The Bond Franchise Needs New Blood

Danielle Ryan

Despite saying he’d rather die than star as 007 again,┬áThe Daily Mirror reports that Daniel Craig is signed on for another Bond movie. No official word is out yet, but it’s time to let Craig retire the suit and gadgets and move on to other projects. He was a great Bond (arguably the greatest) but his time as the British secret agent has clearly come to a conclusion.

Craig in 'Spectre', fighting some dudes in the snow whilst inexplicably dressed in all black.

Bond producer Barbara Broccoli (which is a Bond villain name if ever I’ve heard one) said she wants the “winning duo” of Craig and Adele back. She wants to capture the magic of Skyfall, which netted an Oscar for Best Original Song and was critically and domestically beloved, but can Craig really bring back that magic?

A Boring Bond

Bond movies should never be anesthetized. They can be ludicrous, they can be self-serious, they can be whatever they want, as long as they’re entertaining. Spectre is a total snooze. How a movie with a dream team like Craig, director Sam Mendes, and uber-villain Christoph Waltz manages to be so utterly dull is really incredible. Monica Bellucci is a Bond girl, which seems like something that should have happened years ago, and it’s wasted on a movie that is by-the-numbers and totally rote.

Spectre feels like someone trying to make a James Bond movie for someone who has never seen James Bond. There’s no soul left. All of the intensity of Skyfall is lost, leaving audiences with a dour Bond, bland villains, and a theme song no one remembers two years later.

How a movie with this cast managed to put me to sleep in the theater is beyond me.

A major part of this is Craig. Other than the film’s bonkers opening sequence, Craig seems bored through most of the film. His gruff charm is missing, replaced by a kind of complacency. His heart’s clearly not in it, and it affects every scene he’s in.

Craig worked so well as Bond because he was a grittier, more relatable Bond. It was his vulnerability, particularly in Casino Royale, that made him an infinitely more engaging Bond than his predecessors. That vulnerability was completely gone in Spectre and it’s hard to imagine Craig somehow magically regaining his love for the franchise. It’s time to let someone else have a go at the character, someone who really wants to be a part of it all.

So Who Should Play 007?

So if not Craig, then who should take on the role of 007? Internet fan-favorite Idris Elba would be a delight, though that might prove too controversial for some. (The same kinds of fans who are upset about Elba’s playing Roland Deschain in The Dark Tower, probably.) There have been some other contenders, including Tom Hardy and Aidan Turner.

Turner in 'And Then There Were None'. He does look significantly more Bond-like without his crazy-long 'Hobbit' locks.

Ideally, the new Bond would be an unknown, as Craig was in the United States around the time of his casting. It should be someone that doesn’t come with a huge fanbase and expectations, but rather someone who truly embodies the role. Bond can stop being so gritty and dark for a bit, and we can get back to fun gadgets, women with weird double-entendre names, and cool cars.

And who knows? Maybe one day we’ll get a female Bond, going around picking up all of the handsome lads in exotic locations. Until then, at least there’s Atomic Blonde.

Danielle Ryan
A cinephile before she could walk, Danielle comes to Fandom by way of CNN,, and Paste Magazine. She loves controversial cinema (especially horror) and good cinematography; her dislikes include romantic comedies and people's knees.
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