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Hollywood: Beware: The No Cross-Over Role

May 16, 2005
By: Cary Ashby

There’s good news and bad news with the announcement that Martin Campbell (of "GoldenEye" fame) will direct the next James Bond film, "Casino Royale" sometime in 2006.
First, the good news. We 007 fans should be happy. We're finally getting a serious take on the first novel by Ian Fleming. Also, we’re getting a director who knows a thing or two about making a good Bond movie.
Now, the bad news. And it’s substantial. No one to play James Bond. I guess Campbell was chosen to break in a new 007. Again.
You and I both know the Internet is buzzing with casting rumors since Pierce Brosnan probably won't be back as the British super agent. It’s unfortunate we’re losing Brosnan as 007 and what’s worse is the current mentality of casting action-adventure roles.
Hollywood should have a policy prohibiting hiring actors from one franchise to be in another. It seems any time anything is proposed or is in "pre-production," the same people often are rumored to be part of it.
It's one thing when familiar names in the comic book industry are tossed around for upcoming projects. Doing the same thing with actors in action-adventure and science fiction flicks doesn't cut it. As a matter of fact, it's downright tedious and predictable.
So, I propose the "no crossover rule."
This would be a fresh approach to casting action-adventure movies – instead of the tired "Oh, his name is attached to Project X..." mentality we have now.
So who is rumored to play Bond? Unfortunately, many of the candidates are victims of the dreaded "no crossover rule." Let's check them out.

Candidate No. 1: Hugh Jackman
Played the feisty Wolverine in two X-Men movies.

Candidate No. 2: Colin Farrell
Although Brosnan openly supported Farrell as his successor, Farrell has said he's not interested. Fairly ironic, considering how much of a lady's man he's supposed to be.
His conflict? Farrell played Bullseye opposite Ben Affleck's Daredevil in 2003.

Candidate No. 3: Ewan McGregor
Plays Obi-Wan Kenobi in the "Star Wars" prequels.

Candidate No. 4: Dougray Scott
Was the villain opposite Tom Cruise in "Mission: Impossible 2."

Candidate No. 5: Eric Bana
From "The Hulk." Hmmm...Going from saying, "Hulk smash!" (he didn't really say that in the movie) to the famous line of "Bond. James Bond."? I don't think so.

007's tuxedos could be another challenge. Hollywood will have to be aware of the equally dreaded "wardrobe malfunctions" since Bana was last seen in ratty, purple pants. In my opinion, Bana has "the Bond look" and may be the best option, since I don't imagine we'll see a Hulk sequel anytime soon.
Ioan Gruffudd's name also has been thrown around. Even though he's pretty much unknown, Gruffudd suffers from crossover issues since he's Mr. Fantastic in "Fantastic Four," coming out July 8.
Besides, should the next Bond actor really have a last name like Gruffudd? That just doesn't seem right. Bana as Bond has a much better ring to it.
What to do? Ideally, MGM/EON should stick with Brosnan. If they have to rush out a Bond film, cast Bana and be done with it. Or most profoundly, take the time to find an actor we don't already associate with another film franchise.
Cary Ashby is a reporter and comic book columnist in Huron County, OH.