Who should be the next Bond villain?
With Daniel Craig recently confirming that he will be back again to play James Bond in the spy’s iconic 25th outing, we’ve sadly had to put an end to all our fantasy casting. The sight of Rowan Atkinson careening around the Alps in an Aston Martin with an Omega watch on his wrist will forever remain a pipedream for this particular writer, but with the November 2019 release date on the horizon, some thought does need to be had in who is going to play opposite Craig as the film’s primary antagonist.
With the likes of Mads Mikkelsen, Javier Bardem, and Christoph Waltz having delivered their own sterling efforts in the past, here are some of our suggestions of 10 actors (and actresses) who we think could make for a great Bond villain.
Having a female as Bond’s main rival is something that hasn’t really been done before. Aside from the menacing Rosa Klebb, most of the women in the Bond franchise are usually seen as distractions that Bond has to seduce and subsequently dispose of before he can face the film’s big bad. It’s also difficult to deem Klebb’s villain progressive when her weapon of choice was a poison tipped shoe.
An actress as talented, captivating and damn-right ethereal looking as Tilda Swinton would be perfect for toppling that dynamic. Not only does Swinton have experience playing particularly chilling villains in films such as Snowpiercer (2013) and The Chronicles of Narnia (2005), but she’s also got the acting chops to match.
Although he was only sort-of the villain in Batman Begins (2005), we can see certainly see the Oscar-nominated Watanabe as someone capable of performing a cracking inner monologue and posing more than credible threat to Craig’s grizzled Bond. At 57 years of age he may be little old, but we think he’d be a truly excellent modern iteration of Dr. No if the franchise ever did fancy reviving the iconic first ever Bond villain.
Paul Giamatti is vastly underrated. No matter what film he’s in, the American always somehow manages to steal the show.
Having starred in an eclectic mix of everything from 12 Years a Slave (2013) to the Ratchet & Clank Movie (2016), the actor has got a range – and resume – that most people in Hollywood can only dream of. Able to accurately portray both menace and melancholy in a single look, Giamatti’s physical appearance also offers an interesting polar opposite to Bond’s burly build. He may not look like he’ll be able to outrun Britain’s greatest spy, but Giamatti can easily depict a man capable of outwitting him.
Heavily accented bad guys and James Bond go together like fish and chips. Traditionally starring in comic roles, Frenchman Jean Dujardin is one such accented actor who we feel is highly capable of delivering a villain who is equal parts charming and disarming. It would also be rather interesting to see how Bond deals with someone who is arguably better looking than he is.
Lauded for his recent stint in HBO’s critically acclaimed The Night Of, Brit actor Riz Ahmed would make the ideal foil to a Bond that’s become increasingly bitter at his every return to action. Able to handle himself in both serious and comic roles, Ahmed is definitely up for the job. Snagging himself relatively big roles in Hollywood productions like Rogue One (2016) it’s also not too difficult to believe that casting an actor like Riz is too unrealistic either.
Those only familiar with Eccleston’s work on Doctor Who as the ninth eponymous Doctor may struggle to imagine the British actor as anything other than loveable, however, anyone who has seen his more recent performances in HBO’s The Leftovers will be well aware that Eccleston can do a hell of a lot more than light entertainment. It’s been a while since a Bond villain has been able to instill audience members with a genuine sense empathy, with Eccleston perhaps being just the sort of actor needed to connect emotionally with moviegoers whilst still seeming like a threat to 007.
A highly talented Indian film actor who appeared briefly (and we mean very briefly) in 2016’s Lion, casting a relative unknown opposite the ever-familiar face of Daniel Craig might be a wise decision. Having won the 2016 Zee Cine Award for Best Actor in a Negative Role – an award given to the actor or actress who best plays the role of an antagonist – Siddiqui is also no stranger to playing the baddy. The chances of this happening are slim but the massive crossover appeal this could bring with the Bollywood audience might always convince producers otherwise.
Already delivering helpings of evil to world-wide audiences in HBO’s Game of Thrones via her portrayal of the villainous Cersei Lannister, it wouldn’t be too difficult for Lena Headey to bring her vitriolic sneer to the silver screen. Unarguably attractive and unarguably capable of making us wet ourselves in fear, Headey would make a fine Bond villain in every sense of the word.
Johnson from Peep Show might not be the first person you think of when you consider who’s going to be the next Bond villain. But why not? An undoubtedly insane sociopath of the highest order, Joseph might not even need to alter his character all that much to fit into the Bond universe. We’d also obviously be well up for David Mitchell and Robert Webb nabbing the roles of his henchmen.
With rumours flying about that Christopher Nolan might possibly be interested in getting involved with the as-yet untitled Bond 25, who better to play the film’s villain than one of Nolan’s favourite collaborators?
A great deal younger than Craig, having an adversary like Hardy, who is able to physically compete with Bond, would make a refreshing change. There’s not many men who we’d back in a fight against Daniel Craig but Tom Hardy is definitely one of them. His intensity and commitment to every role he’s had would also guarantee in a guttural and entertaining performance. It would also hopefully go part of the way in making up for his jaunt as a spy in This Means War (2012).
Our second Game of Thrones alumnus on the list, Peter Dinklage might not pose the same sort of physical threat to Bond that the likes of Jaws have before, but aided by a few larger companions we can certainly envisage Dinklage offering a compelling opposition to Bond. He may have already played the evil Bolivar Trask quite recently in X Men: Days of Future Past (2014), but think of this casting as the Bond franchise’s apology for giving us Nick Nack.