Square Mile
Menu Search

Why Regé-Jean Page WILL be the next James Bond

Bridgerton star Regé-Jean Page has emerged as a potential successor to Daniel Craig. While nothing is guaranteed, here are the reasons why Page is likely to land the role

Regé-Jean Page

Regé-Jean Page is suddenly the hottest name in the business. 

(And no, it's not because he was on the cover of Square Mile. Although we like to think that helped.) 

His role as Duke Simon Bassett in the Netflix megahit Bridgerton has won the British-Zimbabwean actor fans around the world. 

Many are now touting Page as the man to replace Daniel Craig in perhaps the most coveted job in cinema: Bond, James Bond. (Yes, we have to write it like that. There's a law, somewhere.) 

There's a tendency for media outlets to generate clicks with articles entitled 'X should be the next James Bond', never for one second believing X will come anywhere near the role. (Riz Ahmed is a fantastic actor but, like many fantastic actors, James Bond he is not.) Page, however, boats some fairly convincing credentials. 

Indeed, we'll go one further: not only should Page be the next Bond, he almost certainly will be. And here's why... 

He’s a damn good actor

View on Instagram

 

Before we get tied down in minutiae and speculation, let’s underline the most compelling argument surrounding Page’s candidacy: the man can act. People around the world have fallen for his brooding yet sensual turn as Duke Simon Bassett – OK, the costumes and the cheekbones helped, but not as much as his charisma and talent.

Anyone who dismisses Page as lightweight due to his overnight heartthrob status – a description once applied to the likes of Leonardo Di Caprio, Heath Ledger and Robert Pattinson: essentially you’re allowed to be pretty or good at acting, rarely both – should seek out his performance as Chicken George in 2016 miniseries Roots. It’s a thrilling, heartbreaking turn that confirms Page has the pedigree not merely to hold his own as Bond, but to excel.

He has the right profile

View on Instagram

What links Henry Cavill, Tom Hiddleston, Tom Hardy, Michael Fassbender and Robert Pattinson? Quite a lot, actually, but for the purposes of this article: they are five actors among the favourites to replace Daniel Craig as Bond, and it’s likely none of them will. Why? 

Two words: comic books. All five actors play iconic roles in various Marvel and DC franchises, either tying them up contractually or simply making their faces too associated with cinematic characters who aren’t James Bond.

No previous Bond was a film star at the time of his casting; Daniel Craig was the closest and, with all due respect to two fine films, Layer Cake and Munich exist not in the same stratosphere as Superman, Batman or The Avengers. Yet Roger Moore (The Saint) and Pierce Brosnan (Remington Steele) both fronted major TV shows before donning the tuxedo. Bridgerton made Page a star of the small screen; it will also be his launchpad to the big one.

He’s the right age

View on Instagram

The youngest James Bond actor at the time of their casting remains George Lazenby at 30. The oldest? Roger Moore at 45. (Moore held the role until the age of 57, a record that will hopefully stand.) God knows when the next film will start production but we can assume it won’t be in 2021. The timeframe rules out perennial favourite Idris Elba (48), and quite possibly Hardy and Fassbender (both 43). Craig has played grizzled since Skyfall: the series will almost certainly want a young, fresh face for the new era. Sorry lads, but if you’re north of 40, your chance has been and gone.

However it’s unlikely the producers will opt for James Bond, The Student Years: sure, there exist twenty-something actors with the necessary gravitas, but with Casino Royale having done the prequel, the next 007 must arrive fully formed. Page is currently 31, and will be 33-34 when the cameras roll on Bond 26. That, my friends, is the sweet spot.

He looks the part…

View on Instagram

There are certain traits James Bond must embody in order to be James Bond. He’s tall. He’s handsome. He scrubs up damn well in a tux. He’s suave, yet he can handle himself in a fight. You wouldn’t leave him alone with your girlfriend but you’d happily accompany him for a night down the casino. He’s one of life’s winners, and he looks it.

The above characteristics apply to all six cinematic Bonds, and Ian Fleming’s literary original. And while reinvention should be welcomed, especially for a franchise soon to enter its seventh decade, don’t expect the next Bond to be any different. There’s a reason we haven’t seen Vin Diesel play Miss Marple, or Viola Davis as Spiderman.

Blessed with chiselled good-looks and a physique that has drawn ‘phwoars’ from around the world, Page would look right at home on your Ultimate Bond Boxset (not that boxsets will exist for much longer). It may be the most basic test of a potential 007 but you still need to pass it.

Yet also breaks the mould

View on Instagram

We’ve established that being a tall, handsome TV star in your early-to-mid 30s is highly desirable if you want a licence to kill. Now Page is not the only actor to fit that description: shout out to James Norton, Richard Madden and Aiden Turner, as well as respectful mentions for Sam Heughan (perhaps too old at 40) and Nicholas Hoult (perhaps too X-Men). Page would, however, be the first actor of mixed-race heritage to play Her Majesty’s finest. And that is a pretty exciting thought.

This is the moment we’re meant to say: may the best man triumph. But here’s the thing: there is no best man – or rather, there are numerous best men. There’s never only one actor per era capable of playing Bond. Craig is justly revered but in a parallel universe we could easily be celebrating James Purefoy or Clive Owen for their storied tenures. And every name mentioned in this article would doubtless ace the role. But only Page would make the franchise feel reborn. Young again, at 60.

We’re not just saying Page should be the next James Bond. We’re saying he probably will be.

 

Loading