Clawing to escape the belly of the beast here in Hollywood. To commiserate, email my name assistantatlas at yahoo.

Thursday, September 01, 2005

The New Bond: 3.15

Who will it be? Who can fill Pierce Brosnan's tux? Yesterday, The Hollywood Reporter ran a story on the difficulties facing the uber-picky b*tches who control the franchise, siblings Barbara Broccoli and Michael G. Wilson. Mostly their difficulties result from their uber-picky nature. Frankly, they've should've already chosen a Bond, , by now, but according to unnamed talent agents in the article, they can't seem to agree. Nice.

Now, way back in April, when the word was that Daniel Craig was going to be the next Bond [and I believed everything I read on the Internets], I wrote about how important the Bond franchise is to Hollywood. Hundreds of millions of dollars are at stake. This is still true. What's not true is that Craig is the choice, or even the front-runner [or probably even in contention anymore].

So the question is-- who should be the next Bond?

Well, first let's eliminate some candidates. Clive Owen, who was once considered the front-runner, has openly declined the role-- after, of course, scoring some free publicity as his name was bandied about. But after reading some of the reasons why certain actors were rejected, I'm beginning to wonder if the producers haven't taken complete leave of their senses. Colin Farrell being too much of a bad boy-- that one I get. Eric Bana isn't attractive enough? I guess I'll buy that--people weren't going to "Troy" to see him in gladiator gear. But some of the other rationales defy logic.

Openly-musical Hugh Jackman is considered 'not masculine enough'. Okay, maybe in person, but he was masculine enough to play Van Helsing, not to mention Wolverine. But the most ludicrous reason offered was that Ewan McGregor was 'too short'. I'm sorry, but are f*cking kidding me? I looked it up, and he's 5'10". For an actor, that is not short. Tom Cruise is 5'7". That's short. But has Tom Cruise really ever seemed short on film? No. You know why? Because they're f*cking movies, you idiot producers. Jesus. At least reject Ewan McGregor for a good reason, like, I dunno, he has weird teeth or he's not charming enough or something.

Another rejection for a Bond candidate that really frosted my cake was that of Julian McMahon. The story is that after Julian did some campaigning for the role [including during his press junkets for "The Fantastic Four"], the producers were quite peeved that an actor would have the audacity to attempt to promote himself for a role. WTF? Have these producers even worked in Hollywood before? Of course, the Hollywood Reporter posits that some CAA scheming led to some bad blood between him and the Bond people, but still, everyone in the know practically EXPECTS CAA to be scheming sharks. Again, WTF producers?

So who else can we eliminate for a stupid reason? How about Colin Salmon, who I loved on "Keen Eddie", and who was already in three Bond movies? You probably remember him from Alien Vs. Predator. Or not. I didn't really remember that there were actually people in that movie. Anyway, Colin's not going to get the role because he's black. Sorry, but don't shoot the messenger. If they're rejecting Ewan McGregor because he's 'too short', they're obviously scaredy-cat producers afraid of any serious deviation from Bond's image.
I still like you, Colin.
Well, now that we've eliminated some candidates let's look at who's left.

The roomie insists that Jude Law was born to play . While I agree that he probably would make a better Bond than anyone mentioned above, there's a problem with Law. No, I'm not talking about his recent nanny-boffing adventures. I'm talking about his price tag. At this point, Law's in the $20 million-dollar club. And since the producers are tight-fisted [although they were right to call $30 mil 'usurious'] and will refuse to give the sort of back-end points that A-listers usually receive, I'm betting Jude's not on the radar. However, if his recent affair has dried up his pool of offers, a big franchise might be just what the career doctor ordered.

But what about the other candidates?
RALPH FIENNES-- He likes the indie flicks and he's already signed up for the big-budget 'Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire'. Plus, at 42, he's not exactly a 'young Bond' that would fit for Casino Royale.
HUGH GRANT-- I don't know why he's on the list, but the HR mentioned him. He would probably make the worst Bond ever. Yes, worse than George Lazenby.
ORLANDO BLOOM-- He's young, he's hot, and he doesn't need the Bond franchise to secure his career.
RUFUS SEWELL-- There's a reason he usually plays bad guys. He doesn't have the looks or the charisma for Bond.
IOAN GRUFFUDD-- If Hugh Jackman gets rejected for not being masculine enough, then why would a guy who 'shares a flat' in London with fellow actor Matthew Rhys get picked?
ROBBIE WILLIAMS-- I'm pretty sure they're going to go with someone who's biggest claim to fame isn't a music video where roller-skating chicks literally eat his flesh.
GERARD BUTLER-- Do you know who he is? Yeah, me neither. Oh, he's the guy from "Phantom of the Opera"? Nope, still haven't heard of him. Yet, inexplicably, Disney's VP of Casting would pick him for '. Which I guess partially explains why Disney movies have flopped so spectacularly lately.
JONATHAN RHYS MEYERS-- Thanks to 'Bend It Like Beckham', he's got some international appeal. Plus, thanks to his long career in indie flicks, we know he has a good screen presence. But according to the HR article, he hasn't been approached for the role? Hmmm. Someone may need a new publicist. [btw, according to IMDB Pro, Meyers is repped by both UTA and ICM-- anyone know what's up with that?]
JOSEPH FIENNES-- Why anyone would pick Ralph over Joseph for the role of Bond is beyond me. Joseph proved his acting chops with "Shakespeare in Love" and is a cheeky, rather than a stuffy, Brit, unlike his brother. He wouldn't be a bad Bond and his career could use a boost. Whether he'd ruin his indie cred with the Bond franchise is questionable.

