Is the new ‘James Bond’ worthy?
By Yugel Losorata
Sun Jun 04, 2006
After "The Da Vinci Code" movie controversy that gave the film more media mileage
than its producers expected, the new James Bond flick has chances of duplicating
what the Tom Hanks–starrer achieved in terms of publicity resulting from the people’
s opposing thoughts about it. Only this time, the focus of the issue is not the film’s
premise, but its main star.
British blond Daniel Craig, the latest to play the famed spy James Bond a.k.a. Agent
007, is deemed unworthy by irate fans to portray Ian Fleming’s popular character.
The main reason: His looks!
After the trailer of the new Bond movie "Casino Royale" was launched the past
week, it has become clear that a lot of people, especially the 007 fans, are
generating negative reactions as to the viability of casting the virtually unknown
Daniel Craig as the new James Bond.
In the global setting, a documented proof of this is the existence of a website called
CraigNotBond.com which coins itself to be the ‘home of the Casino Royale
boycott.’ The site explains, "There’s no question in the minds of thousands of fans
that Daniel Craig is the worst choice Bond producers have ever-made! Bond has
been portrayed for more than 40 years by actors considered good-looking by the
majority of the public."
The site even posed this question: "How can a short, blond actor with the rough
face of a professional boxer and a penchant for playing villains, killers, cranks and
cads pull off the role of a tall, dark, handsome, and suave secret agent?"
The 38-year-old Daniel Craig, who appeared in movies like Lara Croft: Tomb Raider
(2001) and Munich (2005), was effective as a villain in Sam Mendes’ Road To
Perdition (2002) starring Tom Hanks. At least for some Filipino fans, it is unlikely that
a villain-looking blond guy ended up donning a well-loved character in James
Bond, played most recently by Pierce Brosnan in "Die Another Day."
UK film critic Henry Fitzherbert backed the anti-Craig movement by saying, "Craig
looks ill at ease in the role, lacking Bond’s customary urbanity and wit." Another
website, JoBlo.com claimed that Craig has only one facial expression, which is that
of sucking on a lemon.
CraigNotBond.com also posted a poll saying that 52% of respondents in Craig’s
very hometown in Liverpool, England say he is ‘not right for Bond.’
It can be recalled that EON Productions, responsible for Craig’s ‘Bond’ casting,
announced October last year that Craig would play the next Bond. He was chosen
from over 200 hopefuls and is signed for a three-film contract that starts with
"Casino Royale" to be shown worldwide this November. It is reported that Bond
filmmakers are ‘attempting to relaunch the franchise with a tougher, gritter, and
more realistic film in the manner of Bourne spy films which Matt Damon starred in.
‘Craig is Bond’ supporters
On the other side of the coin, no less than four of the past five former James Bonds
back up the decision to have Daniel Craig as the latest Bond. The four are Sean
Connery, the original Agent 007, Roger Moore, who was Bond from 1973 to 1985,
Timothy Dalton, who is viewed as the ‘purest’ interpretation of a Bond, and Pierce
Brosnan whose last Bond film became the highest grossing title of the series.
Actress Judi Dench, who is reprising her role in "Casino Royale" based on Ian
Fleming’s novel, was quoted as saying, "I hate how people have been attacking
Daniel Craig. It’s despicable and it disgusts me. I have filmed with him in Prague and
the Bahamas and he is a fine actor. He brings something new and edgy to the role.
His critics will be proved wrong."
A number of websites have also been launched to oppose Craig’s critics such as
craigasbond.com, craigisbond.net, and givecraigachance.com.
Whether "Casino Royale" will be boycotted by fans or Daniel Craig gets to prove
himself as a worthy Bond have yet to be seen. But at least here in Philippines,
checking on how the talks on the recent Da Vinci movie made it the country’s
highest grossing opening day for an R-18 makes it quite safe to say that the curious
Pinoys will watch Craig as Bond.