Two 007s in ‘James Bond 26’? Why the Rumor is Highly Unlikely

A new rumor about the next Bond adventure is currently circulating. However, as spectacular as it may sound, it is also highly improbable.

Since Daniel Craig hung up his career as James Bond after his fifth and final appearance as Her Majesty’s agent in “No Time to Die” after 15 years, the rumor mill has been working overtime. Barbara Broccoli and Michael G. Wilson, the minds behind Eon Productions responsible for the long-running film series, have been relatively tight-lipped about the 26th Bond film, especially regarding the next actor. Granted, dedicated fans now know that the actor will be male and British. That’s almost everything noteworthy that has been revealed in the two years since Craig’s spectacular exit.

The most famous cinematic agent of all time is said to be getting a makeover for a new generation. He must confront the new reality, and until the new James Bond is determined, work on a screenplay cannot even begin, emphasized Broccoli in the past. This discovery process needs to be well thought out, so it’s not surprising that the producer recently, much to the fans’ dismay, mentioned that the modernization of 007 had “not even begun.”

Recently, both the Daily Mirror and the tabloid The Sun (in mutual fertilization) reported that there is a brand new favorite for the role of James Bond. The surprising part: He is only the favorite for one of the two Bonds in the next film. What? The double trouble in the world of espionage? Not quite. It is said that the decision-makers are looking for both a young and an older actor to possibly portray the same role in the past and in the present/future. Paul Mescal (“Aftersun”) is reportedly the favorite for the young Bond, currently working on Ridley Scott’s epic “Gladiator 2” in Malta.

In 2020, he expressed his interest in James Bond, but immediately voiced concerns about whether he would ever have the opportunity: “Should it ever cross my path, we would discuss it.” According to The Sun, he is currently in talks. Among the numerous other alleged Bond candidates is also Regé-Jean Page. And here’s what the “Bridgerton” star had to say:

Why this new Bond rumor should be taken with absolute caution Yes, it is entirely possible that Barbara Broccoli and Michael G. Wilson could have spoken with Paul Mescal. He is considered one of the rising young stars in Britain, showcasing his immense acting range in films like “Aftersun” and “Normal People.” At the same time, his career only began in 2019, so he is still a relatively unknown quantity for many. Additionally, the Irish actor, at 27, is younger than the other candidates like Richard Madden (37), Regé-Jean Page (35), Henry Cavill (40), and even Aaron Taylor-Johnson (33), making him the perfect candidate to serve as Her Majesty’s agent for 15 years or more.

However, this may already be the only element of the recent rumor with some credibility. It is highly unlikely that the 26th Bond film will feature two James Bond actors. The conceivable scenarios are twofold: firstly, an older Bond could reflect on his early days at MI6, before he had the 00 license and had to earn it. But this has already been explored in “James Bond 007: Casino Royale,” Daniel Craig’s debut in 2006.

Secondly, it could mean showcasing the development of a young and fiery James Bond into an experienced agent. In both cases, it would be more suitable for a one-shot, a standalone film that remains self-contained. However, this is not the intention of those in charge, especially not what Amazon wants. Who wants to see an old Bond reminiscing about a particularly tricky mission at the beginning of each film in a rocking chair?

Moreover, with today’s digital de-aging technology, it is absolutely no problem to make Paul Mescal or any other candidate appear older or younger. There is no longer a need for two different actors. And Tom Holland had revealed in early 2022 that his proposal for an origin story for young Bond had failed with Broccoli and Wilson.

Bond must, in any case, remain British and male, as the responsible parties have communicated multiple times in the past. However, he should also be a veteran, not a young upstart, nor an old warhorse. Wilson emphasized this during the Bond film anniversary at the British Film Institute:

“In the past, we have tried to look at younger people. But the attempt to visualize that didn’t work. Remember that Bond is a veteran. He has some experience. He is a person who, so to speak, has been through all the wars. He was probably in the SAS or something. He’s not just some high school kid you throw into this role and he takes off. That’s why it’s more suitable for someone over 30.”

Fans of Daniel Craig’s Bond era can enjoy all his films in excellent 4K resolution on Amazon.

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