Monday, November 27, 2006

Having seen the new "retro-Bond" movie, Casino Royale, I can finally say with certainty that Daniel Craig is truly the wrong choice to replace Pierce Brosnan as James Bond.

I won't get into the whole argument about whether he's handsome enough or suave enough to pull off the role--the simple fact of the matter, the only reason which firmly and absolutely counts, is that he simply isn't a good enough actor to portray such an iconic figure. Barbara Broccoli's decision to cast Craig as Bond is as shaky a choice as it would be to go back in time and recast the role of Captain Kirk with diminuitive actor Verne Troyer("Mini-Me" from the Austin Powers series). It simply wouldn't work. The box office receipts are already revealing that the loveable penguins of "Happy Feet" have bested our man Bond at the box office. Since movies rarely pick up in audience attendance their second week out, Eon & Sony Productions may be looking to replace Mr. Craig for the next outing. And as always, I have a suggestion about that.

To portray James Bond, you need an actor willing to delve deeply into the role, to commit himself fully, to take risks. And for that, you need Bale...Christian Bale. Herewith, my own 007 reasons Bale should be Bond...

001 - He's a risk-taker
From the first time he was on screen(Steven Spielberg's "Empire of the Sun") to "Batman Begins", "Harsh Times" and beyond, Christian has been willing to go the distance for a role no matter where it takes him. If you want proof beyond refute, check out "The Machinist" which could certainly qualify as one of the most shocking films of all time. Not for its content, but for the lengths Bale went to in order to play the emaciated main character. Bale simply stopped eating anything but fruits and water for over a month to prepare for this role, rather than let the filmmakers rely on CGI. It's a powerful telling of how an actor is willing to both suffer and sacrifice for his craft in order to bring something important to his role, and deliver a visceral impact on moviegoers. This is a quality only a handful of actors possess in this day and age.

002 - Familiarity
Christian Bale is a real human being, not caught up in the glitz and trappings of celebrity. It shows in every interview he does and the way he carries himself in public, seeming to actually be uncomfortable with people shouting his name and the attention of the press at premieres. This quality and sense of being able to manage his ego makes him more real to folks, more down-to-earth...and people respond to that. Yes, few of his films have ever been legitimate "hits" ("Batman Begins'" success owes more to the title character initially) but now that audiences know who he is, they have come to expect great performances from him, no matter the material. The familiarity aspect means he would be a big draw in an initial outing as the new James Bond.

003 - Physicality
Bale went immediately from the reed-thin gaunt of his "Machinist" character to a bulked-up, buff and ready-to-rumble Batman. In the latter movie's training and fight sequences, audiences had no doubt in their minds that Bale's Bruce Wayne/Batman was more than capable of handling himself. If he were to become Bond, it would be absolutely believable, no matter who his opponent was, that the bad guy wouldn't stand a chance.

004 - Intelligence
James Bond isn't a simple-minded brute, as portrayed in certain sequences within "Casino Royale" by Daniel Craig. He is an effective, intelligent killing machine who uses blunt force when necessary, but is fully capable of thinking his way out of any situation. Christian Bale is certainly intelligent enough to pull off the role of Bond--quips and all--should he be given the chance.

005 - Charisma
Christian Bale has "it". That certain style, that way of carrying himself, that few actors of his youthful years possess. Charisma. As both person and actor, when he is on screen, you can't look away, because you are always interested in what he's going to do next. His voice and mannerisms make him an excellent choice to play a secret agent who may have to kill an opponent in one moment and seduce an enemy's mistress the next. And if he were to introduce himself as "Bond...James Bond", you'd believe it.

