Daniel Craig is playing James Bond in Spectre and in one more film after that, but when that’s done I’d be hugely in favor of Tom Hardy taking over. Hardy looks dangerous. He doesn’t have Sean Connery‘s classy-casino-player handsomeness but he has that simmering brute beast thing. No one would have any trouble believing that Hardy’s 007 could not only kick OddJob’s ass but snap his neck like a breadstick. Yesterday Vanity Fair‘s Joanna Robinson wrote that Hardy is gaining on Idris Elba as the most popular Bond contender among English bookmakers. What do gamblers or bookies know? Nothing. Okay, maybe something. But the instant I imagined Hardy as Bond I knew. He’s perfect.
Is there any way to be a Hardy-over-Elba guy without sounding like a racist? No, there isn’t. Right now Glenn Kenny is starting to tweet something acidic and disdainful about the subterranean meaning of this post. As everyone knows by now Bond novelist Anthony Horowitz recently said that Elba is “a bit too rough to play the part…it’s not a color issue…I think he is probably a bit too ‘street’ for Bond.” Everyone presumed that Horowitz used “street” as a substitute for “urban.” I think he meant to say that Elba doesn’t look particularly upmarket — that he lacks that special 007 vibe of a professional killer with a certain elite urbanity and polish. Is that also a racist thought?
I only know that Hardy, to me, looks like a much more threatening guy than Elba. Elba is rugged-looking enough but at the same time there’s something a little too amiable and moderate about him. He seems fairly willing to listen, open to reason — to some kind of civilized solution. But when Hardy gets that look in his eyes you have a feeling he could do anything. He could bite someone’s nose off.
Maybe I’ll feel differently after I see Elba’s performance in Beasts of No Nation, but I have this gut feeling about Hardy. He’s the guy….if he wants the role. And I wouldn’t blame him for a second if he doesn’t.