I have been absent as of late. I decided to give you lot a Christmas break from Question of the Month, but when it came to sending out the January email, I couldn’t seem to bring myself around to sitting down a thinking up a decent question. I will get around to it, I promised myself, subconsciously aware that much like my New Year’s Resolution of not staring at my hair in the mirror for two hours a day, it was never going to happen. In fact, the only reason I bucked my game up for February was because a certain Zoe Zermatten threatening to give me a good old South African clap across the face. It got me thinking about how terrifyingly menacing she was… and then, a lightbulb clicked. Zoe would make an amazing Bond villain, so why not ask the WordPress crew who else would make a good Bond villain? Sadly, no one suggested Zoe, not even myself, (although a few bloggers were mentioned), but why start teasing the truth, when I can just pass you onto the answers themselves.
ORACLE OF FILM – PEDRO PASCAL
I have a few rules when it comes to Bond villains. The villainous plan needs to be buried somewhere in a public fear. World is Not Enough discussed terrorists unafraid of death, getting their hands on nuclear weapons. Skyfall tackled cyber-terrorism. Man with a Golden Gun gave us Britt Ekland acting. My other rule is that the villain has to be foreign. I always like my Bond movies to be exotic, with the beautiful landscapes of Arabia or Siberia, acting out the backdrop to an explosive adventure. Besides it just makes more sense that the British government would be protecting England from an international threat, rather than an internal one. Therefore, I began my search looking for cool foreign actors and it wasn’t long before my mind settled firmly on Pedro Pascal, none other than Oberyn Martell from Game of Thrones.
I think he could bring a nice Middle-Eastern feel to the movie. It’s a current trend, but perhaps, scared of being coloured as racist, the producers haven’t properly handled it. However, I can picture putting Pedro Pascal in a suit, making him head of a criminal organisation and having his nationality come across as empowering, rather than belittling. I mean, Pascal is just the very essence of cool anyway, always charismatic and impossible not to love when he drifts onscreen, swaggering his way through delicious dialogue. The more I think about it, the more I wonder why it hasn’t been done before.
EMMAKWALL (EXPLAINS IT ALL) – PAUL GIAMATTI
Thank you very much to Luke for inviting me to join in with the Question of the Month, it’s a huge honour! Before I begin though I do have a slight confession and I’m really hoping Luke won’t banish me….
I have never seen a James Bond film. Dern dern……deeeeern!
I mean yes I’ve seen bits and bobs and I have no idea why but these clips mainly seem to involve Sean Connery slapping bottoms. However, I’ve never sat and watched a James Bond film from start to finish. So in many ways I am not the most ideal person to answer this question. But, I have someone awesome in mind for my baddie and a story that goes with it. So, stay with me. Please?
Paul Giamatti is my James Bond villain of choice. When we first meet Paul Giamatti, or rather Buday – his character’s name (pronounced boo-day), he has a bit of a Keyser Soze thing going on. He doesn’t look particularly impressive, with a sweaty head and a string of wilted hair down his forehead. He doesn’t operate alone and has an evil partner-in-crime who is a lot bigger than him. We can call him Big Guy for the sake of it. So we – the viewers – just kind of assume that Big Guy is in charge and Buday is just a cling-on (a bit like Nic Cage’s brother in Face Off).
But we are soooo wrong. Buday is actually a horrible bastard and most people are terrified of him. Even Big Guy is wary of him. Buday is in fact only using Big Guy and will dispose of him when the time is right. Buday is the sort of guy who spits when he shouts, he loses control easily and though he is smart, he lets himself down by being a hysterical little bitch. But he isn’t just scary because he’s a psychopath; he’s also frightening because he’s kind of mean as well. He’s cruel – he likes embarrassing people, even his own henchmen. This will be his downfall one day, because there will be a time when it’s Buday, James Bond and a vat of boiling oil (suitable Bond death?) and there may not be too many people willing to try and save him.
I must admit one of the main reasons I chose Paul Giamatti because I was always really liked him in Shoot ‘Em Up. Apart from Monica Bellucci breastfeeding grown men I’d say his character is the thing I most remember about the film. I raved for ages about him being ‘such a great bad guy’. I like his voice and I like his face. He has the ability to look really menacing and also kind of cuckoo.
