There are few roles more iconic than James Bond, as Bond has transcended being a character and has become not only a sex symbol and a British hero, but he’s a legend across all mediums. So when it comes to filling the on-screen shoes of cinema’s most well-known secret agent, it’s no surprise that the search is thorough and tedious.
Daniel Craig seems ready to come back and play Bond at least one more time, but given his age and the direction the franchise seems to be going, as Skyfall helped tip the scale all the way back to double zeros for 007, but it opened the door to another actor coming in and taking on the role of Bond.
So if Craig does step away from the role, whether it be before the next film or after, the question is who would fill the role? An early dark horse is none other than Benedict Cumberbatch, who is seemingly on the rise in film after breaking through with American audiences as Khan in the latest installment of J.J. Abrams’ Star Trek franchise.
He fits all the prerequisites that a Bond candidate has before taking on the role. He’s very well known in Britain as most know him as the titular character on the BBC series Sherlock with Martin Freeman, but he’s still otherwise unknown to American audiences. Daniel Craig was on a similar rise in Hollywood when he filled Pierce Brosnan’s shoes with Casino Royale but like Cumberbatch he hadn’t hey hit it big as a leading man in Hollywood until he became Bond.
Cumberbatch has displayed the range needed to take on a complex character like the updated Bond has become. He’s shown with his work in Star Trek that he can be cold and dramatic but his work in Sherlock displayed a witty and humorous side that could be crafted into the signature wit of Bond.
In fact his work on Sherlock is a perfect primer for playing Bond as he balances comedic timing with dramatic intensity and flips on a dime between the two. He also becomes a character as watching Sherlock and the Star Trek: Into Darkness shows you that Cumberbatch isn’t going to be typecast once he hits the A-List in Hollywood.
He can be smooth, he’s attractive and when he’s not he makes up for it by being suave and charming. He can also flip the switch and become cold, heartless and driven in an instant and after taking in some of his work, it won’t be hard for you to imagine him in a suit, tipping a martini glass and then turning around to bash some bad guys.
I mean we are talking about a guy who made a bunch of Klingon warriors look foolish, and that specific sequence in Star Trek answers any questions about the limber looking Cumberbatch being able to pull of action sequences.
There’s no indication that Daniel Craig will step aside in his role as Bond in time for Cumberbatch to be young enough to be considered for the role. When Craig steps aside, MGM and Eon will likely be going much younger with the next choice for Bond, but a quick review of Cumberbatch’s work and his range suggest he might be the right choice over the young choice.