James Bond, the legendary spy who doubles as a decadent hero has always been portrayed by English actors on the big screen. You’ll never see 007 clad in Polo shirts holding a Bud Light in one hand and fisting a gun in another, will you now? And yet, there was a time when one of the most prolific Hollywood stars, Tom Hanks, was keen on taking over the role. The only problem? He’s American.
Sure, he’s a globally renowned cultural icon and inherently talented but that wouldn’t have stopped the world from losing its marbles had such an idea turned into reality. And well, it would’ve been just a little fun to witness that chaos unfold, at least for him it would have.
Tom Hanks Would’ve Given Up World Peace for 007
From the very first portrayal of James Bond, ever since the ’60s – when the world was introduced to Sean Connery‘s unforgettable rendition of the character – to Daniel Craig‘s last escapade as the secret agent, there has never been a single film wherein Ian Fleming’s acclaimed creation was played by an American actor. That’s perhaps one of the most imperative aspects of the source material that the Broccolis – who produced the Bond films – adhered to, the character’s English roots.
Even Tom Hanks, the apple of Hollywood’s eye, knew very well that his (or any American actor, for that matter) stepping into the shoes of Agent 007 would’ve surely stirred insurrection amongst fans all across the globe.
“It would be great [to play Bond]. It would cause riots. In England, they’re not gonna have some guy from America play James Bond. That’s why they always cast Americans in the worst roles in James Bond movies.”
As the 67-year-old remarked, maybe that’s why American actors end up getting perhaps the most laughable roles in Bond movies.
If Not James Bond, Then Maybe the One Who Kicks His A*s
While Hanks has never been approached for the part of the iconic hero, there was a time when the idea of him being cast opposite the leading man piqued his interest. During an appearance on The Graham Norton Show (via ET Canada), the Oscar-winning actor would “love to play” a Bond villain if the opportunity ever presented itself.
At the same time, however, the Forrest Gump star had his reservations about the same because of the ever-present clichés attached to these roles –
“The bad guy always has this line that he says to James Bond, ‘Before I kill you, Mr Bond, perhaps you’d like a tour of our installation. Notice the ventilator shafts – wide enough for a man to crawl through.'”
Well, if there was ever a time when Hanks could’ve been the peerless spy by day and notorious womanizer by night, then it’s gone. The Elvis star did, however, wish to see Idris Elba play 007 but since the latter made it crystal clear that he had no desire whatsoever to do so, the hunt for the next Bond continues in earnest.
Source: Irish Examiner