Damian Lewis has been tipped to become step into Daniel Craig’s shoes and become the next James Bond, but is the flame-haired theatrical thespian the right man to be given a “licence to kill?”
The debate over who will become the next James Bond is perhaps not as fierce and frantic as in the halcyon days of yore when unreconstructed males were left to nurse their super spy fantasises in peace, whilst the wife did the dishes and they sipped on their beer and watched “American Hero” Bruce Jenner win Olympic golds on the TV.
Yet when the rumour mill over who will replace Daniel Craig as 007 throws up a name like Damian Lewis, it’s perhaps enough to make even the most casual Bond fan throw a dry Martini against the wall in disgust and snarl, “Not on my watch bud!”
Not that there is anything wrong with Damian Lewis in a purely generic sense. The boisterous Brit would make a very good children’s TV presenter or a pantomime dame, but can he really cut it as Bond?
Any man who knows the importance of a well cut suit would certainly assume not, but the bookies beg to differ, and according to the Mirror, William Hill is now offering 3/1 odds on the Homeland actor becoming Bond following a flurry of £200 bets which has seen Lewis’s price collapse from 25/1.
William Hill spokesperson Rupert Adams called the surge of bets backing the red-headed dark horse as “unprecedented.”
“This is an unprecedented gamble, as for no apparent reason we have seen bets of up to £200 on Damien 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.”
Lewis is now second only to The Wire star Idris Elba to play Bond, but can it be said the either actor really catches the collective imagination when it comes to generating a real buzz about the next 007?
Probably not. As actors they’re both as dull as ditchwater with neither in possession of that slightly unhinged spark of wild abandon and unique brand of cheerful insanity that we’ve come to expect from Bond.
Granted, following the dizzy peaks of the premium Bond era scaled by Sean Connery, Roger Moore, and the oft maligned and underused Gorge Lazenby, there was a horrific lull in the portrayal of 007.
Timothy Dalton may have been a mediocre, understated and rather uncharismatic Bond, but at least he was digestible in small doses. Pierce Brosnan on the other hand was wholly unappetising in the most unpleasant manner.
Often known as the “comedy Bond”, the “poor man’s Bond,” and the “Broadway Bond”, Brosnan butchered Bond in the most barbaric fashion. With Brosnan in the hot seat, Bond purists didn’t just “Die Another Day”, they died slowly, one day at a time.
Courtesy of the cold charisma and relentless rage of Daniel Craig, the Bond franchise is slowly recovering from years of unnecessary abuse. Craig has breathed new life into the super spy and created the most fully dimensional Bond yet, minus the chain-smoking and heavy duty womanising.
And now it would appear Damian Lewis threatens to destroy all those years of hard graft with a slightly smug facial expression, well-balanced manner, and twee tone that would be about as much use to James Bond as a bicycle would be to a fish.
If Daniel Craig is to step down as James Bond after three, possibly four, epic 007 films, then can the powers that be not find a more worthy successor than Damian Lewis?
Hot on the heels of Damian Lewis to become the next Bond is Tom Hardy on odds of 4/1. Now there’s an actor who could do the role justice.
Yet even more suited to the role of Bond, would be Cillian Murphy, who Hardy has featured alongside in the blindingly good BBC television series – Peaky Blinders.
As Snoop Dogg and thousands of other fans of this Birmingham gangster drama set in the aftermath of World War I can testify, there are elements of Cillian Murphy’s portrayal of Peaky Blinder boss Tommy Shelby that would make for a cracking James Bond.
A working class Bond with a Brummie accent. Now that would be worth buying a bag of popcorn for.
(Photos courtesy of Chris Ware, Peter Ruck, Greg Williams, Clemens Bilan/Getty Images)