On one hand, the amiable Daniel Craig seems comfortable with both the role of James Bond and the stardom the role has given him.
On the other hand, he's pointedly refused to speculate on how long he might stay with the role. With three Bond films under his belt, he has done one fewer than Pierce Brosnan and one more than Timothy Dalton.
So any future storm of speculation over whom to cast next as 007 is in, let's say, the tropical depression stage.
But if the casting call went out today, here are some likely candidates.
Where you've seen him: As the rookie stripper in Magic Mike. As Number Four in sci-fi's I Am Number Four.
Why Bond?: In a way he started training for the role years ago. He was teen spy Alex Rider in Stormbreaker -- a wannabe franchise that did well Over 'Ome in the U.K. but bombed in North America.
Why not?: He's only 22. But if Craig waits three years before quitting ...
Where you've seen him: Um, Mad Men.
Why Bond?: He's got the looks, he can pull off a tuxedo, and he would bring the kind of practical ruthlessness that Fleming envisioned and that Craig has -- with more humour.
Why not?: He's not British. Few non-Brits have gotten very far in the Bond steeplechase to date.
Where you've seen him: The Wire, The Office, Thor, Ridley Scott's Prometheus
Why Bond?: Already played a black Norse god, so why not? Under-the-radar he's considered one of the best actors working. There's been talk of an African-American Bond since Billy Dee Williams. He's not averse to the role.
Why not?: There'd be inevitable controversy (from "purists" and, yes, racists), and big studios are not big on gambles.
Where you've seen him: Inglourious Basterds, X-Men: First Class, Ridley Scott's Prometheus
Why Bond?: Good looks and icy demeanor. Another actor who could turn Bond into the cold-blooded killer he's licensed to be.
Why not?: Maybe a little too cold. He seems more comfortable in villain roles (X-Men), could-be villainous roles (the android in Prometheus) or sociopathological ones (Shame).
Where you've seen him: Immortals, The Tudors. You'll soon see him as Superman in Man of Steel.
Why Bond?: He was on the short list when Craig was hired, and the Broccolis have a history of giving second looks. He has that "veddy British" thing going if they want a more sophisticated Bond. And after the last Superman movie tanked, this next one is no sure thing -- which means he might be available.
Why not?: On the other hand, it's hard to imagine the studio making the same mistakes twice. This Superman has a good chance be a hit, which means Cavill could end up going to his grave with an S on his chest.
Other possibles: Benedict Cumberbatch, Tom Hardy, Jim Sturgess.
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