006 - Looks
Alright, let's just get it out of the way...yes, the man is handsome. If you're looking for no other quality in a Bond than whether he's good looking enough to carry on in the part, then it's fair to say that just as Pierce Brosnan was the true heir to Connery's throne, then Christian Bale should be the rightful successor to Brosnan's reign. Hell, if Barbara Broccoli and Michael G. Wilson wanted to do a re-boot of the franchise, I would've believed Bale as a just-slightly younger version of Pierce/Bond on his first mission. The only way I can believe Daniel Craig one day grows up to be Pierce Brosnan is if in his next outing, he's caught in a massive explosion which blows his face off and "M" orders Pierce's face CGI-grafted to his skull for all eternity.

007 - Love Scenes
As with any Bond movie, there will be scenes where the hero has to make out with several sensual ladies. Even though Katie Holmes was dating Tom Cruise while she worked on "Batman Begins", I'd doubt she was actually thinking of ol' Tom when she was kissing Christian. There probably wouldn't be any complaints from any woman who had to share such a moment on-screen with Mr. Bale. The ability to portray sensuality and raw animal magnetism on screen is as essential to an actor portraying Bond as the ability to handle a gun...or drive a manual transmission. Or not lose teeth during fight scenes. Christian is also a clear winner in this category.

And those are my 007 reasons Christian Bale should be the next man to utter the famous intro of "Bond...James Bond". You may agree or disagree as you like, of course--but how cool would it be for Christian to hop from hit franchise(Batman) to hit franchise(Bond) every couple of years? That way, no matter your choice in heroes, you'd be certain one of them would be satisfied when the summer months roll around to your multiplex. It would be nice to imagine the folks at Eon/Sony reading this and stroking their chins thoughtfully. Then perhaps, given the sure-to-come disappointment of "Casino Royale", their considerations for the next man to utter the most famous intro in movie history would be Bale...Christian Bale.


Blogger Gevalher said...

Interesting to say the least.

What in the hell (or heaven) happenned, that Craig was allowed to catch such an inconic role.
By the way, my mother who liked every encarnation of Bond from Connery to Brosnan only uttered: What an UGLY man, at the sight of the new Bond

10:53 AM  
Blogger Lance said...


Thanks for commenting! Obviously, I agree that the temperature in hell must've clocked in at a cool -100 degrees in order for Craig to land this part. We can only hope that after the less-than-stellar performance of this film, the producers will reconsider Craig's three-picture deal and either ask Pierce back or go with our man Bale.


4:51 PM  
Blogger Walter Louisg said...

I've been surprised by the Craig-hate. I've seen all of the Bond films from Connery to Bronson, and I think Casino Royale is one of the best. Craig is fantastic. I can understand those who don't like the more grounded approach to Bond, preferring the more fantasy spy feel of previous films. But I like the new more gritty Bond. I can't wait to see Craig in the next one.


11:10 AM  
Blogger chsguyi69 said...

I totally agree, a Bond Begins works with Bale. I thought that before reading your comments. Craig would have made a better bad guy, like he was in The Power of One. Lets hope the reconsider their choices and put Bale in the role.

12:17 AM  
Blogger Lance said...

To Walter:

I honestly think the Craig-hate has for the most part been misdirected to Daniel because of the studio--in the shameful way they dismissed Pierce and because of their disregard for the fans by not giving heed to the resultant outcry. However, Daniel did bring a lot of it upon himself by showing an almost 100% lack of knowledge about the character upon taking the role. Any actor should research a role before deciding upon it, of course, but one must be especially careful when taking on an iconic character that's been around for more than a generation.

It's as if someone were to take on the role of Captain Kirk(a possibility for Star Trek XI) and then say with a shrug at a press conference, "I dunno, I'm playing some dude named Kirk somebody..." From the outset, Craig has shown an immense lack of knowledge, if not outright disrespect, for a character he chose to play--no one put a gun to his head. It didn't help that throughout the majority of the backlash, Broccoli and her cohorts pretty much didn't really come to his defense, instead leaving the other actors to do so. Bad job all around.

9:13 PM  
Blogger oriontoo said...

