Tedious 007 search : our two penn’orth
Rumors spread over James Bond-related Internet fan sites Tuesday that a final decision on who will star in Casino Royale, the next 007 film, will be made next week. The CommanderBond.net site claimed that Sony executives will be meeting with Eon Productions execs next week in London, where the decision will be made. It said that while Pierce Brosnan had been removed from the running months ago, he now not only is being considered to star in the 21st Bond film, but that he is regarded as the frontrunner. "A senior Sony executive has told a member of the Casino Royale production team that the new Bond will 'probably' be Pierce Brosnan," the website said. However, it also indicated that actor Daniel Craig remains the "preferred" choice of Eon, the Bond movies' producers. Today's (Wednesday) Daily Variety said that Sony and Eon are completing screen tests for the movie this week and that the frontrunners are Craig, Henry Cavill, Sam Worthington and Goran Visnjic.
I've never been a great fan of the Bond movies – apart from perhaps On Her Majesty's Secret Service – and have long been bored beyond rigid by the seemingly neverending speculation and rumour about who's going to be the "next" 007. That's 'next' in speechmarks, because some British bookies reckon Pierce Brosnan will, despite his earlier 'departure' from the franchise, in fact be returning to the role in the upcoming Casino Royale.
Today's 'announcement' from Sony/Eon did spark my interest, however, as this is the first time I've heard Aussie thesp Sam Worthington's name entering the frame.
Here's what I said about Worthington last year in my review of Somersault:
Crucially, this isn't just Heidi's story: and it's only when Worthington's terse, ockerish Joe becomes a major figure in the drama – and is forced to grow up very fast – that Somersault really gets going. They make an attractive couple – he a charismatic cross between Ewan McGregor and Pierce Brosnan; she an elfin beauty despite looking like Jack 'White Stripes' White from certain angles. And Shortland coaxes such moving, convincing characterisations out of them that, despite the age-gap that makes them an impractical long-term couple, we find ourselves firmly rooting for their hard-won happiness, either together or apart.
In the original novel of Casino Royale Bond is 27 – and if the producers do "go young" with a view to tackling Matt Damon's Jason Bourne head-on, Worthington would seem by some way the best man for the job. See you at the bookies.
28th/29th September, 2005