Casting Bond 23

bond 23 poster

With MGM up for sale and Bond 23 on indefinite hiatus, current James Bond actor Daniel Craig has jumped ship in favor of the English adaptation of The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo, leaving the role of James Bond potentially open for casting once things at MGM have been settled.

Before Craig was cast for Casino Royale, Australian actors Hugh Jackman and Sam Worthington were also being considered for the role, leading me to believe MGM was interested in reaching new audiences (i.e. Australian ones) with their choice of Bond. They didn’t go for it, obviously, since they chose Daniel Craig, but perhaps when MGM has a new head they’ll actually try to reach out. They won’t choose Jackman or Worthington, of course. The new head of MGM will want to put his or her “stamp” on things, so they’ll choose someone else entirely. Someone British (some things never change).

I have some casting suggestions for the James Bond role based on which new audiences MGM wants to attract to the theaters, hopefully solving the studio’s money problems.

to attract CHILDREN:

Cast Daniel Radcliffe.

Every kid in the world knows him as Harry Potter, and a sizeable number of them will follow him to every movie he’ll ever be in (kids are loyal that way). The writers might need to de-grittify the role a bit so Radcliffe’s fans can actually get into the movie, but if they don’t want to, Radcliffe’s been taking on “edgier” roles to try and shirk his perma-branding as Harry Potter anyway. Throw in a naked scene with a horse and he’s sold.

Daniel Radcliffe
Bond, Grown-Up Bond.
Really, I am.

to attract TEENAGE GIRLS:

Cast Robert Pattinson.

This one is a no brainer. With the Twilight movies making approximately fourteen mountains of money per minute, casting Pattinson is exactly the sort of thing that could solve MGM’s money problems. Just make Bond slightly broodier and teenage boys won’t even have to beg to get their girlfriends to let them choose Bond 23 over the romantic comedy du jour.

Robert Pattinson
Hair, Goofy hair.

to attract WOMEN:

Cast Keira Knightley.

All the men will be up in arms over it, but they’ll still see the movie anyway, because as my dad once said “true Bond fans would even go if they cast Carrot Top.” It won’t hurt that Keira Knightley is a) hot and b) capable of kicking ass (see Pirates of the Caribbean et all). Actual women will also want to pay to see the film, since it’s exactly the sort of feminist coup we’ve been hoping for all this time. So it’s win win for everyone, really.

Keira Knightley
Bond, Jane Bond.

to attract DOOFUSES:

Cast Ricky Gervais.

Moron comedy is at an all time high. Between the high grosses of Judd Apatow’s films and the success of Gervais’ TV show The Office (both the British and American versions), doofuses who like goofy, awkward comedy have proven they have a lot of purchasing power. If MGM wants to tap into it, they need to cast someone the doofuses like. And Ricky Gervais is British.

Ricky Gervais
Bring me a coffee. Very dry. Shaken, not stirred.

to attract OLD PEOPLE:

Cast Sean Connery… again.

Old people tend to clamp their hands over their ears when ads for loud action movies like the Bond series come on. So if you want them to actually fork out for a ticket you need to give them a quieter, more sedate film, perhaps involving forensic accounting or a murder at a dinner party, with Bond played by someone they can relate to. Sean Connery is perfect, since existing Bond fans already know they like him.

Sean Connery
Bond, Jamesh Bond.


Cast BBC Newsnight anchor Jeremy Paxman.

Intelligent people do not go to vapid action films. They stay home, read hefty non-fiction tomes, and watch angry newsreaders tear strips off of politicians on the television. Getting intellectuals to actually leave the house and go to the theaters is difficult, but they might do it on the promise that they’ll get to watch Paxman as James Bond tear into some of their favorite targets: clichéd film villains.

Jeremy Paxman
I’m sorry, “Doctor” No, but from which medical school did you receive your degree?


Cast Sir Lawrence Oliver’s reanimated corpse.

Classic film lovers frequently complain that there are no new movies for them to discuss snootily because of the unfortunate deaths of all their heroes. The promise of a new Olivier film might just be enough to entice them away from their worn out VHS copies of Doctor Zhivago and into the theaters. With today’s makeup and computer generation technology, they wouldn’t even have to resort to a jerky marionette rig a la Thunderbirds.

Lawrence Olivier
Alas poor Lawrence looks more like Yorick than Halmet now.

to attract FILM CRITICS:

Cast a complete unknown, preferably one that doesn’t speak English.

Though some of the Bond films have netted good reviews, the only way to wring praise out of the “real” film critics (i.e. the ones who are driving their audiences away because they don’t like anything normal people would watch) is to make Bond 23 completely incomprehensible. The film should be shot in the remotest regions of the Earth, feature no women at all, and absolutely nothing of interest should happen during the length of the film. Incidentally, this is also the only way to finally shake off those pesky die-hard Bond fans who have been dogging the franchise since the 1960s.

shepherd by reza vaziri on flickr
Herder, Goat herder.

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