The James Bond icon is looking for a buyer

(AFP) – An heir (or an heiress) for James Bond? Daniel Craig’s scheduled farewell to the role of Her Majesty’s most famous spy raises the question of the succession of a character who must remain both iconic and up to date.

For fifteen years, James Bond had the eyes of Daniel Craig. The 53-year-old actor, who donned the costume for the first time in 2006 with “Casino Royale” and had agreed to come back for a final episode, should leave his place this time.

Not easy to replace him: in five films, including “Skyfall” and “Specter”, Daniel Craig will have been able to bring his paw to the character of the agent with the license to kill, without upsetting the fundamentals set up by the writer Ian Fleming 70 years ago.

Daniel Craig “sublimated the human side of the character”, exploiting the idea of ​​a James Bond “credible, who doubts, who is afraid, who is a killer but has feelings”, summarizes for AFP the specialist in the saga Laurent Pierrot, co-author in particular of “Cult replicas of the Bond saga”, which will be released this fall.

A year after the death of Sean Connery, who inaugurated the character in the 1960s as a manly hero until the cartoon, the most popular cast on the planet is once again open.

– Send a message ? –
Will the production take advantage of this to take a step towards diversity, or even entrust the role to a woman, definitively taking liberties with the work of Ian Fleming?

On paper, the actor must be “young, vigorous and attractive, it is the founding triptych. At the time, the morphotype was that of a white man, but nothing prevents to imagine a black Bond, Asian … “, explains Guillaume Evin, author of numerous books on James Bond, including” Bond, the Legend in 25 films “, published this fall.

A choice that would send a message, in a film industry which never ceases to question its propensity to perpetuate stereotypes: the hypothesis of entrusting the role to the black British actor Idris Elba (“The Wire”, “Luther “), supported by ex-007 Pierce Brosnan, has already sparked racist comments.

As for the idea of ​​a female James Bond, it does not seem to hold the cord: in “Dying can wait”, James Bond tries to taste retirement and it is a young recruit, Nomi, who collects the number ” 007 “.

On the screen, it is therefore a 33-year-old black British actress, Lashana Lynch, who should don the spy costume but without taking the name, a way of “strengthening the female characters” without replacing James Bond. – even, underlines Guillaume Evin. A small revolution which has already earned the actress a smear campaign on social networks.

Asked about the subject by “Radio Times” magazine, Daniel Craig stressed that “better roles for women and actors of color” were needed. “Why should a woman play James Bond, when there should instead be roles as good as James Bond, but created for a woman?”

– Tom Hardy, Luke Evans… –
Any combination can still be considered: a face known to all as Roger Moore was at the time with the “Le Saint” and “Amicalement Vôtre” series or less identified talent? Subject of His Majesty or American star?

One of the most quoted names is that of Tom Hardy, who has been widely proven, for example in “Mad Max: Fury Road” or in Christopher Nolan taking on the role of villain against BGBatman (“The Dark Knight Rises” ).

But his age (44) could play against him: if it takes a bit of a bottle to play a hero like James Bond, the next one will probably be chosen to be able to last until the horizon 2030-2035.

Other names are regularly put forward, including those cited by bookmakers: Rege-Jean Page, the hero of “The Chronicle of the Bridgerton”, James Norton, adulated on the small British screen, or even Luke Evans, seen in big productions like “Fast and Furious” …