Even though the James Bond film producers believe Daniel Craig will return once more for the forthcoming Bond 25, the signs are pointing to EON needing a new leading man for the next installment. Craig spent most of his Spectre press tour suggesting he was ready to move on, and actor Mark Strong believes his friend's spy days are over. Even if Sony retains the franchise distribution rights in the ongoing bidding war, it might be time to meet the next 007.
As such, fans have been fantasy casting their picks, debating which actors out there would make for the best Bond. While viewers await to see who will don the tux for the series' next adventure, one intriguing option is throwing his hat into the ring: Marvel Cinematic Universe standout Tom Hiddleston.
While speaking with the Sunday Times (hat tip THR), Hiddleston discussed his love and admiration for Bond films, revealing that he took the time to see Spectre in the theater while shooting Kong: Skull Island. The actor said he would very much enjoy taking on the role should it be offered to him:
"I simply love the theme tune, the tropes and the mythology. I love the whole thing. If it ever came knocking, it would be an extraordinary opportunity. And I’m very aware of the physicality of the job. I would not take it lightly."
At first blush, Hiddleston seems better suited to play a Bond villain rather than 007 himself, given his well-received performances as compelling evildoer Loki in multiple Marvel films. However, that's just one side of the talented thespian. Hiddleston is gaining much attention for his part in the television miniseries The Night Manager. His Jonathan Pine character is described as something similar to Bond, causing British betting books to slash the odds of Hiddleston portraying Ian Fleming's famed creation (yes, that's really something one can gamble on). He's currently a 10/1 pick for the part, trailing high-profile names such as Tom Hardy, Idris Elba, and Henry Cavill.
There's no denying that Hiddleston would be an inspired choice for Bond, and it's great to hear he'd be up for doing his own stunts (something Craig excelled at). Yet, it may not be the most plausible direction to go. Loki is still very much a part of the overall plan in the MCU, with Hiddleston on board for 2017's Thor: Ragnarok. Beyond that, the God of Mischief's fate is unknown, but it's hard to envision a scenario where Marvel stops using the hit character altogether. Loki could factor into the two-part Infinity War event and carry over into Phase 4. Marvel is notorious for killing their villains off, but they know what they've got in Loki. Depending on what they have in store, Hiddleston may not be able to balance two massive franchises.
It also remains to be seen how the production schedule for Bond 25 rounds into shape. The team is currently working on a "relevant" storyline for the sequel, but no release date has been set at this time. Considering Hiddleston remains a prominent figure in the MCU, the timelines for those commitments and a new Bond film could overlap and conflict, making this casting impossible. Many fans would certainly like to see this happen, but it seems more likely that Hiddleston is merely sharing his fondness of 007 lore, rather than becoming a realistic possibility.
Spectre is now available on Blu-ray. We'll keep you updated on the development of Bond 25.
Source: The Sunday Times (via THR)