The 007 youth movement rolls on. If a series of Young Bond novels wasn’t enough for fans, CBn has learned that Eon Productions and Sony are considering some VERY young actors for the role of James Bond in Casino Royale. Some of the actors being considered are unknowns in their mid and early 20s. One hot contender is only 22.
Clive Owen, who many feel would make an ideal 007, recently expressed puzzlement that he hasn’t been approached for the role. In an interview with UK Cosmopolitan, Owen states, “I’ve always wanted to be James Bond. I’ll pour it all out right now. Why won’t they offer it to me?”
A source had the answer for CBn, “He’s too old.”
The search for a young Bond is justified by the comments of director Martin Campbell that Casino Royale will portray Bond’s first mission as a double-oh agent (leading some to dub the 21st Bond film “Bond Begins”). But is it conceivable that a man could reach the rank of Commander in the Royal Navy and achieve 00 status in the British Secrete Service all by age 22?
This isn’t the first time Eon has considered a radically younger 007. Timothy Dalton was first approached to play Bond when he was only 26 (some sources put his age 24), but told Cubby Broccoli that he felt he was just too young for the part. Most Bond fans agree, saying Bond should be in his 30s at the very least.
However, many don’t realize that we’ve already had a twenty-something 007 in George Lazenby who was only 29 when he slipped on the tux for On Her Majesty’s Secret Service. And some shrug their shoulders at age, saying it’s all about the individual actor and how he plays the part. As long as the actor has the gravitas of a Sean Connery, they could accept him as 007.
Bond fans need not panic (or celebrate) just yet. The search for the new 007 is far from over and anything can happen. Despite almost daily tabloid reports of a new “frontrunner,” it’s possible the short list is still very long and final screen-testing may not get underway until Martin Campbell is finished with The Legend of Zorro in mid-summer.
But as it stands at the moment, the idea of a very young 007 is definitely “on the table.”