Frankly, I'm curious as to who you think would make the best Bond. Feel free to comment away. As for me, here are my top 3 picks:
1) Jonathan Rhys Meyers-- You want a 'young Bond', and you've got him. Oddly, Meyers is the exact same age as the character he'd theoretically play [28]. Plus, Meyers is a daring actor, has that quirky, cheeky sort of charm that could really refresh Bond.
A young Bond?
2) Joseph Fiennes-- I thought he was phenomenal in "Shakespeare in Love" and think he could bring a great mix of gravitas and fun to the role.
3) Julian McMahon-- Even though I technically eliminated him, he's still my favorite dark horse candidate.

And in case you were wondering what the roomie thinks, here are his choices:
1) Jude Law-- He'd could play the sh*t out of the role if he wanted. The question is whether the price is right.
Too unobscure perhaps.
2) Clive Owen-- While he was previously leery about Owen, 'Sin City' has changed the roomie's mind when it comes to Clive Owen, and is curious to see what he'd bring to the part.
3) Jonathan Rhys Meyers-- The roomie likes him for his wild/crazy/dangerous streak. And frankly, a little danger and a little edge might be just what the Bond franchise needs.

Any other thoughts, kids?


Anonymous Anonymous said...

1. Johnathan Rhys Meyers- -hands down a great canidate. Obscure yet still recognizable. He's a bit too young, but at the rate the Hollywood execs are going, he might outgrow the role.
2. Joseph Fiennes - - a good choice, but a little "cute". I still wouldn't mind seeing him rolling the dice in Casino Royale on the silver screen though. They could roughen his persona up enough to make him less "loveable" and more hard edged.
3. Clive Owen - - he's got good moments but he definately wouldn't stay in the role for several repeat appearances. Still, I like him enough to put him as 3

I think Jude is totally wrong for the role. He's too detached and "pretty boy". I won't bash his talent (as I don't need to be attacked on your blog), but I don't think that Jude has added anything appealing to the movie industry. I'd rather see Joaquin Phoenix.

Ultimately the execs are going to do whatever they want...but I think that half of the fun is riding the Bond gossip pipeline and milking the audience for all they're worth.

your d'urbanite contact...

9:58 AM

Blogger Jason B. said...

Dear Atlas A:

As a longtime reader, I have a small beef. You may recall a little show named The X-Files. If you'll remember there were two kinds of episodes - one shots and "mythology" episodes. Sometimes the one shots were great and sometimes Atlas Assistant one shots are great. But the mythology episodes were the ones we salivated for and, as in the case of the X-Files, we yearn for mythology episodes of Atlas Assistant. We long to read about the characters who replaced Sloane and Bubble.

I know that Defamer, the acronym agency mafia, and much of the blogosphere is out to out you, but we need some dirt. Make it up. Give us bees and the Cigarette Smoking man. I know you can do it. Or give me a call and I could help. We'll work out a plotline, some characters, etc...

1:12 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

When did Law join the $20 million club? In fact when has Law opened a film ever?

Law is a good actor but a shitty movie star.

1:22 PM

Blogger queenofattolia said...

Take the Phantom mask off of Gerard Butler and he's like, ooohh. I can't believe you've never heard of him -- the NYT fashion magazine had him on the cover a couple of months ago, and Bond-ish he is. I don't know; Rhys-Meyers is pretty but still has that creepy vibe and has anyone seen him in "Velvet Goldmine" or "Titus?" Uh, if Jackman is not masculine enough then Rhys-Meyer's performances in these films should eliminate him as well.

I don't know -- I like Butler. As for Julian MacMahon -- please. Any man who plucks his eyebrows would not make a convincing Bond (he always makes me think of Uncle Leo on Seinfeld when I look at those eyebrows. Julian, I'd like you better if you had a unibrow).

1:40 PM

Anonymous serial assistant said...

how about Michael Vartan...he has the time to learn the accent now. (and maybe a few acting lessons)

2:09 PM

Blogger Fun Joel said...

I posted on my blog in a VERY brief posting that I think Law's perfect for it. And the comments debated about his "prettiness." To me, if Jude's too pretty, Clive is too ugly. And Rupert Everett (whome someone else mentioned) is WAY too pretty. Interesting to hear about the price issue. I didn't realize his tag had gone that high!

5:38 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Jude or Jonathan. Either would be great but for different reasons.

They're both yummy which also doesn't hurt. (But, I don't think that they're too pretty.)

(And, I don't get the whole Clive Owen thing.)

8:02 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

If Patrick Stewart were 30 years younger, he'd be perfect.

To me, Bond has to be a brit, but more than that, he's got to be an educated upperclass brit who's got an edge and is believable in the role.

The problem is that the concept of Bond is outdated - he's the product of another era; just like Steve McQueen's Bullit and Eastwood's Dirty Harry.

It's going to be hard to find a new Bond because they just don't make men like that anymore.

6:16 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

What about Jeremy Northam? Maybe a bit old for this Bond but he's as British as spotted dick, he's not too short (IMDB has him at 6'2'') and he's a pretty decent actor - I guess it could be argiued that he's a little too genteel for a super-spy, but then Pierce Brosnan and Roger Moore weren't exactly cave men.

11:58 PM

Blogger Alex Epstein said...

Oh, hell. Think outside the box. Famke Janssen.

9:54 AM

Blogger Shawna said...

Colin Firth. LOVE him. Too old? I stomp on you!!

Younger? *sigh* fine...Johnathan Rhys Meyers. Although I still hold the Elvis thing against him.

6:40 PM

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