My buddy Pax (from Nerd Lunch and the Cavalcade of Awesome) and I got to talking about how poorly the Bond series treats all the Double-Os except Bond. Octopussy and A View to a Kill both start with Bond's picking up the mission of a dead Double-O and things get even worse in the movie we're covering this week. Pax mentioned that it would be cool if we saw some Double-Os worthy of the designation and added, "That's a Bond Movie Universe right there. Movies about the other 00 agents. Then every few years they all crossover."
We started talking about who we'd like to see play the other Double-Os and invited the rest of the Nerd Lunchers (Carlin and Jeeg) and my frequent co-guest Kay to join in. This is who we came up with.
001: Emily Blunt
Anyone who saw Edge of Tomorrow knows how tough Emily Blunt is. And she's got Sicario coming out in September where she plays an FBI agent fighting a drug cartel in Mexico. She's got the presence to play a spy whom audiences will take seriously, but as seen in movies like Looper and The Adjustment Bureau, she's also got the range to give that character depth and make us care about her.
002: John Boyega
It's appropriate that John Boyega was the suggestion of Kay, Star Wars fan extraordinaire. If he isn't already, Boyega is about to become a household name thanks to The Force Awakens. And if you've seen any interviews with him, you know how charismatic he is. Of course, fans of Attack the Block already know this. There's a lot that's great about that movie, but Boyega's at the top of the list. The script for Attack the Block asks viewers to hate Boyega's character at the beginning, but love him by the end, and Boyega is the perfect man for that job. I'd love to see him play a suave, but impulsive and unconventional Double-O.
003: Dan Stevens
Downtown Abbey fans know how charming Dan Stevens can be. Anyone who's seen The Guest knows how much the world is hurting for more action films from this guy. Hurting. Please stop hurting the world.
004: Naveen Andrews
I was a big fan of Sayid on Lost, so when Carlin mentioned Naveen Andrews as a possible Double-O, I was totally on board. My initial impulse was to clean him up and have him conform to the traditional, smooth aesthetic of Bond and his cronies, but it defeats the purpose of creating a diverse group of super spies if they're all going to wear a uniform and act the same way. It's far more interesting to have Andrews keep his look and play the bad boy (or one of them) of the Double-O division.
005: Kate Winslet
I think it was Pax who suggested Kate Winslet and without even analyzing why, I just went, "Yes! Of course she should be a Double-O!" She's not known as an action star, but she's an amazing, versatile actor and a kickass person in general. Would love to see what she could do as a spy hero.
006: Clive Owen
Clive Owen was mentioned a lot as a possible Bond before Daniel Craig was hired, and he's awesome. I still want to see how he would've done, so having him play 006 would be the next best thing.
007: Daniel Craig
Not replacing this guy. I'll take him for as long as he wants to stay. One thing that would be interesting though - to tie him into the rest of the Double-O Universe, and this is something that they'll never do in the real Bond series - would be to make a movie that explains once and for all the Bond continuity. All of those actors can't be playing the same character, but how were so many of them married to the same woman? Or why do they think they were? As long as we're at it, let's also explain all the Felixes and why there are multiple people who look like Maud Adams and Charles Gray. That's a movie that I in no way need to see, but would love to anyway.
008: Helen Mirren
I just want her to reprise her character from RED. As in, play Victoria, that exact same character, but she's working for MI6 now as a Double-O. Tie the two universes together.
009: Idris Elba
Another man whom a lot of people want to see play 007. I'm all for it except that I don't want to get rid of Craig, so why not let Idris Elba play 009 and then we can have both? (Which reminds me that I really need to check out Luther.)
0010: David Oyelowo
David Oyelowo has been in way more things that I realized (Jack Reacher and Interstellar, for example; even Star Wars: Rebels), but he first hit my radar as MLK in Selma. He's got a powerful presence as well as experience playing a British agent in Complicit.
0011: Katie Leung
Katie Leung is famous for playing Cho in the Harry Potter movies, but she's five years older than John Boyega. Still, with her youth, I'd love to see her agent be a cross between Boyega's and Naveen Andrews'. I imagine that she's especially great at undercover work, but she's so used to working on her own that she's constantly butting heads with M. Sort of the British spy version of every '80s cop movie ever.
0012: Hayley Atwell
She can do this and Agent Carter, right? I imagine her as a sophisticated counterpoint to Emily Blunt's rougher 001. She's the Roger Moore to Blunt's Timothy Dalton, Mirren's Sean Connery, and Leung's Daniel Craig.
0013: Steve Coogan
Pax suggested Steve Coogan and I almost asked him to write this entry, because I wasn't 100% sure what he had in mind. And sadly, most of my knowledge of Coogan is from the Night at the Museum movies. But knowing that Coogan's a comedian, I wanted to leave room for that aspect. Not in a Rowan Atkinson's Johnny English kind of way, but like how the best of Connery and Moore's movies had truly funny moments to offset the violence.
000: Bill Nighy
There's some world-building behind this one. Carlin came up with the idea and the number (pronounced Double-O Zero), so I asked him for more detail. He gave me an outline that I've fleshed out a little to fit with the rest of what I'm imagining for the Bond Universe.
At some point (perhaps between the events of Die Another Day and Casino Royale), all the Double-Os were killed except for Bill Nighy. I imagine that this was the result of some master-plan by some villainous organization. Nighy's character was able to stop the scheme, but he was so traumatized by the experience that he retired, receiving the honorary designation of 000. Since then, M has refilled the Double-O section, but 000 remains in retirement until our big Avengers-style crossover movie where the villains return to try to wipe out the Double-Os all over again. This means that 000 - the only man who's successfully faced them before - has to come out of retirement and again face the greatest threat he's ever encountered.
00KickInTheTeeth: Jason Statham
Another shout-out to Carlin who came up with the designation. I sort of want to save him for the crossover too, but why should we deny ourselves? I want to see Statham and Boyega team up so bad that I'll never get a good night's sleep again until it happens.
So that's ours! Who do you think should play a Double-O?