The mere FACT that Sean Connery and Ian Flemming loyalists consider Daniel Criag the rightful heir to the James Bond role, says it all!!! There is no question that Bale has the chops but he simply DOES NOT have the swagger! I am a HUGE fan of Bales and have seen almost all of this films...From Treasure Island thru The Machinist..The man is dedicated to his craft. However, for Casino Royale, Bond is meant to be gruff, unrefined, and the antithesis of the stereotypical Bond. Daniel Graig NAILS it! Few TRUE Bond fans (read the books, etc.) disagree...PLEASE read the fan sites. Bale is (aprdon the term) too soft to pull off the Casino Royale bond...As for Daniel Craigs acting abilties, please refer to the NUMEROUS sites citing him as the best "actor" to ever portray bond...In addition, I ask you to refer to his repetoir to refute unadventurous roles...Seen The Jacket at all!!! Quit hating and recognize that a great performance and wonderful choice has been made..or are you up to refuting the millions of TRUE James BOnd fans that are on board withDaniel Craig!?!?! Can't WAIT for a rebuttal!!!

11:01 PM  
Blogger oriontoo said...

Sorry for the duplicated response...New to the blogger site. That aside, please take a look into the responses from the millions of dedicated, trans-generational, fans of James Bond who feel that this role has finally gotten some footing and fallen into the proper hands. Ian Fleming's image of bond is far from what has recently been popularized...Let's look back..How refined and suave was the +6 foot tall, gruff Scottsman who originally portrayed him..At least he LOOKED liek someone capable of dealing a few blows...Would YOU be intimidated be Pierce Brosnan?!?! I LOVE the franchise and have grown up ABSORBING Ian Fleming (pardon the prior mispelling...keystroke matter), and Sean Connery and Daniel Craig are IT!!! Like I said before...Sean Connery (true Flemingphile) feels that Craig is the best man for the job. I think that most everyone here are fans of the franchise but feel "disenfranchised" by Mr. Brosnan's departure (which was his OWN choice since he wanted to "leave on a high note!" and not accept his option for another film) and Bales non-existent consideration....Really, why was he never comnsidered in the first place?! Please note additionally that Reviewers gave a positive response to the film, especially to Craig's performance. Rotten Tomatoes gave the movie an aggregate rating of 94%, the highest rating for a wide-release of the year and the third-highest rating for a Bond film, to The Spy Who Loved Me and From Russia with Love which both received a 96%[29][30] and Dr. No, which received a 97% rating from the site.[31] The Users' rating was 92%. To clarify, Pierce was not disregarded, he chose to not accept the contracted option for another bond film...Craig nails it...The critics agree, the fans agree, I agree (big deal really!!), and James Bond (Sean Connery will always be THE James Bond to me) agrees. I apologize as this all seems VERY pointed, but people need to recognize the performance and NOT the politics or personality in acting...Daniel Craig personified James Bond exactly as the Franchise and Producers wanted him to! Will talk agin when the next Bond film is out.

11:26 PM  
Blogger Lance said...

Hello Oriontoo;

First of all, allow me to apologize for taking so long to get back to you; I've been busy with other projects. Thanks for writing, as it's nice to receive other opinions, even if I don't agree with them. Let me address your concerns as succinctly as I can...

It is NOT a fact that Sean Connery or ALL Fleming "loyalists" consider Craig the rightful heir to the role. Sir Sean Connery has had the good grace to stay out of the whole "I love/I hate Craig" debacle, just as he's stood neutral on all his predecessors. Also, just because some people like Craig as Bond and some don't, doesn't make one group or the other any more of a "true" group of fans. Any "true" Bond fan is someone who has either read the books or seen the movies and come to appreciate the CHARACTER enough to continue following his adventures throughout the years. It is the repeat viewings, the dedication to the following, which makes a "true" Bond fan...not whether or not a particular actor is liked or not in the role. I wish more people could learn to agree to disagree on this point.

As for Bale being too soft to pull off the Bond role...have you seen The Machinist? Batman Begins? American Psycho? Harsh Times? There is no doubt that Bale has what it takes to portray Bond, whether he is required to be gruff and unrefined, or suave and sophisticated. And we all know the man is adept by now at doing action scenes.

