Archive for the ‘Casting Bond #6’ Category

Casting Bond #6: Part 3 – Clive Owen

September 12, 2009

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If Owen is cast as the next James Bond 007, it is expected he will sign a three picture deal with Eon Productions, with filming of Bond 21 to possibly begin in January 2006. No official announcements have been made, aside from MGM canning the 18/11/05 release date, but insiders believe a statement on Bond 21 could be made by mid-February.

The odds on Clive Owen being granted a licence to kill as James Bond #6 keep getting cut and cut by British bookmakers. Following his Golden Globe win for Best Supporting Actor in “Closer”, Owen’s odds fell to 8-1. His subsequent Oscar nomination for the same role then slashed his odds to 4-1.

Oscar-nominee Clive Owen has shot down recent reports that he’s a finalist for the role of James Bond in the upcoming Casino Royale. “They have never approached me,” Owen reportedly advised tonight’s episode of Access Hollywood. “It’s nothing but a rumor.”

Over the weekend, a couple of British newspapers ran stories that Clive Owen is set to be announced as James Bond #6. Plaguerizing earlier Internet reports from the Sin City premiere, both the Sunday Express and Sunday Star claimed “inside sources” had told them “Eon and Sony have finally come to an agreement”, and the “film will be a grittier, more realistic approach to Bond”.

Clive Owen had to be one of the most — if not, the most — popular choices for the role of James Bond #6. This top-notch English actor proved that he had the potential to be James Bond in a variety of films including: Croupier, I’ll Sleep When I’m Dead, and The Bourne Identity. In James Bond-fashion, he was even found putting the ‘pedal to the metal’ in BMW’s short films series.

Unlike the rest of the Bond #6 role contenders, Clive Owen had a good resume, and great potential — even more so than the actual James Bond #6, Daniel Craig, who only had a few *quality* major roles to his name prior to donning the classic tuxedo. His looks were very Bondian, though I can’t complain that Craig doesn’t look the part. Had Clive Owen been cast as Bond, I think he would’ve proved to be more of a Timothy Dalton-styled Bond, as opposed to the generic and often silly character portrayed by Pierce Brosnan.

I can recall Owen being a fan favorite around Bond fan forums, during the time of speculation. Unfortunately for the band wagon, though, Clive Owen never did make the cut. Is there a chance that he’ll ever be cast as James Bond? I highly doubt it. But, it doesn’t seem as if Owen has any hard feelings about the decision. In September 2006, Owen stated:

I think when Craig first took the part he got a pretty rough ride, which to a certain extent is inevitable because there are so many different people who have so many different ideas about something like that… You are never going to please everybody…  The thing that is really exciting is that he is a proper actor… He is not shallow or posing, they have cast a really serious actor and I think that when the film comes out everyone will see what a great choice he was.

Owen also took a couple of Bond-esque/spy roles, following the releases of Casino Royale and Quantum of Solace, including The International and Duplicity, acting alongside big names like Naomi Watts, Ulrich Thomsen, Julia Roberts, and Tom Wilkinson.

If you are curious as to what Owen may have looked like in the role of James Bond, though, you could always check out this fan trailer compiled by renowned editor Thomas Waldek. Perhaps it’ll provide you with a bit of closure…


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Casting Bond #6 ::: Part 2 – Goran Visnjic

July 4, 2009

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Croatian actor Goran Visnjic is being seriously considered as the sixth 007. He has reportedly been in multiple meetings with “Casino Royale” director Martin Campbell throughout March. It is understood that he is a favourite of Campbell to take over from Pierce Brosnan.

Established big- screen names such as Clive Owen and Dougray Scott are being overlooked in favour of this shortlist.

ER-hunk Goran Visnjic, 32, posh Henry Cavill, 22, Aussie Alex O’Lachlan, 28, and veteran Scot Ewan Stewart, 47, took part in a series of screen tests last week. They played out love scenes with Emmerdale’s Camilla Power – tipped to be a Bond girl.

There was a time in which many of us were sure that Goran Visnjic was going to be casted as James Bond #6. Martin Campbell seemed to like him, and the EON producers found him worthy of a screen test. But in the end, the role was given to Daniel Craig, of course — Why? Debbie McWilliams, the casting director for Casino Royale, told the Australian press in December of 2006 that Visnjic was “just too young”.

I think that Visnjic had the looks of a potential Bond actor. Actually, I think he was the best candidate of the Final Four. He was handsome, and not too bad of an actor from what I saw of him in ER. His resume wasn’t good though, and still isn’t. Ice Age, Elektra, and a cob-job made-for-TV version of Spartacus. If I saw that on someone’s resume, I suppose I wouldn’t hire them either.

