Henry Cavill As James Bond?
Henry Cavill’s name has been around ever since it was announced that his supposed return as Superman to DC Films was not going to happen. This followed a cameo as the character at the end of Black Adam and then his exit from The Witcher series on Netflix. All of this was apparently so that he could focus on getting back to Superman.
With James Gunn and Peter Safran taking over as the head of DC Films, they decided to focus more on a younger version of Superman. This means that Cavill’s return as the character has been delayed again. While this is devastating to fans, it frees him up to take over another franchise that his name has recently been attached to. James Bond!
That’s right, he can trade his hood for a custom suit, possibly filled with gadgets. The British actor’s name was thrown around in the same conversations with other stars such as Idris Elba, Tom Hardy, and even spider man himself, Tom Holland. Now that his schedule has been opened up, it looks like the conversation has started again about Cavill possibly taking over the 007 codename. What can we expect from a Henry Cavill James Bond?
The Daniel Craig era of James Bond took the character to new heights in the Bond franchise. The series made a soft reboot of the Pierce Brosnan series of films. They kept some of the items that would work in a new tone, like Dame Judy Dench as M, and lost some of the things that wouldn’t translate to the new modern direction of the franchise. Now that the Craig era is over and a complete reboot will be needed, could we see more fun being brought back into the series?
The Daniel Craig films succeeded by incorporating modern ideas for how action films worked into the tried-and-true espionage stories that Bond is known for. The Bourne Identity brought a new take on spy stories while adding a quick flash of intense action. This new style, for better or worse, enhanced the fighting styles, editing and camerawork into something that made the audience feel like they were in the middle of the action themselves.
As with any new approach, Hollywood will take the wrong lessons from this and pump out as many copies as possible. The new Bond films added similar styles while making for much more cohesive viewing rather than disorienting. Now we would see Bond taking on big stunt set pieces in every film. This is why with just about every film we would hear about Daniel Craig being injured on set and production having to be shut down while he recuperates.
Along with that, the new films were much darker and grayer than they had been in the past. The previous Bonds were pure and knew how to approach any situation with confidence. This Bond had a troubled past that haunted him through every movie he appeared in. Whether it was watching the woman he loved drowning while trapped in an elevator, or finding out that James was present when his family was killed. These past traumas stay with him throughout the series. So what can we do in a new Henry Cavill James Bond?
Bring back the fun. Although the Craig Bond films have some great action set pieces, this is a chance to return to the Bond enjoying his work. Craig’s version tried to retire several times throughout his series. Each time he was dragged back into the pen kicking and screaming. We could now see a Bond sure of himself and once again enjoying himself. Bands of the past were skilled at their jobs but also seemed to be having fun. Yes, saving the world can be serious business, but it doesn’t have to be.
When Sean Connery was Bond, he could throw down with the best of them and have a drink afterwards with a smile on his face. This is the Bond that would be great to see come back. Cavill can pull off dark and dour when asked, but let’s not ask him. The Misson: Impossible series can be an example of how you can achieve both tense action and fun times.
The events in the films are world ending, but the tone of the films is not always so dark and gloomy. Some films are darker than others, but generally the series tries to have fun. Even if it’s the darkly comic idea of Ethan Hunt not quite being his usual graceful self as he tries to jump over the hood of a car and collapses after being brought back to life minutes earlier.
Cavill himself is no stranger to the series either. He has some great action scenes with Cruise during Mission: Impossible Fallout. Yes, the film that caused the terrible CGI face of Superman in the Whedon-released version of Justice League. Paramount did not shave him for reshoots Justice League.
Fallout is an example of fun action scenes, great fights and a tone that doesn’t leave you depressed afterwards. Don’t get me wrong, I loved Craig’s run as Bond and enjoyed the gritty take on the character for something else. Now maybe we can go back to a slightly more fun version. Notice I didn’t say campy because that’s not the same thing. We can have more fun devices and a lighter tone without compromising the story.
If they take inspiration from his fighting style Fallout, they were able to distinguish themselves from the series that had just come before them. In that film, he’s more like a heavyweight boxer who can put some power behind his punches. The Bourne Identity style of fight choreography would transition to something more similar to what we see in the John Wick films. Fast-paced martial arts battles are fought with gunplay and even swords. Maybe go back to a more tried and tested style for a Henry Cavill James Bond.
I’m not saying a judo chop to the neck of the early Bond films is what they should be aiming for, but if you look at the fight between Connery and Robert Shaw in From Russia With Love, it would be great to go back to something that is a modern version of that. Having Bond methodically go over his punches can slow down the action. Show that he knows where to hit you for maximum impact.
More devices, more fun
Let’s bring back the fun gadgets. They never really went away, but they did scale back from previous films. We don’t have to go all out Austin Powers route, but we can bring back some fun items. Where are our laser wristwatches and exploding toothpaste?
I don’t have to stop there. Modern technology has made it so we will be able to believe you can have an explosive in an ink pen. With cell phones, we could easily believe that signals could be scrambled with the use of an app. Bluetooth made spying easier as a bug could easily be connected to a phone. There are practical uses that do not have to travel into the world of the absurd. Although, seeing a submarine car in a Bond film again will make me happy.
Perhaps the best argument for a fun Cavill Bond film lies in a movie he’s already made. In 2015, Cavill was set to star in Guy Richie’s The Man From OOM Set in the 1960s, this film has all the fun of old Bond films. Cavill looks at home as a top-level spy who thrives in intense situations.
The film did not set the box office on fire. Audiences and critics seemed to enjoy the film and had a lot of fun. What could have held the film back was that people didn’t enjoy director Guy Ritchie’s usual filmmaking style. Cavill is great in the film, but stylistic changes turned off some critics. Armie Hammer could also have been part of the story’s focus with pre-cannibal fantasies. Bond usually works better solo rather than being relegated to buddy movie status.
What do you think? What kind of Henry Cavill James Bond do you want to see? Let us know in the comments.