Kevin Spacey Was Almost the ‘James Bond 23′ Villain

Published 4 years ago by , Updated August 24th, 2013 at 11:04 am,

kevin spacey in the usual suspects Kevin Spacey Was Almost the James Bond 23 Villain

After nearly a year of delays due to MGM’s financial troubles, James Bond 23 is back on track for a November 9th, 2012 theatrical release date – just in time for the fiftieth anniversary of Dr. No, the original Bond film.

Bond 23, directed by Sam Mendes (American Beauty), will see the return of Daniel Craig in the iconic role made famous by Sean Connery, and opposite Craig may very will be Javier Bardem as the yet unnamed villain. But Bond 23 almost went an entirely different direction. Apparently, frequent collaborator Kevin Spacey was Mendes’ first choice.

The Jameson Cult Film Club recently held a screening of Bryan Singer’s The Usual Suspects and Keyser Söze himself, Kevin Spacey, was in attendance. He spoke about a number of things, including his career, his celebrity impersonations, his favorite film roles – American Beauty, Se7en, and The Usual Suspects – and, inevitably, his (brief) opportunity to co-star opposite Daniel Craig in the next Bond film.

According to Kevin Spacey, Mendes wanted him for the role of the next James Bond villain first and foremost, and Spacey wanted to take the role. Unfortunately, Spacey will be all tied up in the theater with Richard III, which Mendes will initially direct. But whereas Mendes will leave the production to film Bond 23, Spacey will go on tour with the play. Neither Spacey nor Mendes were happy about the circumstances, but them’s the breaks.

Despite what some would call a recent dip in acting awesomeness, cinematically-speaking, Kevin Spacey’s ability to play nasty, likable villains is the stuff of legend.  Can you imagine Spacey at his utmost despicableness pitted against Daniel Craig’s James Bond?

But then, Javier Bardem is no slouch in the despicable villain department. I find it interesting that Sam Mendes’ top two choices for James Bond villains have played two of the more famous serial killers in movie history – John Doe and Anton Chigurh. Is it merely a coincidence of casting, or will the next Bond villain be a truly mean, creepy, and sick individual, not unlike those famous filmic serial killers? Allow me to cross my fingers in hopes that the answer is a resounding yes. (Of course, there’s always the possibility that the Ralph Fiennes rumor could come true, as well.)

What do you think? Would you prefer to see Kevin Spacey, Ralph Fiennes, or Javier Bardem versus James Bond? I think it’s safe to say that while all three actors can play convincingly creepy, only one – Bardem – can play physically intimidating, especially pitted against Daniel Craig.

James Bond 23 begins shooting later this year. Keep your eye on the main page for more Bond news as we get it.

Source: Live for Films

TAGS: James bond
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  1. Wow , I want a recall then , if they take the restraints off of spacey he can be an awesome Villian, Seven, Usual Suspects and Lex Luthor

  2. I think Kevin Spacey would be brilliant as a foil to James Bond. Personally, I’d prefer him to the others.

  3. I hope we get a duo, with either Kevin Spacey or Ralph Fiennes as the main villain and Bardem as the henchman. Then we will get the best villain duo since Goldfinger and Oddjob!

  4. I love Bond movies, and yet I grow a little tired of the repeating formula. So, how do we change it up a bit, but yet keep it a “Bond” picture?

    • Use my script. Set in the 1960s, with Tom Hardy as Bond, focus on the setting, bring some cool gadgets, make it ‘Bond’ again.
      “Death Waits For No Man” is the title.

  5. Can anyone say “Ernst Stavro Blofeld”? I would think it would be all kinds of awesome if they took back that Dr. Evil caricature from Austin Powers and made it something new and frightening for Bond. That would be something and worth seeing. I hope they are up to it. I think Bardem and Fiennes are both up to the challenge. Anyway, I hope that Blofeld is going to be the villain.

  6. Bored of Spacey’s mellow bad guy shtick. Been there done that a dozen times.

    • of course you are Shark ,I really believe that you hate everything man, either that or you think playing the devils advocate is cool. Either way to each their own. kudos sir kudos

      • Nah, I just felt like manipulating you into responding.

        • This will be risky and I certainly dont want to crush your warm and fuzzy image of me – but check out the Battle Los Angeles thread. I left a positive *gasp* comment. :=p

  7. I don’t know Fiennes can play villains well but I’d like to see him play a good guy again before he becomes typecast. Yes Bardem maybe able to go mano a mano with Craig but I think the whole evil organization, megolamaniac thing has been done enough they need to have Bond fight an enemy agent or assassin or something more akin to spy work. Heck I’d settle for some local gangsters/mafia or a drug dealer/cartel organization.

  8. The best Bond movies are those with memorable villains. And the most memorable villains are the villains who are over the top, like Blofeld, Goldfinger, Dr No, and, hech, even Hugo Drax and Elliot Carver. Same goes for the henchmen (Jaws, Oddjob, Tee-Hee, Onatopp etc).

    I would very much like them to go back to that. There hasn’t been so many great henchmen in the last movies, and that Dominic Greene fella from Quantum Of Solace… come on, give me a break. He was TOO ordinary.

    I would love to see Blofeld back on the silver screen. He’s my favourite villain ever (yes, even before Darth Vader and the Joker)!

  9. yea the villain from ‘fred claus’ would have been good

  10. I want Kevin Spacey.

  11. I have heard Kevin Spacey for a James Bond Villian Since Die Another Day. Its high time it happened.

  12. Javier is a brillant 2nd choice..I hope they choose some ladies from spartacus as bond girls, actress lesley-anne brandt and the lady that played gaia.