How often do you think about who would make a great Bond? You probably replied, "ALL THE TIME!" Of course, Bond is a character that is only good if the actor plays it well. Lately a few actors have been mentioned for potential bond candidates: Hugh Jackman, Tom Hardy, Benedict Cumberbatch, etc. I have 5 actors that would be even better for bond. See for yourself you doubting doubter!
It’s very easy to picture Damien Lewis as James Bond because he’s spent most of his adult life doing it himself. From the natural British charm that oozes out of his every pore, to finding almost any excuse to be pictured wearing a tuxedo, if it turned out Lewis was using his acting job as a front to travel the world for MI6 nobody would really be surprised. Lewis would be a change in direction from Craig’s portrayal of a spy in a rugby league prop’s body, and back to the more typical image of an international man of mystery who does most of his damage with a well-placed look or cutting remark. It takes incredible screen presence to come across as deadly by use of the eyebrows alone, but Damien Lewis is one of the few actors kicking about at present who can pull that off. He can do action too of course. His part in Band Of Brothers gave him an air of courageous vulnerability and a man bound by duty as things were exploding around him, whereas he actually killed a man with his bare hands in Homeland, so that’s all bases covered.
A man whose star might just be on the rise enough to land him this sort of role in the next few years, The Walking Dead’s Andrew Lincoln is smooth, slick, rugged, charming and near legendary in acting circles for his quick wit. He’s basically already James Bond. After starting out in British TV series – Teachers being the only time he ever really caught the eye – his casting as the lead role in The Walking Dead was seen as a huge gamble for the show. 51 episodes later though he’s demonstrated a staggering depth of his acting talent and looked like one of the most natural gun wielders in television history. Of all the candidates for the next Bond, Lincoln arguably gives the filmmakers the most scope for where to take the franchise. He’d be a great pick for a return to the charismatic smooth talking Bond of old, playing him like the arrogant and cock-sure Simon in Teachers, but equally as able to take the character down the sort of darker or more desperate path he’s excelled at with Rick Grimes.
Hovering somewhere near the top of most bookmakers’ shortlists is Henry Cavill, due predominately to revelations he actually screen-tested for the role at the same time Daniel Craig did. The Casino Royale director Martin Campbell even publicly said they might go back to him. He wouldn’t have made a good successor to Brosnan, as the franchise so badly needed someone like Craig to drop the smart-talking pretty boy look and go down the “blunt instrument” approach, but the ground’s a lot more fertile for someone like Cavill now. Cavill brings, if you’ll excuse the pun, steel to the role. He seemed almost invincible in Snyder’s Superman outing and even before that he was being talked about as an actor with unmatched charisma, allure and physical presence. He kicked serious ass in Man Of Steel, and this year’s forthcoming Man From U.N.C.L.E puts his spy credentials in the public eye. Cavill is the anti-Craig, and casting him would cement the idea that Bond should be some sort of rotating and adaptable personality. At the time the world needed the sort of spy it got in 2006’s Casino Royale, but Cavill might be just what it needs in 2019.
Cavill wasn’t the only actor to miss out to Daniel Craig post-Brosnan as, if rumours are to be believed, Sam Worthington was actually down to the final three for the part. It’s easy to understand why, and his action film pedigree since has seen him take starring roles in Avatar, Clash Of The Titans and Terminator Salvation. The films themselves received mixed reviews, but Worthington still managed to stand out as a compelling and durable leading man. With Craig’s time drawing to a close the door might swing open again for him, but since his successes of 2009/2010, his career appears to have stalled somewhat and brushes with the law have been book ended by wholly underwhelming film roles. However 2017’s Avatar sequel gives him a chance to get things back on track just in time for post-Craig auditions. Producers clearly saw enough in Worthington the first time around to look past his nationality, and if he could bring the same ferocity and variety to the role that’s been seen previously fans could easily learn to love an Australian Bond.
With a deep rasping growl and some of the most deeply piercing eyes you’ve ever seen, Richard Armitage was inevitably going to have the James Bond question follow his career around after he was drafted in to liven the later series of MI5 drama Spooks. Usually dismissed as simply being too much of a TV actor to make the leap into such a prestigious Hollywood role – he was in The Vicar Of Dibley for crying out loud – a bit part in 2011’s Captain America led to a huge role as Thorin Oakenshield in The Hobbit Trilogy for which he’s drawn huge praise. Perhaps not enough to be the next James Bond, but if he can capitalize on his current standing he might stand a chance. His action credentials are cemented now, and he’d be one of the few candidates who has already proven that he’s convincing in the myriad of situations playing a spy throws up. His theatre background too, though a world away from the demands of playing Bond, shows how adaptable and expressive he’s capable of being.