Yeah, I ‘m saying it: Daniel Craig is all wrong as James Bond. Don’t get me wrong, dude’s a fantastic actor and I can’t wait to see him in The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (now with more hot men) and Cowboys & Aliens. But his Bond is stunted and clunky, lacking the mischief and charm of his forebearers. He’s the Lou Ferrigno of Bonds.
But I’m rather relieved that Bond 23, as yet with no official title, has been passed to Sam Mendes’s capable hands. Perhaps he’ll be able to coax a little warmth out of a cold fish. And clearly the director has something great in store for us; he’s loading up on impressive actors to mitigate (my interpretation) Craig’s impact. First up is Javier Bardem, who with his Anton Chiigurh proved how delightful badassery can be. Since Bond films are so high on style, Bardem should end up with a better haircut, but I hope he brings Chigurh’s violent single-mindedness.
Ralph Fiennes has also signed on, and though there are no details on his role as yet, he’s proven to be brilliant at everything—so no worries there. 28 Days Later actress, Naomie Harris is rumored to be playing Miss Moneypenny and of course, Judi Dench will return as M.
Finally, word just got out that The Amazing Spider-Man’s Lizard, Rhys Ifans is joining the cast. Again, there are no details but the enigmatic actor has that magical ability to transform himself into any sort of character; I’d love to see him as a villain here. Interestingly, Ifans and Craig once shared a kiss in a film called Enduring Love; perhaps we have a shot at recreating that memory in some sort of funny shout-out.
All in all, the cast is fabulous and I’m psyched to see what Mendes does with the franchise. Filming is set to take place in South Africa this fall and Bond 23 already has a release date: November 9, 2012.