Casting Call: The Next Bond Villain
After Skyfall broke the bank with over a billion dollars worldwide and was a huge hit with fans and critics alike (even taking home a pair of Oscars) all eyes are on the franchise’s next step. To follow up Jamie’s great article about the next Bond girl I wanted to take a look at the potential candidates for the next Bond villain.
1. Christoph Waltz
How can you really set out to top what Javier Bardem did in Skyfall you ask? Well, you go out and grab quite possibly the most eccentric actor in the business right now who would relish in the opportunity to create a villain of his own. Two of the most iconic villains in the past 10 years have been Bardem’s Anton Chirgurh in No Country for Old Men and Waltz’s Landa in Inglourious Basterds, so I think the most logical step here would be to grab the other one for a showdown with Bond. Just thinking of the way Waltz could chew up scenery opposite of Daniel Craig is making my mind explode with the possibilities.
2. Rachael Weisz
This has been a longtime rumor for the past 4 or 5 years and it’s only been fueled after this goddess married James Bond himself, Daniel Craig. There’s been a dry spell of captivating female villains lately, especially in the genre of Bond movies and I think that Weisz would wrestle that opportunity to the ground and create a balanced, villainous counterpart to the franchise. Her chemistry with Daniel Craig would be electric on screen, she’s one of the most talented performers in the business and fans would absolutely love it. I see no qualms with this.
3. Benedict Cumberbatch
He’s sort of the “it” man right now with 3 villainous roles in 2013 and a slew of new movies coming out after he gets more exposure but the Sherlock star would make a brilliantly menacing Bond baddie in my opinion. Fans of the UK would go nuts at the idea of Sherlock facing off against James Bond and with the demonic range we saw in the last few Star Trek teasers I think it’s safe to say that he could really pull this off.
4. Jean DuJardin
The breakout actor of 2011 who won the Oscar for his performance in The Artist took a bit of a backseat in 2012 but his slew of films in production this year will put him right back into the spotlight. Jean is a gifted actor with amazing range and an energy that flies right out of the screen which would make him perfect for a classic Bond villain… and we could possibly get some sexy French dialogue going which would be an added bonus.
5. Idris Elba
I was reluctant to put him on this list because he’s my first choice for a new James Bond after Daniel Craig retires and we saw what happened with Sean Bean’s chances once he tackled 006 but I just couldn’t hold back. A ridiculously talented actor with the brains to match his brawn, Elba would bring a classy, elegant bad-assery to the franchise and make for some really brutal action scenes.
6. Tilda Swinton
With one icy look you know Tilda Swinton means business and will stop at nothing to devour your soul. OK maybe that’s a bit extreme but Tilda’s range and natural qualities would make for a solid entry to the franchise and give her the opportunity to do anything with the role. She brought a menacing presence to the kid-friendly Narnia films but it was her creepy turn in Constantine that opened up the floodgates for a character like that.
7. Colin Firth
One of the more accomplished actors working today, Firth probably wouldn’t be the first choice to come to mind when thinking up Bond baddies but I think that’s why he’d be so great. He has enormous screen presence, a ton of talent and the ability to command your attention whenever he steps into the frame which is a perfect recipe for a new James Bond villain.
8. Alice Braga
Sexy, seductive, talented, delightfully perfect and with that calming edge that never quite lets you know what she’s about to do, Braga would be a deadly addition to the arsenal of Bond villains. The potential for her could be anything from a double crossing agent to the leader of a terrorist organization but the outcome would be the same mix of perfectly balanced Bond Baddie to me. She even has the edge and skills to go hand to hand with Bond if the script calls for it which would really put her up there as an all around threat.
9. Chiwetel Ejiofor
Another actor who could showcase the brains to go along with his brawn and verbally crush his opponents with an eloquent shine to him, Ejiofor is one of the more under the radar screen actors. He’s taken on a bounty of roles over the years but his villainous turn in Serenity was what really made me want to see what he could do opposite of James Bond. To me he’s the type of guy that could be sitting at a dinner table swirling a glass of wine and still terrify you with his words and stare, which is what I want from a new Bond baddie.
10. John Hawkes
Hawkes has been ripping off great performances for decades now but he’s a “late bloomer” in the sense that he started gaining a lot of recognition after his turn in 2011’s Winter’s Bone, which earned him his first Oscar nomination. A lot of people think he was robbed this past year of a second nomination for The Sessions and I really can’t argue with that statement either. He’s a bold actor with the intimidation factor that could make your nerves palpitate with nothing more than a brief moment of silence, and I think he’d be an excellent Bond villain.