The greatest misery faced by the James Bond franchise has been the product of the audience’s violent reaction to its casting decisions. In recent times, the Bond Odds have hailed Henry Cavill, Idris Elba, and Tom Hardy as the clear winner, at varying intervals. Logic dictates that none of these actors fit the age profile that is not only requisite but quintessential in portraying 007 over the next decade or so. Nonetheless, the collective heart of the fandom still wants to see them don the armor and travel the globe in his inimitable Aston Martin.
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James Bond Faces the Knell of Change and Reinvention
Barbara Broccoli and Michael G. Wilson are on the lookout for the next great Bond destined to grace the silver screen as they look to not only remodel the franchise for the coming times but reinvent the character with it as well. At the same time, what Daniel Craig accomplished in his expansive, globe-trotting, and irrevocably magnificent run as the British agent can never be replicated nor should that be the primary goal of the producers.
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And yet, the momentum of change that was introduced during his era as James Bond – one that saw the unmistakeable disappearance of misogyny and the male gaze, and focusing sharply instead on mainly espionage and the thrill of the adventure – will be magnified in the coming years.
“When people go, ‘Oh, who are you going to get?’ it’s not just about casting an actor for a film. It’s about a reinvention, and ‘Where are we taking it? What do we want to do with the character?’ And then, once we figure that out, who’s the right person for that particular reinvention?”
As complex as the process may sound, it is these veritable compounded layers to the adaptation of the super spy that has kept 007 relevant to the audience throughout the past six decades. And despite the hesitation to find comfort in the concept of change, the constant evolution of James Bond with the shifting eras – or, reinvention of the character – makes him all the more enticing to the audience.
Henry Cavill Doesn’t Fit Into the Current Bond Narrative
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In the extensive history of the James Bond franchise, one factor that has remained constant is the lack of recognition that the lead actors had before they were given a seat at the table. Throughout their Bond career, each actor – from Sean Connery to Daniel Craig – held a certain level of anonymity that granted immunity to the actors to fully encapsulate the role in their individualistic form, personality, and style.
If the franchise keeps true to the course of action that has helped evolve 007 from the 60s to the present, Barbara Broccoli promises something similar in their new rendition of the character for Bond 26.
This essentially means the removal of Henry Cavill from the race. As good as he is in front of the lens, the multiple identities that come attached with the actor – as Superman, Geralt, and for what he represents to the fans – Cavill’s portrayal of James Bond will never be fully independent of all the traits that have made him such a fan-favorite through the years.
The dilution of what could otherwise be a signature and complete Bond is a risk that Broccoli simply cannot take, especially now when the franchise is at such a turning point in popular culture and the socio-political atmosphere that surrounds it.