Bond is a multimedia powerhouse and occupies a relatively unique place, both in Hollywood, and popular culture. In effect, he’s anachronistic – a throw-back, and even the most modern Bonds of Craig and Brosnan operating within the realm of 60s pastiche.
And while Tom Cruise and the Mission Impossible franchise, and the gritty thrillers of the Bourne Saga can, at their best, hold a candle to 007’s espionage-laden action, Bond has come to stand in for a peculiar type of “britishness” on the world stage that makes the series truly one of a kind in our modern Hollywood-dominated industry.
Another key, albeit underrated impact, the franchise has had on popular culture has been the glamour it has helped lend to the opulent pursuit of table gaming with some of the best examples of casino terms in movies being uttered by any number of this gallery of rogues.
For example, Daniel Craig – in his first outing as Bond, wins $120 million out from under antagonist Le Chiffre with a straight flush, and Connery in his final Eon Productions outing as the titular spy played black 17 on the roulette table in Diamonds are Forever. Fundamentally, this association has led to the casino becoming as much of a component of Bond’s popular character as the Vesper Martini, or his Aston Martin.
Evolution of an On-Screen Hero
At the time of writing, Bond has been on-screen and entertaining fans for over 60 years, and every time someone hangs up their hat and turns in their licence to kill, questions arise as to whether the world needs a new actor to come in and make a reprisal.
Yet Craig took the character in bold new directions that at once resurrected all the class of the classic character, while situated him firmly within the gritty world of 21st century action. Who is to say the next bond can’t, yet again, cause the character to rise from the ashes?
As far as we know, Eon Productions are eagerly casting about for Craig’s successor, and the bookies – ever keen to speculate on such outcomes – have been diligently running the odds of prospective hopefuls. In the past, the likes of Henry Cavill and Idris Elba have been up for consideration, though it has increasingly come to be known that Eon’s wish for the next Bond is to go for a younger talent.
With that said, who is in the front running to become Bond No.7? Let’s have a look at the top picks, as they currently stand, below.
Damson Idris has seemingly come out of nowhere to become the bookies’ favourite for the role of 007. While this may sound unusual, the truth is that most actors who have played Bond before – with the exception of Roger Moore, who was a household name from his time on the TV show The Saint – were relatively unknown beforehand.
Idris has impressed with his performance on the recently concluded FX series, Snowfall, and at 31 he’s also the youngest star under consideration.
Global heartthrob Rege-Jean Page made a name for himself as the handsome lead in Netflix’s immensely successful period drama Bridgerton. With relatively little experience in cinema itself, with part roles in Netflix’s The Gray Man and Dungeons & Dragons: Honour among Thieves, there likely remains an open question as to whether he would convincingly work as an action-movie frontman, and his age (35), potentially also counts against him.
Still, as one of the most instantly recognisable (and adored) faces in modern media today, there’s no doubt his interpretation of 007 would be spellbinding to witness.
English actor Aaron Taylor-Johnson has impressed with his ability to carry large roles including, including most recently starring in the blockbuster action flicks Tenet and Bullet Train.
At 33, he’s no spring chicken – but markedly younger than Daniel Craig was (38) at the outset of filming for Casino Royale. Crucially, Taylor-Johnson has a very classically suave demeanour and looks the part in a tuxedo, all key components for the role.
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