Over the course of 50+ years, Eon Productions has produced twenty-four 007 films. In that time, James Bond has been recast multiple times and in 2006’s Casino Royal, Daniel Craig became the latest in a long string of men to play the iconic role. When he came onto the scene, Bond was portrayed as darker, angrier and far less rapey which. considering he's the good guy, was a welcome change. Sadly, Craig has stated that he’s about ready to move on from the role which means that, once again, we’re getting a brand-spanking new Bond.
That’s a mistake. Over the course of four action-packed films, the filmmakers have worked hard to reimagine the master spy; Quantum of Solace, for all the complaints lobbed at it, was built on these funny things Bond had developed after almost half a century: feelings. He shed that misogynisticness that made him a feminist’s worst nightmare and became a more modern man. That is to say, human, which made him so not perfect, in a good way.
He’s not your grandpappy's 007. He not even your daddy's. So, with Craig ready to hand in his license to kill, I’d rather see a new character fill the 007 sized hole than have yet another actor put on James Bond's tuxedo. Just think of the possibilities!
Imagine M’s grandson (Brendan Meyer or Logan Lerman, anyone?) refuses to accept MI6’s official stance on the late director’s death. He could be hunting for the truth while Bond (yeah, gonna need Craig for one more outing) is out stopping terrorists – and maybe finding that damn harddrive from Skyfall – and, instead of MI6 throwing him in prison, take the angry boy on as a future agent. You'd have a passing-of-the-torch moment where Bond, seeing so much of himself in the lad, tries to steer him toward a less death-filled future while still training him in the spy ways. Then, Bond can sail off into the sunset and join M in Mexico for a long overdo retirement.
Maybe Moneypenny (Naomie Harris) could change her mind and go back into the field as the new 007? Perhaps someone like, say, Helen Mirren would like to run around shooting baddies? What about Halle Berry!? Or any other kick-ass actress would want to really redefine the 007 franchise! Its 2015, y’all. No reason the world’s most celebrated spy-number can’t belong to a girl. After all, who doesn't love the sight of a strong woman holding a machine gun while getting all the men?
… or, really, anyone not white like all the others. I can totes see Anthony Mackie or Lee Shorten shooting baddies and saving the queen, can't you? There’s no law stating the next 007 needs to be white. So why not open those options on up? Again, it's bloody 2015! Let's see someone of African or Asian or any non-European group kicking ass and taking names.
Yeah, I went there. And there's no reason why 007 couldn't be of the same sex loving persuasion. And you could still go young, lady or non-white and not lose the core of what has made the Daniel Craig films so good. While we're at it, why not cast a transgender actor in the soon-to-be empty role? There's more to the spygame than straight white dudes so why not show that in the nexy installment of everyone's favorite spy films?
A NEW DAY, A NEW 007
Now I know many of these actors aren’t British but that shouldn’t stop the wheels from turning. Casino Royale reinvigorated the franchise. Now let’s see it brought to an even higher level of awesome.
Also, M’s not dead. But that's a rant for another day.