolution which has already earned the actress a smear campaign on social networks.
Asked about the subject by the magazine Radio Times, Daniel Craig stressed that it was necessary “better roles for women and actors of color”. “Why should a woman play James Bond, when there should instead be roles as good as James Bond but created for a woman?”
All combinations remain possible: face known to all as was at the time Roger Moore with the series The Saint and Sincerely Yours or less identified talent? Subject of His Majesty or American star?
One of the most cited names is that of Tom Hardy, who has proven himself, for example in Mad Max: Fury Road or at Christopher Nolan taking on the role of villain against BGBatman (The Dark Knight Rises). But his age (44) could play against him: if it takes a little bottle to play a hero like James Bond, the next one will probably be chosen to be able to last until the horizon 2030-2035.
Other names are regularly put forward, including those cited by bookmakers: Rege-Jean Page, the hero of The Bridgertons Chronicle, James Norton, adored on the British small screen, or Luke Evans, seen in big productions like Fast and Furious …