Why the Tom Hardy New James Bond Rumors Are Not True

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Why the Tom Hardy New James Bond Rumors Are Not True

If you put Tom Hardy in any movie, in any franchise, playing any character I’d watch it. Go ahead, cast Hardy in a live action CATS sequel, you cowards. I’d love to see Hardy singing and dancing in his shapely furry form. Hell, he’s the only one who could make Al Capone shitting his pants seem gruesome and wild. He’s the only one who could be called a loser by an alien symbiote and still somehow retain any semblance of cool. Hardy is one of the most versatile, unexpected actors of his generation. So to see him take on an iconic character like, say, James Bond would be a dream come true. Can you imagine? Hardy’s James Bond would be a brutish, grumbling antihero. He’d have pain lurking under the darkness in his eyes. He’d probably have something covering his mouth.

And this week, James Bond fans have been imagining more and more a Hardy 007, as rumors have gone rampant that the actor has been cast as the character following Daniel Craig’s last performance in No Time to Die. The rumors first gained steam over the weekend, after a little known Star Trek blog reported with some confidence that Hardy had been cast as Bond. From there, the British tabloids ran with the report, and by Wednesday, the Daily Mail reported that bookies have Hardy’s odds at 1/1 to play the character.

I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but it’s not going to happen. Every other year or so for most of the last decade, a new confident rumor has emerged saying Hardy will be Craig’s successor as Bond. Each time it’s proven to be just that, a rumor. And every day that goes by, Hardy’s chances to play Bond become slimmer and slimmer.

Perhaps the most notable reason is because of his age. Hardy is 43 years old. Assuming there’s at least a four year break between Bond eras, that would make Hardy 47 years old when his first Bond film came out. He’d be two years older than Roger Moore—the oldest Bond—who took over for Sean Connery when he was 45. Assuming he sticks around as long as Craig, Hardy would be in his 60s by the time his last movie was coming out. If anyone could make AARP Bond work it would be Hardy (maybe it would be something like his Al Capone?), but that probably wouldn’t be the type of Bond movie most fans would want to see.

Hardy is also simply too famous. Craig and Pierce Brosnan were not yet household names when they were announced as the new Bond stars. The Bond franchise demands a star who can become 007 and 007 alone. They don’t want audiences seeing Venom or Mad Max, or Oscar nominated actor Tom Hardy instead of the legendary spy when they sit down in the theater. Take for example what happened with Brosnan: He was first offered the role of Bond in 1986 after the cancellation of Remington Steele. But the announcement made him so famous that NBC renewed the show, contractually requiring Brosnan to return. Eon didn’t want their Bond actor playing any sort of similar character anywhere else—even if it was on TV. So, they gave the role to Timothy Dalton instead, and Brosnan didn’t get the role until 1994, seven years after Remington Steele was cancelled.

It’s also worth noting that Hardy, being an established actor, would be too expensive to play a new Bond. Craig’s salary for Casino Royale was reportedly $2.5 million, which is about a fourth of what Hardy reportedly made for Venom. Would Eon gamble $7 million on a new Bond star? Or would they save some money and go for a lesser known actor who could really become the next James Bond?

It’s hard to blame Bond fans for getting excited about rumors at a time like this. No Time to Die has been delayed for a year now. And it’s looking less likely that the film will even come out in November. If imagining Hardy as James Bond is getting anyone through these long movie-less days of Covid, then go nuts. It’s just probably not going to happen in the real world.

Culture Editor
Matt is the Culture Editor at Esquire where he covers music, movies, books, and TV—with an emphasis on all things Star Wars, Marvel, and Game of Thrones.

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