I’m guessing as this is a James Bond film (or my weird version of one anyway) that Buday should really have something……like a trademark? Like the gold gun or the guy with the teeth or the one who threw a hat (or was it a shoe? I don’t know what’s real and what’s Austin Powers parody). Well anyway, Buday does have a trademark – his winged glasses. He can fold them up to take the shape of a Japanese Throwing Star.
SIDEKICK REVIEWS – MANU BENNETT
Manu Bennett would make for a great Bond Henchman! Picture a cold-blooded, dual sword wielding assassin who gets his thrills from slicing and dicing his target. Or how about a charismatic but borderline psychotic, rogue agent who has an old score to settle with Bond. Bennett can bring an intense, menacing physicality to the role. If you’re not familiar with Bennett, Peter Jackson personally called him up to do the motion capture for Azog the Goblin in the Hobbit movies after the original person for the role didn’t work out. More than just a physical threat, Bennett has great acting chops. As fan favourite Slade Wilson aka Deathstroke on television show Arrow, he expertly crafted a super villain who is suave, calculating and at times terrifying without even flexing a muscle or raising his voice. When originally auditioning for Arrow, he accidently choked out the casting assistant using a hold he learned from US. Special Forces troops. Talk about an actor that’s 100% committed and doesn’t hold back! With his commanding screen presence, Bennett would fit very well as a memorable adversary for Bond.
TIM THE FILM GUY – TOM CRUISE
A Scientologist trying to rule the world would be hilarious but unlikely. So I’d just like him to play something creepy and different like when he did Collateral. He clearly can play a villainous character but he does it so rarely and this new more serious bond series might fit quite well. Vise versa I’d quite like to see Daniel Craig as a villain in the Mission Impossible series.
WORDS OF WISTIM – GUY PEARCE
When asked, “Who would you like to be the next Bond villain?” I really don’t have to think about it long. Pretty easy for me: Guy Pearce. I’m sure Guy Pearce is a really nice guy, but I hate him, like a lot. A really lot. Let me explain.
You’ve all seen the 2002 version of The Count of Monte Cristo, right? If you haven’t, you better be explaining in the comments why that is. Guy Pearce in this film is fantastic…at being a royal prick.
You’ve all seen the Lawless, right? If not, please see above. Guy Pearce in this film is fantastic…at being a royal prick.
You’ve all seen Iron Man 3, right? If not, please see above. Guy Pearce in this film is fantastic…at being a royal prick.
I understand that three films is a small sample size, but he is far too good an actor to leave out of this conversation. Every film I’ve seen Pearce in, by the end of the film I want to tear his insides out and beat his face in. I love being emotionally tied to my films and Pearce always grants me that. It’s hatred, but it is some passionate stuff. I’m yelling at the T.V., begging for the most painful death imaginable for that man! He’s also British-Australian, which should prove beneficial for the course most Bond films tend to follow.
In conclusion, I nominate Guy Pearce. Show them how to hate, bud.
SILVER SCREEN SERENADE – HAYLEY ATWELL
Okay, first of all, I just wanted to point out how fantastic I am at picking Bond villains. “Why, Cara,” you might say, “what makes you say that?” Well, I totally called the casting of Andrew Scott in the upcoming Bond film via Luke’s QOTM looooong ago about who we would cast as the hero and the villain in an action movie. I was all, “Andrew Scott would be an awesome Bond-y villain” and Sam Mendes was all, “Yes, Cara. Yes, you’re right.” And so he was cast. But, you know, I’m not gonna brag about it or anything…
Anyway, now that my dream Bond villain is becoming a reality, I’ve had to have a long think about who else could take up the mantle. And you know who I want? A goddamn lady villain. Surely Bond has faced enough middle-aged, indistinctly European dudes. Let’s give him a kickass lady Brit to show him what’s what. I considered a lot of gals for the role–especially Game of Thrones gals (Lena Headey and Natalie Dormer are both honorable mentions)–but ultimately, I’d really like to see Hayley Atwell get some more time in the spotlight. Sure, we all know her as ultimate do-gooder Agent Peggy Carter, but I’d love to see Atwell sink her teeth into a darker role and have a super spy battle of wits with everybody’s favorite 007. When Atwell really gets serious on the Agent Carter TV show, kicking ass and outfoxing everyone around her, it’s pretty easy to imagine her in the role. I think she could be epic. After all, Bond’s greatest weakness IS women…
ENCHANTED BY FILM – BENEDICT CUMBERBATCH
The image of James Bond is an iconic one. So also, is the Bond villain. James Bond himself is like the Doctor. A distinguished man whose power seems to be drawn from the suit he wears, along with the weapons laced within it. The Bond villain needs to be one that holds equal threat, equal power, and enough quick thinking to believably counter that of Bond’s.
