6. Idris Elba
Look, there’s no question that Idris Elba is cool. But, James Bond is not African-American; that’s not how Ian Fleming wrote him. Alas, Elba should not play Bond, but that doesn’t mean he wouldn’t add a lot of class, style, and polish to the role if selected. Elba’s primary strengths come from his decidedly Anglo charisma as well as a slew of tough-guy roles in a variety of films.
Elba is more of a cross between Bond and Dos Equis’ Most Interesting Man In The World; his portrayal of Bond would capitalize on all the spot-on witticisms and double-entendres. His presence in the role would undoubtedly give audiences a playful atmosphere strongly reminiscent of Connery and, to a degree, the better part of Roger Moore.
7. Tom Hiddleston
His looks aren’t quite as neat and clean-cut as others, but he may have the right stuff to make Bond his own. He’s got experience in a lot of flashy, big-budget historical epics as well as appearing in the Marvel Comics canon, so this makes him fairly well-known.
Hiddleston has also branched into Shakespeare, making him a respected actor who could keep Bond theatrical, but grounded in reality.
8. James Norton
Norton seems better suited to play a Jason Bourne knock-off than Bond, but with the right makeover, he could make a decent Bond. Norton has been quietly making an impact in British cinema; historically, this could be his ticket to Bond, as the one who sneaks up on audiences and critics could be the go-to candidate to tackle 007.
The franchise being led by a relative unknown has been done, but it’s good to have a man who’s at least respected in the United Kingdom.
9. Tom Hardy
Hardy is proving to be not only a great actor, but a prolific one at that. Consequently, his burgeoning character actor roles could work against any Bond image he would try to create. He could probably play Bond well, but the many faces he has worn in a plethora of eclectic films may make his portrayal less convincing.
A character actor who evolves into a leading man is ideal for James Bond; it is very rare that the two personas meet. Hardy could give Bond a swift kick into the 2020’s.
10. Michael Fassbender
Fassbender wasn’t used well enough in Tarantino’s Inglourious Basterds. Maybe the Steve Jobs star could wow us as Her Majesty’s most storied secret agent; maybe the producers and writers would intentionally delve deeper into Bond’s past and back story only if an actor like Fassbender came onboard.
Actors who have been suggested but would actually be terrible:
1. Jason Statham
Really? Why? The Transporter star is an established, world-famous action star. This is exactly the opposite of who should play Bond. Each of the previous Bond actors became stars because of James Bond, not before him. Moore and Brosnan were established television stars and Dalton was a respected veteran of the stage, but none of them had megastar status until donning the tuxedo and uttering “Bond. James Bond.” Statham is perhaps the most out of place choice to play Bond.
2. Jamie Dornan
The Fifty Shades of Grey actor was awarded a much deserved Razzie Award for Worst Actor. So, what would make him an effective James Bond? That’s right. Nothing. Dornan as Bond would inevitably be a shallow conceptualization of a role that is simple yet extraordinary and composed of many details and nuances. Dornan is not the man for the job. Not at all.
3. Oscar Isaac (better suited to be a Bond villain)
He has the class to be a superb Bond villain, but as our hero 007, well let’s just say he would be on the wrong side of a volcano lair showdown. Isaac could play a chilling Bond super villain, so miscasting him as 007 himself would be incongruous.
4. Damian Lewis
Lewis and his red hair are too distracting to convincingly play Bond; plus, he’s too old now. In fact, he’s one step above Colin Firth running and jumping in a tuxedo.
5. Colin Firth
Firth is a great actor, but he’s far too old to accurately play Bond.
Author Bio: Andy Benson is a Penn State University graduate and pizza connoisseur who loves rock music and natural bodies of water in addition to everything cinema. His primary interests include auteur filmmakers, 1970s new wave cinema, genre-blending films, and Martin Scorsese pictures.