I’m sitting here enjoying my vacation in unofficial Bond location Palm Springs California, while the city was not named as a location for Bond’s exploits, two homes in the area were used to replicate Las Vegas locations in 1971’s Diamonds Are Forever. Namely Willard White’s “summer home” where Bond “meets” Bambi and Thumper and the home Tiffany Case finds her “brown wig,” actually Plenty O’Toole, floating in the pool. At any rate as I sit poolside pondering the mysteries of the world…
…I realize it’s been an entire year since my last true post here on the site, so I figure it’s time to get back on the horse as they say. I figure I’ll take it slowly with an easy subject, musing on who should be cast as the next Bond and since we’re easing back in, why not be so unoriginal as championing the obvious choice; Henry Cavill.
I want to start by stating I am by no means a Cavill “fan boy” quite frankly I don’t care who is cast, provided we get back to basics with fun enjoyable adventures for our favorite super spy. They could clone a 32 year old Sean Connery and if they put him in more of the same sappy, dewy eyed melodramas we’ve been subject to the past 20 years it would be all for naught.
“Are you as sad as I am James?”
First what makes Cavill the perfect choice for the role?
Well, just look at him:
The man is responsible for more thirsty women than the Sahara desert! I can believe this guy could walk into a room and bed any woman therein! He’s the embodiment of the man every man wants to be and more importantly, every woman wants to be with! Tall dark and handsome with “movie star good looks” as Fleming described he looks like something created in a lab to fit the bill.
A.I. couldn’t do it any better.
But it goes farther than looks, unlike Barbera Broccoli’s super crush, Cavill actually wants to play Bond! Crazy I know, an actor who wants to play the part. Dan Craig was actively trying to talk the producers out of casting him while Cavill has stated several times he would love to to take the role. Going so far as to film commercials with not so understated messaging on his desire.
Subtle there Henry.
Compare that to what a reluctant actor can give you. Namely, evil foster brothers, baby mama drama and ultimately suicide.
“I’m finally free to follow my real passion; effecting a Foghorn Leghorn southern fried accent in terrible murder mysteries!”
“I say, I say murder boy!”
That dovetails right into the next point, Cavill is notorious for his attention to detail and strict adherence to source material, which is why he butt heads so hard with the other creatives on his Witcher series and his ultimate departure from it. What that means for us, rather than the back and forth debates of which actor best incapsulates him, we could get for better or worse a true “Fleming’s Bond.” And what that means for Babz Broccoli, she could get her “show runner” a stand in who would keep her from getting her hands too dirty on this filthy little film series just as Craig did for her. I mean how else did he get that producer credit?
I shudder to think.
Now make no mistake Cavill will NOT be cast as Bond, no matter how perfect he may be. The reasons are as vast as they pointless. They are mainly rooted in the “universal truths” behind EON production’s casting idiosyncrasies.
First Henry is “too expensive.” He’s a well known actor (a disqualification we’ll discuss momentarily) so he’ll command a higher fee than the BBC2 bit player they will ultimately cast. However in reality this fallacy is just the studio being penny wise and pound foolish. Let’s look a Craig’s pay scale for comparison; when he was plucked from relative obscurity for Casino Royale he was payed $3.2 million dollars, were EON to do the same that would be a definite discount from what Cavill would command. Craig’s second film Quantum of Solace net him $7.2 million dollars, again far less than what a star of Cavill’s caliber would ask. Here is where it runs off the rails, Craig earned $20 million for Skyfall, $30 million(!) for Spectre and $25 million for No, Time To Die. Depending on who’s tickling the abacus the budget for the last three Craig films are $200mil, $300mil and $250mil respectively. That means Dan’s fee averaged a full tenth of the overall budget of those three films. So if we use Dan’s salary as a basis and if they paid Cavill out the gate what they ended up paying Dan for film three, when EON cast their nobody rather than Cavill they would save about $17 million dollars in salary on the first film, no small sum. However, I can guarantee you if they cast Henry, his first film would pull down at least $1 billion dollars. Because it would be what Bond told Elliot Carver in Tomorrow Never Dies, “the first rule in mass media, is to always give the people what they want!” Henry Cavill as Bond is most definitely what the people want! Women would flock to the theaters just to watch him swagger around the screen. As for the second film, that would depend on the quality of the first film and if it were indeed a return to form I can imagine a string of billion dollar returns. This is assuming Cavill would cost $20 million, he may be willing, seeing as he’s so keen to play Bond, to sign for a discount and/or defer some money into backend incentives.
A Cavill led Bond.
Second, as I alluded to, Cavill is too well known. I’ve seen comments from a few short sighted wags who claim he can’t be Bond because he “is” Superman. All I can say is wow, it must be tough to go through life with such a dearth of imagination! Watching Top Gun Maverick must have been hard after seeing any of the Mission Impossible films, what with Tom Cruise starring in both. I can’t imagine what would happen to these chaps if they saw the most recent Matrix film along side John Wick!
One “is” John Wick one “is” Neo, you tell me which is which?!
Funny how nobody has a problem with all the recent Oscar winners, well known for other roles, phoning in performances as villains in the last three films. I don’t know, if you’re going to pour a quarter of a billion dollars into a film maybe you’d want a known actor headlining it rather than yawning in the background as a co-star? And if you’re so determined on casting Oscar caliber thespians to support your film, maybe you need to get an actor in the lead who can hold their own against them, should they actually decide to put in some effort for a change.
“Jamessss, I am the auth… *beep*beep*beep* If you’d like to make a call…”
So if not Cavill who then? What about current media darling and bookie favorite Johnathan Taylor-Thomas:
Oops! Sorry, I meant Arron Taylor-Johnson.
Pictured here with his mother, no agent, err wife, sorry I mean all of the above.
The problem with him is he carries all of the same baggage as Cavill just a little less so. He’ll cost more that the inevitable potted plant EON do cast and he’s a known actor with a repertoire of previous roles. I don’t know about you, but I’d much rather have the guy known for Superman than the kid who was in Kick Ass.
Yup, got Bond written all over him!
The one actor I can guarantee will not take the role is Idris Elba. So to the media I say stop mentioning him in every single article opining on who will take up the PPK! Look, I love Elba’s work, he’s a damn fine actor and may have made a good Bond ten years ago, unfortunately Craig held on too long and at 52 Idris’ ship has sailed. So please:
“Keep his damn name out your mother f#@&ing mouth!”