My choice for my ultimate Bond villain is Benedict Cumberbatch.
British, (English to be specific), he naturally has the appropriate accent and acting style to pull off what I would like to see as an intelligent and cunning British Bond villain. He has consistently proven that he can adapt to a diverse range of villainous and antihero roles, from the slave owner in 12 Years a Slave, to sociopathic Khan in Star Trek: Into Darkness, and Smaug the Dragon, voiced by Cumberbatch, in Peter Jackson’s The Hobbit films. Cumberbatch has portrayed not just a whole range of villains, but a selection of complex characters too, with a sense of depth and brooding intelligence. This is particularly evident in his role as Sherlock Holmes in the BBC Sherlock series, in which he claimed international success. Cumberbatch’s portrayal of the detective in the BBC’s contemporary adaptation, presents Sherlock as a sharp and quick-witted three dimensional character with a complex thought process bubbling beneath the chic exterior of his Burtonesque black coat and deerstalker hat. Cumberbatch’s acting ability for complicated roles is similarly illustrated in recent BAFTA and Oscar winner The Imitation Game, where Cumberbatch portrays Alan Turing, the man whose keen enthusiasm for breaking the enigma code led to England winning World War II. His recent roles in The Imitation Game, War Horse and 12 Years a Slave, particularly the former, have led to a growing worldwide fandom, and have proven that his acting ability is able to spread across a wide range of TV and film.
So why do I think Benedict Cumberbatch should play a Bond villain? Well, aside from his diverse acting talent, Cumberbatch has the much-needed striking, distinguished and sophisticated look for a Bond villain. He is at his best when he is playing complex characters that he can push his acting skills to the limit with. Undoubtedly Cumberbatch would be most suited to a notably intelligent Bond villain with a quaintly childish touch to him, much like his character of Sherlock, and I believe he would present a fresh perception of the image of what a Bond villain should be. He would be much more convincing than previous Bond villains, which can sometimes appear formulaic and artificial. Benedict Cumberbatch therefore, would be my ultimate Bond villain.
SPORADIC CHRONICLES OF A BEGINNER BLOGGER – LUKE EVANS
Ek is bly om te sien jy is uiteindelik reggeruk. Dankie tog!
A great Bond villain? OMG… so many options! But if I really get down to it, I would just love to see Luke Evans play the Bond baddie. I think he would be completely awesome for the role. Cultured, English, hot, charming, and bringing that all together could make for an excellent villain opposite the heroic Bond. He could balance out the light and dark of the film’s characters, give a layered portrayal, and would be the villain we all root for but know that he needs to be taken down at a stage – meaning the perfect one. The one who intrigues and and strings us along, leaving us wanting more. Plus, have you seen the man in a suit? Yes. My vote goes for Luke Evans.
SNAP CRACKLE WATCH – KEVIN SPACEY
When Luke posed the question of who would make a great bond villain, I really racked my brain for ideas. A lot of the people I considered, I also though could actually be Bond, like Michael Fassbender. If they can be Bond, then they cannot be the perfect villain. My choice would be Kevin Spacey, he has proved many times that he can be malicious, manipulative and hard to catch. At times he seems like he can be a man who can be trusted, and that kind of man is the worst. I think he would be a great Bond villain, give him a couple of henchmen and he would be the perfect fit.
THE IPC – LUKE ABBOTT
MOVIEROB – SAMUEL L. JACKSON
Luke Abbott, of course. Or perhaps even Eric Isaacs. A combination of the two would be perfect though (It’ll be a cold day in hell when they both are willing to work together to defeat Bond though, because they’d be trying too hard to one-up the other).
