It doesn't matter who plays James Bond, as long as they make the world of James Bond 'real'.
And this is no easy task because we have to go a long way to suspend our disbelief.
James Bond never dies! The man keeps dodging bullets, punches, knives, bombs- he should be made into a hand held waxwork because he'd make a great lucky charm for anyone crossing a war zone. In real life, the man would have disappeared several films ago. The dark and wonderful villains would have crushed 007 and sprinkled little Bond pieces all over the London Eye, by now. And while we're on the subject of villains...
In no world apart from the Oompa-Loompa-Willy-Wonka world are these villains realistic. The collection of Bond villains, over the years, would have been better suited to Gotham City than any other place in the film world. There has been Oddjob, Mr Kidd, Mr Big, Nick Nack, Jaws, and a rather burnt out Sean Bean, to name a few. Take Oddjob, in 'Goldfinger'. If he really was taking people's heads off with his flying hat then he would need to be throwing hubcaps at his prey not a bowler hat made of felt. And the stroking of the white cat in 'You Only Live Twice'? is so far fetched that only if Bond had the strongest cat allergy would that be a 'realistic' prop in the villain's sitting room.
And another thing, all the women in EVERY Bond film fall for the charms of 007. He is known as a philanderer and yet all the women just can't help themselves. Surely all his past loves would hunt him down and seek their revenge by now? After all, 'hell hath no fury like a woman scorned!'
Now don't get me wrong, I LOVE the James Bond films and 007: they transport us into an exciting world where good always defeats evil. The main man is strong, handsome, but flawed, and it's that strong chemistry that makes us root for him. As long as the actor who plays Bond transports me to that world I really don't care who he is. As long as 'Vodka Martini... shaken not stirred,' is spoken with that bold, self-assured, 'Bondness', I won't mind the lack of realism. I'll believe in Bond.
So let's judge the contenders on their ability to pull off this self assured 'cool' and let's not make a judgement based on their age, height or race. Idris Elba, Tom Hiddleston, Aidan Turner and James Norton would all do well, so long as they add a new dimenstion to the Bond hero that we've never seen before.
Daniel Craig has catapulted James Bond into a wonderful dimension of raw vulnerability mixed with undeniable strength which has appealed to both men and women. Can the next contender be as successful? I can't wait to find out.
So, I wait to see who will be next with a mixture of impatience and trepidation. Let the best Bond win.
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