By Liv Barry
The search for the next James Bond is officially on.
According to Variety, Bond producers Barbara Broccoli and Michael G. Wilson are in the “early stages” of the casting process for the next international spy.
That is not to say that there were not candidates already in the running, however. After former Bond actor Daniel Craig announced his retirement from the role after 2021’s “No Time to Die,” fans quickly made predictions about who would fill the spy’s shoes.
For many, British actor Idris Elba was the obvious choice; he is an action film veteran and was voted People Magazine’s Sexiest Man Alive in 2018, an elective that a number of previous Bond actors, including Sean Connery and Pierce Brosnan, also received.
Ever since the calls for Elba’s casting began in 2017, the actor teased the idea.
“My name is Elba, Idris Elba,” @idriselba said in a 2018 Tweet. He also tweeted a selfie of him side-eyeing Craig at the 2019 Golden Globe Awards with the caption, “Awks…”
Despite the teasing, Elba recently announced that he is not interested in the role.
“I do not think that playing Bond will satisfy some of my personal goals,” Elba said during an interview with YouTube talk show The Shop.
With Elba out of the picture, fans are scrambling to forecast the next 007.
According to Radio Times, Broccoli and Wilson said that Bond will be “reinvented” with whoever is cast, so anyone is fair game. Here are some candidates for who we think the next James Bond should be.
Technically, Lashana Lynch is already the newest 007.
In “No Time to Die,” Lynch plays Nomi, the spy who undertakes the 007 title following Bond’s retirement.
While Lynch is an popular choice to take up the Bond mantle, she expressed disinterest in a rehashing of the classic Bond story.
“We don’t need another James Bond. We need someone else to contrast and to get the audience thinking about the rest of the Double O program,” Lynch said in an interview with Inverse. “We’ve been focusing on James Bond for so long. Who else is here?”
Even if Lynch does not wish to continue on with the Bond name, we would love to see more of Nomi, especially following the twist ending of “No Time to Die.”
While Emmy-winning actor Jeremy Strong is not known for his action movie chops, it would certainly be entertaining to watch his take on Bond.
On the set of “Succession,” the HBO satire that flung Strong into stardom, he is a straight-man in a cast full of comedic actors.
According to The New Yorker, Strong’s dedication to the craft often leads to a comically serious performance.
“After the first season, [Strong] said something to me like, ‘I’m worried that people might think that the show is a comedy.’ And I said, ‘I think the show is a comedy.’ He thought I was kidding,” Strong’s “Succession” co-star Kiernan Culkin said.
Although it would be a departure from the franchise’s polished tone, watching Bond, known for his debonair attitude, take himself far too seriously would be a hilarious change of pace.
From Tonya Harding to Harley Quinn, Margot Robbie simply has the range.
While best known for her dynamic acting skills, the actress has a charming off-screen persona that matches the energy previous Bond actors brought to the table.
According to Refinery29, Robbie did the majority of her own stunts while filming “Birds of Prey.” She trained at an Olympic-level to achieve Harley Quinn’s “spritely fighting style.”
This gives the actress an edge; unlike other candidates, Robbie already has a base-level knowledge of the martial arts that Bond is known for.
Besides, it would be pretty impressive to have both Barbie and James Bond on a resumé.
In terms of a serious pick, British actor Daniel Kaluuya best fits the Bond bill.
After starring in blockbuster films like “Nope” and “Black Panther,” Kaluuya proved himself to be an A-list actor with the star power to attract large audiences.
Like Robbie, Kaluuya has the acting range and natural charm needed to play Bond.
He also fits the age requirements for the role.
According to Variety, Broccoli and Wilson are searching for younger actors who are willing to commit to the Bond role for the long haul. Craig, who was 38 when he first played Bond in 2006, played the role for over 16 years.
Kaluuya is 33, which makes him young enough to play Bond well into his career.
Whoever is cast as the next Bond will hopefully be a change in pace for the boys club that previous Bonds have shaped up to be.
Regardless of who is chosen, the actor will have some large leather Oxfords to fill.
Photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.
Photo caption: Daniel Kaluuya broke into stardom after playing Chris Washington in Jordan Peele’s 2017 film “Get Out.” His performance earned an Academy Award nomination for Best Actor.