TOP 5 Recommendations for Replacement of Daniel Craig
I recently happened to have a small get together at a friends place to see the new Bond last week, and after getting over with it, an unanimous consensus was an unfortunate one: Bond is dead. Well, at least Daniel Craig as Bond is dead. Now, this isn’t Craig’s fault; he proved that he was up to the task of becoming the new face for the new franchise in Casino Royale. The new franchise, however, is dead -- murdered by Quantum of Solace’s messy storyline, self-indulgent directing (cutting a foot chase with an opera scene? Blegh), and wavering indecision between Bourne-style rapid-fire action sequences and Brosnan-style over-the-top action sequences. And so, regrettably, the new face must die with it.A scant two years after the “reboot” of the franchise, the system has crashed. And with Universal Pictures’ recent purchase of the exclusive rights to the Jason Bourne character, MGM suddenly has another spy franchise breathing down their neck. It’s time for a fresh start, and that means it’s time for a fresh face. Here are top 5 proposals for Daniel Craig’s replacement as 007. I acknowledge that some of these suggestions are fairly dramatic ones, but dire times call for dire measures.
No.5 - Ewan McGregor
Three years ago this idea would have been laughable, but the stench of Star Wars has lifted and McGregor has since steered clear of subsuming his persona in blockbuster projects (the notable exception being The Island, but you can’t blame a man for letting himself be cast alongside Scarlett Johansson). Instead, he has focused on producing and promoting his Long Way Round and Long Way Down miniseries, two projects that have done wonders for restoring his masculinity and cool-quotient in other men's eyes, and priming him to follow in the steps of countryman Connery and take on the Bond mantle. Yes, the Connery-McGregor-Scotland connection is a bit of a facile one, but it’s just that kind of thing that studio marketing departments will seize on and ram down our throats until we believe it. Two years ago we were all crowing that Bond has “rebooted"; cast McGregor as 007 and two years from now we’ll be agreeing that the franchise has “rerooted.”
No.4 - Joshua Jackson
If memories of The Mighty Ducks and Pacey are making you recoil at this suggestion, we grudgingly offer you a reminder of your age: That was all a long time ago. And since Dawson’s Creek wrapped up in 2003, Jackson has been largely off the map -- until he resurfaced in Fringe a couple months back, most 18-year-old guys wouldn’t have been able to pull him out of a lineup. In other words, he’s been sufficiently removed from everyone’s attention to be reinvented as 007. He’s young (at 30, he would be the youngest Bond since Lazenby), he’s classically handsome, and if you think Joshua Jackson can’t play smooth, just look at his girlfriend. All he’d have to work on is the British accent.
No.3 - Chiwetel Ejiofor
Yes, from a non-Brit Bond to a -- gasp! -- black Bond? What, the English can’t be as progressive as we Americans are? OK, this casting call wouldn’t be an Obama-style revolution, but it would serve as a pretty strong message that MGM is ready to shake things up. And Ejiofor’s suitability for the part goes beyond the fact that the guy is black. Like Jackson, he brings the value of being relatively unknown, and malleable for it. He’s got artsy cred (Children of Men) and big-production experience (American Gangster). Plus he was born with the accent, and looks sharp in a suit.
No.2 - Jon Hamm
“But what will happen to Don Draper!?” you ask. Well, with no contract committing him to the role and rumors of friction between him and Mad Men management, Hamm could soon be making his way off of Madison Avenue anyway. So let’s make the best of a bad thing and give him 00 status. If Ejiofor is Black Bond, then Hamm would be Big Bond -- maybe it’s just the cut of those Brooks Brothers suits, but dude seems to be built like a corn-fed tank. Men and women alike would love watching him smash villains’ faces in with his fists, and he would bring brawn and a fresh action approach to a franchise that -- like so many others in the genre -- has become bogged down in Bourne mimicry.
No.1 - Clive Owen
Looking over Clive Owen’s filmography, it’s easy to imagine that every one of his previous roles was conceived of as preparation for some element of the 007 one: He immersed himself in his Britishness in Gosford Park and King Arthur, refined his cool in Croupier and Inside Man, and worked his action muscles in The Bourne Identity and Sin City. And let’s not forget what a suave bastard of a Challenge he was in Closer. The man who was born to play Bond has spent the last decade perfecting himself for the role.
Sean Connery became Fleming’s Bond by personifying that image of the British empire that the British public clung to: Solid, unshakeable and ultra-confident. So too can Clive Owen bring to life all those characteristics of the English man that we Americans admire: Hard-drinking, well-tailored and quicker with his wit than the rest of us.