Ewan McGregor, Hugh Jackman, Colin Farrell: too short, too fey, too bad (please tick your own boxes). Hmm. It's unclear how they compare unfavourably with the roster so far: balding Scots ex-milkman, inanimate Australian chocolate seller, ageing ex-knitwear model, brooding Shakespearean, and bloke sounding like a firm of solicitors.
Still, you can see the problem if they're looking for a Bond for now. I don't mean the old sexist objections, addressed long since by the appointment of Dame Judi as M, complete with this line, much mulled over by textual glossers: "If you don't think I have the balls to send a man out to die, your instincts are dead wrong."
No, it's this: how sexy is it, not finding something? How do you inject some glamour and danger into Googling "global threat" and "recent postgraduate theses"? I suppose there could be a fetching IT consultant, Iva Backup, and a tense struggle over the mouse - "looks like she's squeaked" - but it's not exactly clunky chase in exotic location ending explosively, is it?
But there is one man who could pull it off. No, you're very kind, but I have another in mind: terrific performer, inside knowledge, exotic locations, second home, shortly to be at a loose end. Forget the Walther PPK, his ukulele could be just the thing to zap some new life into a tired franchise: "Oooh, 7!"
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