"The name is Bond. James Bond."
The above phrase is chiselled into the granite of Hollywood folklore, two sentences that any actor — from undiscovered talent in New York audition rooms to A-list acting millionaires — would jump at the chance to utter for the big screen.
The role of Agent 007 is one of the most desirable in the film industry, so it's no surprise that speculation on the next Bond is ever-present. One of the names consistently linked to the world of espionage is British actor Tom Hardy, seen by many as the perfect choice to succeed Daniel Craig.
Naturally, in an interview with The Daily Beast (that's the website, not the man himself), Hardy was asked about the role. In a charmingly coy manner, the 39-year-old definitely, 100 per cent confirmed his interest by, well, not expressing an overt interest. He said:
"You know, there’s a saying amongst us in the fraternity of acting, and in the fellowship of my peer group, that if you talk about it you’re automatically out of the race. So I can’t possibly comment on that one! If I mention it, it’s gone."
It's not so much a case of reading between the lines, but instead the subtext is written out in bold, size 72 Impact typeface: #TomHardy wants to be Bond. Which isn't the biggest shock of the century, considering the magnitude of the role.
Things get even better though; responding to the prospect of Christopher Nolan in the role, Hardy exclaimed "that would be so cool," before highlighting the size of the task for whoever takes over the #JamesBond franchise. After singing the praises of Craig, director Sam Mendes and producer Barbara Broccoli, he added:
"I wonder what the next installment of that franchise would become, and I think when you mention someone like Christopher Nolan, that’s a very powerful figure to bring into that world who could bring something new and create something profound—again."
Is A Tom Hardy And Christopher Nolan Matchup Feasible?
The short answer is: Yes.
Daniel Craig has constantly flirted with leaving the franchise, morbidly announcing his disillusionment with the role after the filming of #Spectre (2015) by claiming he'd "rather break this glass and slash my wrists" when asked about the prospect of returning, followed by reports he was prepared to turn down $100 million to star in two further movies.
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Craig backtracked later in the year, when he claimed those comments were made in the spur of the moment, following a challenging year of filming, calling his gig as the British spy "the best job in the world." The eye-watering potential paydays show how keen those at the top are for the actor to stay on for #Bond25 and beyond — but that doesn't mean it's the right decision.
Craig's performance in Spectre was weary, and at times felt like he sailing through the motions. Despite being one of the best Bond's of all time, another film starring Craig may be one too many, and if a shake-up is needed, Hardy is a worthy successor. His onscreen persona would allow the James Bond franchise to continue the grittier, punchy direction it took from the beginning of #DanielCraig's stint in Casino Royale (2006).
#ChristopherNolan, too, would be on board. In a 2014 interview with The Daily Beast, the acclaimed auteur revealed he has previously talked to producers about becoming involved with a character he has a lot of admiration for. He said:
"I love James Bond and I’ve talked with the producers over the years, but nothing’s ever worked out. They do a great job—they don’t need me right now, and Sam [Mendes] is an extraordinary talent. I will absolutely be first in line to see the next Bond film as I have been for all of them."
Although the timing wasn't right then, now could be the moment Nolan steps up to direct, especially as Sony's distribution rights expired after Spectre. It's possible Warner Bros. could pick up the rights, and as a longtime collaborator with the studio who also produced the Dark Knight trilogy, this could pave the way for Nolan to take control.
Tom Hardy Is Ideal For The Next James Bond
A host of big-name actors have been linked with the role, including Idris Elba, Henry Cavill, Tom Hiddleston and Michael Fassbender. However, Hardy has the right balance of charm, physical presence and tethering teetering self-doubt that would translate well to the role of Bond.
His gradual rise in the film industry had led to appearances in a wealth of successful films, with his portrayal of Max Rockatansky in Mad Max: Fury Road (2015) demonstrating his A-list allure and ability to command attention — even in George Miller's distracting and deliriously nightmarish backdrop.
Plus, if Nolan took the helm, Hardy would be the likely candidate to tailor up, don the tuxedo and strap in the trademark Walther PPK pistol. The pair have worked together numerous times — first on dream-manipulating hit Inception in 2010, followed by The Dark Knight Rises (2012) and Dunkirk — and Nolan's penchant for selecting actors he has worked before would put Hardy in pole position.
Of course, this is all speculation before there is an official announcement on the next installment, Bond 25, and whether or not Daniel Craig will return as Agent 007. Until then, Hardy's silence is golden.
Is Tom Hardy your perfect Bond? Or would you prefer someone else?
(Source: The Daily Beast)