Saturday, June 6, 2009

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Casting Coup: James Bond

And so here we are, ready for the month of June. Ready for some JAMES FREEKING BOND!

But let us not begin with one of the five novels I want to cast. The Bond mythos involves a large number of spies, secretaries, allies and executives, many of whom appear in a number of novels and short stories, even through the Raymond Benson novels of the 1990s. Instead of going through them all as each one appears, it's best we get them out of the way here and now. And no, I shan't go the route of my Devil May Care Casting Coup, wherein I whimped out and just said, "uh, the movie ones are good enough". No, I shall actually tell you who I see in each role in my own mind. And it ain't Daniel Craig.

Who is She: Bond's housekeeper, an elderly Scottish woman with a good heart. She never appears in the films, because only twice have we even seen his flat: Doctor No (1962) and Live and Let Die (1973).

My Choice: Academy Award Winner for Best Supporting Actress (My Left Foot), Golden Globe Nominee for Best Supporting Actress (My Left Foot)

Brenda Fricker (Masterminds, Angels in the Outfield)
I always thought of May as huggable. Aw, look at her. Don't you just want to throw your arms around her?

Who is She: Bond's personal secretary. Eventually replaced by Mary Goodnight in On Her Majesty's Secret Service. Crushes on her boss. Never appeared in the films, and much of her personality was transferred to Moneypenny.

My Choice:

Sophie Winkelman (Poirot: Five Little Pigs)
So I saw her in that Poirot episode I mention, and when looking about for the perfect Loelia, I suddenly remembered her performance. Subtle and professional. Good qualities for this role.

Who is He: M's Chief of Staff. Bond's best friend at the office.

Previously played by:

Rory Kinnear (Quantum of Solace), among others

My Choice:

Ben Miles (V for Vendetta, Speed Racer)
Looks good in a suit, and V for Vendetta gave us a look at that bureaucratic side of him. TV's Coupling let us know of us sense of humor and his ability to pal around with the guys. The combination leads to Tanner, who remains professional but holds his own alongside Bond.

Who is She: M's secretary.

Previously played by:

Lois Maxwell (Doctor No - A View to a Kill), Samantha Bond (GoldenEye - Die Another Day), among others

My Choice:

Claudie Blakley (Severance, The Cat's Meow)

Who is He: CIA agent who eventually gets a job with Pinkerton's detective agency. A Texan, born and bred. Tanner may be Bond's best friend at the office, but Felix is Bond's BFF, his bestie for the restie.

Previously played by:

Jeffrey Wright (Casino Royale, Quantum of Solace), among others

My Choice: Academy Award Nominee for Best Supporting Actor (Milk), SAG Award Winner for Best Ensemble (No Country for Old Men)

Josh Brolin (Thrashin', W.)
Brolin can do the Southern accent along with the good ol' boy routine that comes with it. He'd be like Jack Lord, the handsome guy Yank of Bond's age who can keep up with 007. I could see him with a hook.

Who is He: Head of MI6. The man Bond answers to.

Previously played by:

Judi Dench (GoldenEye - Quantum of Solace), among others (most of whom were men)

My Choice: SAG Award Winner for Best Ensemble (Gosford Park)

Michael Gambon (TV's The Singing Detective, The Life Aquatic)
A throwback to the father figure of Bernard Lee's days. But I do think gambon can be a little warmer, so he may be even better!

Who is He: Agent 007 with a licence to kill. Loyal to M, as well as to Queen and Country. Enjoys both women and alcohol. Does not enjoy Commies, terrorists, or The Beatles.

Previously played by:

Daniel Craig (Casino Royale, Quantum of Solace)

My Choice: Golden Globe Nominee for Best Actor in a Musical/Comedy (Kinky Boots), SAG Award Nominee for Best Ensemble (American Gangster)

Chiwetel Ejiofor (Serenity, Love Actually)
I'm not trying to be controversial, truly. I know he's not exactly the traditional mold for Bond physically, but otherwise... Look, he's handsome without appearing too caught up in his appearance. He can kick ass and look good doing it. He moves with a certain grace and agility. He's suave and looks good in a suit. How is he not Bond?

That is who I see when I read Ian Fleming, John Gardner, and Raymond Benson. That's who I would like you to see when you see the next casts. But do you? Who would you prefer in these roles? Don't be shy...


Ben Mekler said...

Chewy for president. I swear we've talked about him for Bond before, right? Otherwise, he is also who I've secretly been picturing in my head as Bond since Melinda and Melinda.

Unknown said...

Chewy and I are deeply in love. Can he join the cast of SBG?

Grant said...

Personally I think you should have Hugh Jackman as Bond, Tom Wilkinson as M, James Fox as Q, and David Boreanaz as Felix Letier. But thats just my opinion about it.