Yes, there are numerous sites dedicated to espousing the "talents" of Mister Craig...but far more are critical of him in regards to his chops. If not for the presence of Colm Meany, "Layer Cake" would have fallen apart. Craig was absolutely forgettable as Paul Newman's son in "Road To Perdition". Yes, he does possess the rough-hewn ability to pull off an agent at the very beginning of his career, but I doubt very seriously that he can ever be convincing as a more evolved, suave and sophisticated agent capable of getting off a quick bon mot while dispatching a would-be world conqueror. Just ain't gonna happen.

As for Pierce...he NEVER left the franchise of his own accord, and I can't believe you even said that, given the numerous and easily researchable articles detailing how Pierce was on the set of a different movie when he received the call that negotiations between the Broccolis and his agent had broken down, and Pierce was FIRED! Yes, he had the gentlemanly grace to give Craig nothing but best wishes when they bumped into each other at a party, but Pierce did not for one second wish to leave the Bond role at that time. This was certainly not the best way to treat the man who helped revive the franchise and earned the nickname "The Billion Dollar Bond".

Yes, gave "Casino Royale" very positive reviews...but these are the same critics who liked the reprehensible abomination known as "Superman Returns", and so I can only take the advice of ANY reviewer on that site with a grain of salt.

In closing, let me state that a lot of anger toward Craig has been misdirected. The majority of blame should go to Sony/Eon and the Broccolis, who had a winning actor on their hands but chose to let him go in order to not have to give Pierce any creative rights as to the character's direction, or to have to pay him more money. If they had treated Pierce with more dignity and simply let him do one more picture THEN retire, I'm certain the fans would have given Craig(or any other actor for that matter) a fair shake, in order to see what they were capable of, and all of this pro/anti-Craig nonsense would never have happened.

I'm looking forward to hearing from you again when the next "Bond" film comes out!


10:49 PM  
Blogger Nicola said...

Casino Royale is a different 007. The last few were more of a serial rather than original as this one appeared to me. Craig therefore was the right man to discontinue the series and turn into something new. Connery and Brosnan have also given their positive comments and who more than the best Bond actor is qualified to judge? Loved it and can't wait for the next one...!

2:53 PM  
Blogger Nomi said...

Oh my god! You Craig haters are absolutely pathetic! Yes everyone has a right to his or hers own opinion but please guys think about the facts here, Daniel Craig is an amzing actor as is Bale no doubt. But Craig for one has the ability to look like a guy who is more than willing to get his hands dirty if needs be and looks like a true Bond in his dinner jacket. He has the posture of a confident and refined man and this shows in his grooming. Bale in no way looks refined, just an average guy who although is good looking, looks like any other good looking guy. Daniel Craig is chizzled and looks like a man who could rip your head off, remember in casino royale bond has just left the navy and needs room to mature in his tastes and habits. Daniel Craig looks as if he can make a mistake, Bale however looks too slick! I mean come off it, its time to give Daniel a break now, he was absolutely awesome in Casino royale and how can tell bond fans that tens of thousands of people are boycotting the film etc etc is absolutely unbelievable. Don't get me wrong people, im sure there were a few people who did boycott the film, but i bet even the creators of craignotbond gave in and watched it, liked what they saw but out of sheer stubborness are misleading confused bond fans. If tens of thousands of people boycotted Casino Royale then explain why it was the highest grossing Bond film of all time? it made over half a billion dollors at the box office!!!

So lets give our new bond some more support! It is our duty as bond fans to enjoy the character of Bond not the actor who plays the character and in my opinion and probably millions of other Bond fans out there if not "tens of thousands" will agree; Craig is Bond, James Bond.

4:20 AM  
Blogger Nomi said...

ps Bale is too much of a pretty boy! All the actors who have played Bond have all been good looking but in a masculine way not a brad pitt kinda way. Plus Bond is a womansiser, Bale is married, Have you seen the women Daniel Craig has dated in his pre-Bond days? Sienna Miller, Kate Moss?? Ring any bells???

