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How Old Should Bond Be?


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#1 AndrewBond

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Posted 16 August 2012 - 08:18 PM

It's a simple question, but we've been given a wide range of answers. Sean Connery was 31 when he started filming Dr. No, though he admits he looked older. George Lazenby was 29 while filming On Her Majesty's Secret Service, though few would say he was a model 007. Roger Moore continued until he was 57 (not many are happy about that). Fleming described Bond as in his mid-to-late thirties, with mandatory retirement for a 00 set at 45.

My opinion? James Bond is definitively a man, experienced and worldly. That makes him at least in his mid-thirties. On the other hand, nothing about him should connote old age; he has to be virile enough to attract beautiful women and physically able enough to do his job well.

Connery said in an interview, "The guy should be young, at least under 50". I agree. I think Pierce ended at a perfect time, and hope that no Bond actor plays the role over the age of 49. Craig would turn 50 during filming if a film came out in fall 2018, though. Moore looked relatively young throughout his tenure even though he was way older than he should have been.

On the younger spectrum, Connery is the most iconic Bond, and his older looks allowed him to start at age 31. Lazenby did not seem worldly or experienced enough IMO. With the way young actors in their thirties appear now, I'd be afraid to go lower than 33, but who knows?

My answer: 32-50.

#2 Odd Jobbies

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Posted 16 August 2012 - 08:22 PM

No younger than me... Doh!

#3 Odd Jobbies

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Posted 16 August 2012 - 08:36 PM

But seriously... As far as the source material goes i recall Bond thinking that most agents didn't reach 40, and he didn't expect his own chances were any better.

But realistically speaking, cinematically it'll be tough to find an actor young enough to be in the role for a full cycle before he's forty and possessing the acting chops and maturity to play it convincingly. Maybe someone like Tom Hardy could've pulled it off, but even he's almost over the hill now by Fleming's standards.

IMO, it's roughly between 28 and 48. However, most important is that the script and the story reflect the actors age. For example AVTAK was a younger man's film. Sure there were a few nods to Moore's seniority thrown into the script, but if the character's old or young there should be a thrust throughout that recognises that.

Moreover the story can't be swashbuckling if the actor can't swash his buckles the way he used to. It must lean away from action towards thriller and the action therein should be in the context of his age.

Personally i'd love to see Craig approach 50 in the role and for the films to adapt as i've suggested above. If the audience or Eon can't make Bond without the high octane format they've relied on, then they need to recast. From Wilson's recent comments he appears to be aware of that better than anyone.

#4 SecretAgentFan

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Posted 16 August 2012 - 08:43 PM

Actually, Wilson said nothing about that, just a general "Bond is the star" and that has always been the case as it should be.

Agewise, he should not be too young or too old.

Imo, Craig should go when he's peaked. Brosnan actually was lucky (without realizing it).

#5 Odd Jobbies

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Posted 16 August 2012 - 09:05 PM

Actually, Wilson said nothing about that, just a general "Bond is the star" and that has always been the case as it should be.

Agewise, he should not be too young or too old.

Imo, Craig should go when he's peaked. Brosnan actually was lucky (without realizing it).


Wilson's comments:

"...Recalling the decision to axe Craig’s predecessor, Wilson said: “Pierce [Brosnan] was well-liked and the grosses were going up. But we knew we had to change things before they started to taper off. Bond is the star. He is bigger than any actor that portrays him.”.


My point was that Wilson's comments suggest to me that he isn't willing to mess with the 'high-octane' format, so he's prepared to let any actor go once they're age jeopardises that format.

Perhaps it's not so clear cut for the die-hard Bond fans, but i think elsewhere that the latter Roger Moore movies were a mistake, he was simply too old, and Wilson doesn't want to repeat that. That's how i read his comments.

So, i'll never see Craig playing his age as Bond - a shame IMO, i'd love to see Craig turn down a knighthood on his final mission (a'la TMWTGG).

Instead we'll see him play the immortal late-thirties/early forties Bond until it's a stretch, then adios Daniel.

Edited by Odd Jobbies, 16 August 2012 - 10:47 PM.


#6 plankattack

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Posted 16 August 2012 - 09:29 PM

Too far in either direction is a problem - Sir Rog was clearly too old by AVTAK, and to be honest maybe in OP. And the thought of Henry Cavill in the lead in CR is still, for want of a better word, a joke. (As an aside, Campbell was always a big Cavill proponent - the guy might know how to direct Bond films, but there are moments when he says thing that make me question whether he gets Bond at all).

But how old you are and how old you play are two very different things - the character should be 35-45, but as for the actor's age, as long as I believe it, it does not matter.

An opinion on Laz - I never felt he looked young, but as oft been said, he sometimes looked naive. But for a film that continues to get better with it's own aging, I got comfortable with Laz in the role, a long, long, time ago.

#7 Pussfeller

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Posted 17 August 2012 - 12:49 AM

I'm pretty tolerant of variation, but I'd say that Bond should look no younger than thirty and no older than fifty. But if a young actor looks older or an old actor looks younger, I don't mind. Connery looked too old in YOLT, and he was only 35 during filming.

#8 Odd Jobbies

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Posted 17 August 2012 - 08:13 AM

I'm pretty tolerant of variation, but I'd say that Bond should look no younger than thirty and no older than fifty. But if a young actor looks older or an old actor looks younger, I don't mind. Connery looked too old in YOLT, and he was only 35 during filming.


Sean didn't look over 50 in YOLT !

Surely you mean DAF ?

#9 Dustin

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Posted 17 August 2012 - 10:35 AM

I'd say it depends on the story how old Bond should look. Most of them show him in his fighting prime, so that's what he should look like. Craig looked too old for the origin/prequel storyline, but his looks would have perfectly matched GE's "cold-war relic" line, for which Brosnan looked too young. I could have bought that for TWINE's Brosnan, not for this version that barely had escaped the REMINGTON STEELE set. I even felt Dalton looked a bit too young for the line about hoping M would sack him in TLD.

On the other end of the spectrum there are stories about an ageing Bond. I doubt we well ever see a lot of them, mainly because they imply an end of his career, which never must be seen on screen. Even the one-shot NSNA - that didn't have to worry about a sequel and could do whatever they pleased, inside the limits of the TB screenplay of course - at the end hinted at another crisis Bond would have to help solve. Anyway, for such material you would of course need somebody looking the part also in terms of wrinkles and grey temples. But as I said, not much chance this kind of story is used a lot in the future.

Edited by Dustin, 17 August 2012 - 10:36 AM.





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