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, James 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 Bond. 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 . 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?