Actually, I think the best villain would be Samuel L. Jackson. He could conceivably play a megalomaniac character hell-bent on taking over the world and defeating Bond as an appetizer. Being that he is great at delivering over the top but realistic speeches, his royale with cheese speech to Bond will be epic!
JUSTIN’S MOVIE BLOG – GARY OLDMAN
Who would make a good Bond villain? If this question was being asked months ago, my first choice would’ve been Christoph Waltz, but the studio executives already read my mind and cast him as the new villain in Spectre. So my second choice would have to be Gary Oldman. Despite being a talented chameleon, Oldman is somewhat of an underrated actor and it’s a shame. I happen to think he’s one of the best actors working today, and he’s already proven he can play both the protagonist and the antagonist quite well. I love his villain roles, though. Some of my favorites include Zorg from The Fifth Element, Norman Stansfield in Léon: The Professional and Drexl Spivey in True Romance–but there’s more, a lot more. So should he add another memorable villain into his repertoire of roles? My answer: hell yes. Like Waltz, he’s just good at being the bad guy. He’s extremely convincing in everything he plays, even if it’s in an awful film (Red Riding Hood, anyone?) He puts everything he has into his performances and it shows. Who would he play? I have no idea. I just know that if he was in a Bond film, I would watch the hell out of it.
WHAT ABOUT THE TWINKIE – DANIEL DAY LEWIS
Picking a great Bond villain is a bigger task than first imagined. I mean do you go big and have someone who can physically go toe to toe with James Bond? Or do you go for someone who can psychologically intimidate and defeat Bond? Or do you go for both? A strong physical opponent doesn’t quite cut it for me. Especially as the current Bond, Daniel Craig, is more than a match for most opponents. On the other hand, an intellectual villain would need to be something special to get under the skin of the notoriously hard to break 00 agent.
So, let’s go for a bit of both. Peter Dinklage, fantastic as he is, is out of the window as is the delectably vicious Peter Capaldi. Michael Fassbender was an option, but I have him pegged as the next James Bond so he’s also out. Chiwetel Ejiofor is a shout, as anyone who has seen Serenity can attest to. But my choice has to be Daniel Day-Lewis. Day-Lewis is a powerhouse of an actor, and as unlikely as it would be to see him take centre stage in a Bond film, the thought of him chewing the scenery is too good to not think about. Seriously, if anyone at Eon is reading this, then make it happen.
PS if Luke allows it, then Danny Trejo would make a fantastic henchman too. Just saying.
DIGITAL SHORTBREAD – MICKEY ROURKE
Javier Bardem!!!! Oh, wait. . . .fuck. . . . .
Option #2 — (this is going to be controversial) Mickey Rourke. I love Mickey Rourke, despite popular opinion. The guy can play the down-and-dirty motherfucker with ease. As we’ve seen he’s made quite an impression in the Iron Man story (I liked him, anyway). I think he’d be a great adversary for Bond in terms of physical size and intelligence. Though, ironically, Rourke doesn’t strike me as the most intelligent guy out there, I think he’d translate pretty well in a role that required a high intellect and superior fighting power.
Option #3 — Me.
WHERE THE WILD THINGS ARE – TILDA SWINTON
To be honest with you I wouldn’t call myself a Bond fan… in fact I’d go all the way out there and say that I really don’t like Bond movies. I think they’re an outdated, sexist snoozefest… but I am going to use this opportunity to suggest a different course for the franchise. Although the Bondiverse may claim to have loads of female villains, I don’t think putting some glamourous blonde in a bikini and getting her to seduce 007 in order to steal his secrets/throttle him with her thighs (I wonder what her squat weight is?) counts… especially when half the time it only takes about five minutes of Bond’s tired schtick to get her to give up her ways and open the aforementioned thighs. So I want an actress to play the big bad. I want to see Tilda Swinton all androgynous in a Dr Evil style suit running a multinational feminist institute fighting for the subjugation of men… and I want her to crush James Bond like the pathetic bug he is… mwahahahahaha! Hold on… maybe I should play the big bad!