Barbie Director Greta Gerwig Has This 1 Ken In Mind To Play The Next James Bond

The name's Ken. Just Ken.
Kingsley Ben-Adir, Ryan Gosling and Ncuti Gatwa in Barbie
Kingsley Ben-Adir, Ryan Gosling and Ncuti Gatwa in Barbie
WARNER BROS/Moviestore/Shutterstock

After Barbie became a box office smash this summer, the actors’ (already high) profiles have skyrocketed.

Margot Robbie and Ryan Gosling – who played Stereotypical Barbie and Ken – are set to star again together on the big screen in the Ocean’s 11 prequel, while Ncuti Gatwa (Artist Ken) will make his Doctor Who debut over Christmas, and Issa Rae (President Barbie) will voice Spider-Woman in the last superhero instalment from the Spider-Verse next year.

And now director Greta Gerwig has big plans for another Ken, Kingsley Ben-Adir… to be the next James Bond.

The role of 007 is up for grabs after Daniel Craig left the franchise after 15 years in 2021. And while names such as Aaron Taylor-Johnson, Regé-Jean Page and James Norton have been floating in the mix to play the famous secret agent, Greta believes that One Night In Miami star Kingsley would be perfect for the job.

Speaking to Variety’s Awards Circuit podcast, Greta described the impressive scene near the end of the film where Ryan’s Ken gifts his faux-fur jacket to Kingsley’s Basketball Ken, who turns around and delivers a heroic speech to his fellow Kens.

“He can do anything, and is a very proper, trained British actor,” Greta said. “He can do the [Laurence] Olivier voice, so we had versions where he turned around and it was British. But that was one of those [moments], when he turned around and did that voice – everybody on set, everybody’s jaw dropped. He became this different person.

“I think the direction I gave to him, I said something like, ‘Ascend the throne’ and he was like, ‘Got it’. And he turned around and he ascended the throne. I was like, ’Get this to whoever is making Bond, [they] need this immediately.”

Kingsley Ben-Adir at the Barbie world premiere
Kingsley Ben-Adir at the Barbie world premiere
Axelle/Bauer-Griffin via Getty Images

Graduating from the Guildhall School of Music and Drama in 2011, Kingsley has performed onstage in Shakespearean plays such as A Midsummer Night’s Dream and Much Ado About Nothing.

He also played Colonel Ben Younger in series four and five of BBC drama Peaky Blinders, and is set to star as reggae singer Bob Marley in the biopic One Love next year.

Sadly for Kingsley, Greta unfortunately has no sway in the casting process for Bond, as that’s down to executive producer Barbara Broccoli. But surely a good word from an Oscar-nominated writer and director must have some influence…

Variety’s Awards Circuit podcast is available on podcast platforms now.


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