Next month, Daniel Craig returns to the role of James Bond in Spectre, the 24th flick in the franchise (and Craig's fourth outing as 007). Craig has said he's contracted for one more film and that he would keep going as Bond "as long as I'm physically able," but that hasn't stopped speculation about who will replace him.
Pierce Brosnan, who played Bond in the '90s, said recently that while "there's no reason why you cannot have a black James Bond," he thinks that the next Bond will be white and male. And last week, Craig weighed in, saying, "the person should do the job and I don’t give a f*** what color their skin is." He added, "[A woman] is another story. But why not? Jasmine Bond?"
This comes after writer Anthony Horowitz caused a stir by calling Idris Elba "too street" to play Bond, which inspired us to talk with Jamil Smith about how Hollywood views some black actors as tough guys and others as nonthreatening.
So if a Bond of color is next, who should it be? Join me for some well-intentioned objectification as I play casting director for the franchise. Because really, the main criteria for James Bond are: be able to kick ass, look good with a close shave, and wear the hell out of a tux.
1. Idris Elba
2. Chiwetel Ejiofor
He has serious acting chops (including an Oscar nod for his turn in 12 Years a Slave), the right accent, and is quite dashing. I might prefer him to Elba. But I also might not. They both will get a call-back. (H/T to @bklyn_betty)
3. Oscar Isaac
I've been a fan of Daniel Craig's darker and moodier Bond, and Isaac proved that he can pull off existential angst in 2013's Inside Llewyn Davis and creepy menace in Ex Machina. And he's been working on projects with a wide range of audiences, from this fall's Show Me a Hero on HBO to the upcoming Star Wars: The Force Awakens. Fun fact: Isaac is half Guatemalan and half Cuban.
4. Sendhil Ramamurthy
Best know for appearances on TV series like Heroes and Beauty and the Beast, Ramamurthy is also finding more roles in films like the upcoming A Momentary Lapse of Reason.
5. Jamie Foxx
He's a class act and has a definite box office draw. I also just feel like he's a good guy, you know?
6. Daniel Henney
Henney has played everything from a romantic lead in Shanghai Calling to a mutant in X Men Origins: Wolverine. He's also a certified dreamboat/ex-model, so he makes the short list.
7. Edgar Ramirez
Ramirez has appeared in serious Hollywood fare like Zero Dark Thirty, action series like The Bourne Ultimatum as well as a host of Spanish-language films. Plus, he speaks almost as many languages IRL as James Bond (Spanish, French, English, Italian, German).
8. Sung Kang
Fans of the Fast and Furious series know Kang as the street racer Han Seoul-Oh who joins Dom's crew (shout out to Roxane. This list is kind of for you). His years of driving fast cars for the franchise is basically an extended audition to be James Bond.
9. Jesse Williams
I am not familiar with the Williams ouvre, which includes Grey's Anatomy and films like Cabin in the Woods and The Butler. But I think we could at least call him in for a reading right? Those baby blues...