[Chivalrous E. N.] Who Will Inherit the James Bond Tuxedo?

Competition Brief: Competition Brief: Who Should Be the Next James bond and Does it Matter?

Beginning in 1962, James Bond has been a staple of the film industry ever since.

In order, he has been portrayed by:

  • Sean Connery (1962 – 1971), David Niven (1967), George Lazenby (1969), Roger Moore (1973 – 1985), Timothy Dalton (1987 – 1989), Pierce Brosnan (1995 – 2002), Daniel Craig (2006 – 2021)

The classic character, a British Secret Agent, is set in contemporary setting and perhaps that’s just it. The contemporary setting is not a static things. The real life British Secret Service certainly cannot be stagnant and must evolve and so why not the artistic franchises that reflect it?

Government intelligence agencies are fundamentally pragmatic institutions. Art, and the world of art, has the option at least to be anything but pragmatic. It can serve any number of purposes including nostalgia, social commentary, or nothing but the joy of its creation.

Art, in the form of blockbuster movies at least, is tied to business and business, no surprise, must be pragmatic. Here, at the intersection of art, culture, and business lies an important intersection of considerations. The tremendous success of the James Bond franchise means that the decision cannot help but go unnoticed even though, fundamentally, what difference does it make? From X-ray shades to alligator submarines and laser space battles, James Bond routinely forays into the ridiculous and so should we, the public, even care who plays this fanciful figment of imagination?

Happy Fanalyzing

Statement of Fact
  • James Bond is based on a fictional character from the novels by Ian Fleming.
  • The first movie was release in 1962.
  • Daniel Craig was the last actor to play the iconic character.
  • Daniel Craig is retiring and this opens the way for another to take his spot.

Summary: Richard Madden is a promising name to fill the role of James Bond. With his role in Netflix’s “Bodyguard”, we see potential from Madden in playing the role of a British protection-office. A thriller James Bond movie could be in place for Madden, to gain originality in the waves of explosive-action movies lately. Does it matter who plays James Bond? I believe that it matters that whoever plays James Bond was casted with the intent to fulfill the creative liberty of the film’s producer and everyone involved.

James Bond: A Legacy Personified

If you were asked to name one spy movie protagonist, most probably the name “James Bond” would roll off your tongue reflexively. The iconic Hollywood movie persona has been entertaining us on the screen since 1962 with the first installment titled “Dr. No”. Since then, the fictional character written by Ian Fleming in his series of novels gained massive reputation, and movies after movies were made until the most recent “No Time to Die”, where James Bond was played by British actor Daniel Craig. Throughout the years, the character has been portrayed by 7 different actors, each with their own unique charm. We may recognize Roger Moore’s portrayal of Bond for being endearing and humorous, or Daniel Craig’s as the cold and deadlier Bond. Now that Daniel Craig has decided to hang his 007 tuxedo, who will we be seeing in the next James Bond movie? While the possibilities are endless, one name in particular, Richard Madden, is a promising candidate.

Richard Madden: Bodyguard

Let’s build Richard Madden’s profile, from age, appearance, and his past roles. Richard Madden is well-built, but not too muscular for a role of a spy, who is meant to not attract too much attention. His diamond-shape face adds up to a masculine look, presenting bold facial features like his eyebrows and sharp jawline. The actor is Scottish, and is now 36 years old. His age comes to an advantage, as the producer of the James Bond franchise, Michael G Wilson, said that they were looking for an actor in their 30s, as they will be playing not just one, but a number of the upcoming Bond movies. His previous roles, most notably as Robb Stark in the series Game of Thrones and his recent role as Ikarus in Marvel’s Eternals have shown Richard Madden’s talent in starring action-packed movies. Besides that, Madden had played in Bodyguard, a Netflix series where he played a British protection officer (simply a Bodyguard), who was a combatant in the Afghanistan War, having survived the conflict and becoming a veteran. The intensity of the role and its background story offers us a peek at Madden’s performance as a British ‘agent’, a role very similar to James Bond. As every James Bond was portrayed uniquely by their

actors, maybe having Richard Madden to play James Bond will give us the chance to see James Bond in a thriller, suspense genre, which I think will be a fresh take in an industry that lately relies on explosive stunts and actions.

Agent of Representation, or of Creative Liberty?

Considering how big the role of James Bond means, both for the film industry and its consumers, a lot of opinions and fan-made polls have been made, and the people have not fully agree on what they want. Some people would like to see James Bond played by African-American actors, or even by actresses, portrayed as a woman. And of course, some people have demanded these changes in the name of representation. As a fiction, people called out that the role of James Bond should be allowed for anyone, of any gender or race.

Does this matter?

I believe that James Bond, as a franchise and as a persona, has built itself an intrinsic identity. And a change too drastic may risk erasing or shifting said intrinsic identity, and there will be no point of calling it a James Bond movie. As Ana de Armas, the co-star for Craig in No Time to Die stated, James Bond should be played by a male actor. “Why should a woman play James Bond when there should be a part just as good as James Bond, but for a woman?” Daniel Craig said on an interview with Radio Times. Barbara Broccoli, producer of James Bond franchise, also agreed on both actor’s take on James Bond’s role.

I believe that it matter that whoever plays James Bond was casted with the intent to fulfill the creative liberty of the film’s producer and everyone involved. Sure, actors of any race of gender can be casted as James Bond. But it is ultimately up to the Film Studio to decide how they want to portray James Bond’s persona, and I think the team have as much love as the audience for the already well-established characteristics of James Bond. A major change of Bond’s portrayal is welcomed, but the challenge it entails will be massive, and it better still deliver the same quality, instead of a shallow social commentary that can be achieved by making a whole different movie, rather than risking the James Bond franchise.

Chivalrous Elnatan: Indonesian undergraduate student majoring in International Relations. Fluent in Indonesian and English, very keen in social science research and writing with global politics as the lead topic. I also love writing about social media trends and pop-culture.

One Comment

  • Syed Iftekhar-Ur-Rahman

    There are many reasons why Richard Madden should be the next James Bond. First and foremost, he has the charisma, presence, and acting skills needed to be successful in the role. He is also a well-known humanitarian, which could help him connect with audiences around the world. Finally, he is a native British actor, which could help him to have authenticity and credibility in the role.

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