But, his potential involvement with Bond wasn’t cut short when Daniel Craig was casted. Following the success of Casino Royale, a Croatian newspaper reported:

“when auditioning for Bond in Casino Royale, Goran Visnjic did such a good job he burned into the minds of the EON psyche. So powerful was his performance that he single handly won the role of next Bond Baddie in the upcoming Bond22 film with Daniel Craig.”

“It is rumoured that Goran’s agent has confirmed the star is working on something massive and will be taking a well earned break from ER in late 2007. It is rumoured that Goran will be playing Vesper Lynd’s former love interest and that his role will be sizable, meanacing and significant to the plot of the upcoming Bond adventure. Bond 22 is continuation of Casino Royale and will be forming a trilogy story for Daniel Craig’s rough and tough Bond.”

This obviously fell through, too, and we haven’t heard of Visnjic in the Bond news ever since.

I have to say, though – Visnjic does look a bit like actor Simon Kassianides, who played Yusef (Vesper’s lover) in Quantum of Solace.

Overall, I think Visnjic had a bit more potential than the other candidates. Surely more than that Ewan Stewart character. But obviously EON wanted to redo James Bond’s image, rather than having him look pretty-boy Brosnan. With the casting of Daniel Craig, it seems as if they wanted a bit more rugged, manly actor to play Fleming’s character. Keeping this in mind, and with his age thrown into the equation, Visnjic didn’t have much of a chance.

… By the way — how the hell do you pronounce Visnjic, anyway?

Goran Visnjic - James Bond #6 Candidate

Goran Visnjic - James Bond #6 Candidate

Casting Bond #6 ::: Part One – Ewan Stewart

June 15, 2009

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Final Four James Bond #6 Candidates
24th July 2005

Following last week’s reports that the search for the next James Bond has been whittled down to a shortlist of four contenders, this weekend the British press revealed who the final four candidates are: Goran Visnjic (33), Henry Cavill (22), Alex O’Lachlan (28 ) and Ewan Stewart (47)

… These are the four heart-throbs battling it out to be the next James Bond…

EWAN STEWART AGED 47

SON of Scottish music hall legend Andy Stewart – who had a hit in 1961 and 1989 with Donald Where’s Yer Troosers. First found fame in late-70s TV drama All Quiet On The Western Front. Has also appeared in The Professionals, Only Fools And Horses and The Bill. Film-wise, starred as First Officer Murdoch in Titanic. Other major film credits include Coll in Rob Roy. Married to actress Clare Byam-Shaw.

If you’ll recall, the headlines of many major news sites (Bond and non-Bond) once read that Ewan Stewart was a strong contender for the role of James Bond #6.

Now that we’re two films into Daniel Craig’s Bond career, with another on its way, I thought it’d be fun and interesting to revisit the news leading up to the casting of James Bond #6.

Ewan Stewart was surely an interesting casting choice. The only similarity he seems to hold with past Bond actors is that he was 47-years-old at the time, which is only about a year or so off from the age in which Roger Moore started his Bond career. The difference, though, is that Sir Roger looked the part, and looked younger than he actually was. Ewan Stewart was severely balding at this point in his career. Also, had he been casted, it would’ve been another year until production wrapped up. At least Sir Sean Connery started his Bond career out with hair.

I’m not sure what the producers were thinking at this point. It must’ve been quite a pathetic and confusing time for them.

Maybe they wanted to kill Bond off?

After all, in a film like that, a balding, stocky, and nearly 50-years-old actor would’ve perhaps fit the part — maybe Bond could’ve died of a heart attack? Or a henchman could’ve sniped him, easily — the glare from that bald head would’ve been a dead giveaway.

Maybe they wanted to do a flash-back sequence; Stewart would’ve played a retired, balding James Bond in his later years, while the film would flash back to a younger Bond’s experience at Casino Royale? Maybe they would’ve thrown a shag, mop wig on Stewart’s head for the younger Bond scenes? Who knows?…

Either way, whether you’re a Craig fan or not, I think you should be thankful that this casting option was rejected. Though I’m not a fan of the new direction that the series has taken, this casting would’ve surely made the series into a confirmed laughing-stock.

Goran Visnjic, Henry Cavill,  or Alex O’Lachlan, however, may have made for a different story…

Stay tuned for Part Two.

Ewan Stewart - James Bond #6 Candidate

Ewan Stewart - James Bond #6 Candidate