Women get attracted to Bond not because of his looks, but his mystique and the sense of danger he brings!

4:27 AM  
Blogger Yatebale Xeta said...

Bale should be Bond, and the best characters because he's the best actor, :)

2:35 PM  
Blogger popa said...

Hello, i just sign and iam a new member (fan) of pinewood studios. Iam from México city so iam sorry for my english. Iam a big fan of the 007 movies and casino royale was one of the best bond movies but quantum solance was not. Dont get me wrong, i like everything about james bond, even Daniel Craig was pretty good in casino royale. The truth is that i didnt like him as james bond but he proved me wrong. The thing about quantum solance is that it didnt match casino royale and it remind me of the movies when Thimoty Dalton was bond (licence to kill & the living daylights). Those two movies whit Dalton where not bad but they didnt had the quialifications that a 007 movie has to have. Just like quantum solance. The thing is that i like Daniel Criag as bond, he is a good actor, he is fresh and more violent and maybe he can do one more bond movie but he is not competition to Roger Moore, Pirece Brosnan or Sean Connery. He dosint have the class, the charm or the sofistication that James Bond requires. I can even imagine him as the bad guy in a Bond movie and that never happend with Connery, Moore or Brosnan. He is good for making money for the movie industrie but not becasue of him, but becasue the bond movies have become more violent and people are reacting well to that. Before Daniel Craig was choosen as bond, people heard some names but i never heard the name of one actor that was born for playing bond more than anyone. We heard the names of Jude law, Hugh Jackman, Eric Bana, Hugh Grant, Gerd Butler, Ewan McGregor, Jason Statham, Colin Farrel, Ralph Finness, Iain Glen, Ioan Gruuford, Julian Mcmahon, Dominic West, Dougray Scott, Colin Salmon, Clive Owen, the late Heath Ledger or even Orland bloom (are you kidding me)???? Of those guys maybe Jude Law, Jason Statham, Colin Salmon or Clive Owen can make good bonds but you have to pick the best and non of them are the best, not even Daniel Craig, whi is the actual bond. One afternoon in 2001 i was watching at home AMERICAN PSYCHO and when i saw him i knew he was borne to play bond. He has charm, class, elegance, sofistication, toughness and the most important thing is that he is a bluckbuster. People in charge; what are you thinking? Are you blind? Two words: Christian Bale

8:22 PM  
Blogger nickgirl87 said...

Oh my goodness! You are totally right, Christian Bale would make the perfect James Bond.
To be totally honest, the first time I saw a Daniel Craig/James Bond film..... I loved it. Daniel Craig just plays him well. He has "it" and by "it" I mean what it takes to be Bond. Starting about two weeks ago though, after I first watched "The Dark Knight," I have found myself thinking that maybe Christian Bale would be a better Bond. And he would make all of the James Bond fans, who think he should have dark hair, happy. And his acting is a bit better than Craig's. You are right about the fact that he really get's into his roles. Bale definietly has my vote as the new Bond.And Daniel Craig only has one more Bond movie in his contract, I believe.So maybe Bale might be the next Bond......

9:24 PM  
Blogger am_sr said...

realmente estoy cien por ciento con tus cavilaciones, me pareceria un james boon, a la altura de sean connery, cuando comenzo la secuela,tengo todas las peliculas porque soy un fan de james boon y despues no me guto ninguna, salvo prossman, asi que christian bale seri el perfecto, porque se pondria en la piel y mente, como hizo con otros personajes, el maquinista, batman

1:58 AM  
Blogger pathtolight said...

Watching the Oscars and seeing Bale, I thought "Bond." I looked it up and found this. Total agreement here.

5:17 PM  
Blogger William Wayne said...

Bale can play any role!!! From Batman to Bateman to Bond let him have the role.

4:54 AM  

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