Since the Dr. No feature film back in 1962, James Bond has been synonymous with action, adventure and questionable attitudes towards women. Of course the film series only saw real success after Goldfinger in 1964, but it is considered an institution today alongside Star Wars, Batman, Indiana Jones, the Terminator, Herbie the Love Bug, etc.
The current theory is that Damian Lewis will be the next Bond in an as-yet unannounced James Bond story. The franchise took a major step backwards during the Pierce Brosnan era (say what you will… but Die Another Day was dire) but Casino Royal brought back Bond’s reputation as a modern icon. Removing the gadgets and quips, the new Bond was all gritty action and fury. Skyfall paid homage to the legacy of the films and Spectre seems to embrace more of the classic themes and ideas. It could be an ideal time to bring in a fresh face as well.
It may well be a shameless attempt to generate column inches, but one U.K. bookmaker has, out of the blue, slashed its odds of Homeland star Damian Lewis being named the next James Bond.
William Hill revealed on Monday that it had dramatically dropped Lewis’ price from an outsider 25/1 to near-favorite 3/1, just short of hot tip Idris Elba, currently 5/2, and putting the actor firmly in contention ahead of Tom Hardy (4/1), Henry Cavill (5/1) and Michael Fassbender (7/1).
“This is an unprecedented gamble, as for no apparent reason we have seen bets of up to £200 [$312] on Damian Lewis being named as the next Bond. This could well be significant and might herald the end of Daniel Craig as the world’s most famous spy,” said a spokesperson.
Lewis has previously hinted at his desire to play the famed superspy, joking in 2013 that the Scottish heritage outlined in Skyfall had “paved the way perfectly for a red-headed Bond.”
Even though the net is awash with this story, there are so many actors who were considered or screen tested that were never chosen James Bond. I thought this would be an interesting time to address some of them:
David Niven, the gentlemen actor, was author Ian Fleming’s preferred choice for the part. He was understandably disappointed by the studio’s choice of Sean Connery. Niven did get a chance to play Bond (after a fashion) in the Casino Royal spoof film.
There are so many actors who were considered for the role but never played James Bond such as Oliver Reed (no, really). I would love to know the reason why Terrance Stamp (renowned for his portrayal of General Zod in Superman II) or William Gaunt (of the Champions) was never Bond. I’m grateful beyond belief that actors such as Sam Neil, Christopher Lambert, Mel Gibson, and James Brolin were passed on.
But imagine my surprise when I learned that Paul McGann auditioned for the part of 007.