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Try as they might, James Bond’s producers are going to have a difficult time topping Skyfall. It is the highest-grossing Bond film of all time. It was critically adored, and won two Oscars. And it introduced one of the more memorable Bond villains in recent memory through Javier Bardem’s Silva. As the production team gears up for Bond 24, they are making bold moves to replicate the success of Skyfall. They fought hard and managed to bring Sam Mendes back into the fold. And now they are on the lookout for a menacing, memorable villain.
James Bond Radio first reported that a casting call for Bond 24 is looking for a henchman that will follow in the mold of Oddjob or Jaws, classic villains who threatened 007 in movies like Goldfinger and Moonraker. The site even reports that they have a name picked out for this character – Hinx – though we’ll see if that stays as the production rolls along.
The report was verified by the fan site MI6, which claimed that casting has begun for an assassin, with a focus on "someone extremely physically fit and over 6' 2"." The person is said to have "several altercations with Daniel Craig's 007 throughout the film," and also will be featured in a driving sequence. This bit from the casting notice stands out, and makes me think even more of Richard Kiel’s fantastic Jaws, from the Roger Moore days.
Former sports athletes will be under consideration along with anyone 'very unusual'."
Can we think of any former, terrifying pro athletes who can give James Bond a run for his money? Greg Oden of the Miami Heat isn’t getting much playing time due to injuries. Could he pick up a steady paycheck on the set of James Bond 24? How about Andrei Kirilenko? Does My Giant co-star Gheorghe Muresan still have his SAG card?
It’s clear that James Bond movies usually are only as good as their villains. Mads Mikkelsen made a memorable foil in Casino Royale, helping Daniel Craig get off to a great start as 007. But can anyone remember the villain in Quantum of Solace? Didn’t the plot have something to do with water? That movie has faded from memory. Javier Bardem was spectacular in Skyfall. The next villain has some big shoes to fill, and it sounds like the casting department is looking for big replacements, in every sense of the word.