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Next in line for a licence to kill?
List compiled by York Membery.
Odds from Ladbrokes.
The London Sunday Times, November 28 1999 CINEMA


JASON PATRIC, 33

Requisite good looks. Not a bad actor either - with the exception of Speed 2. He is the choice of Michael Apted, director of The World is Not Enough: "I think he would be ideal and know that he's one of the people who's been looked at." On the downside, as one female Bond fan bitched: "He looks like he needs to go to Sean Connery's toupee-maker." Lastly, he's a Yank. Could we stomach an all-American 007, even if he got the accent right? Odds: 10-1

GREG WISE, 34

Already being spoken about as a possible replacement for Brosnan. Made his name in a costume drama, Sense and Sensibility, although perhaps best-known for being Emma Thompson's squeeze. He is flattered by the 007 talk. "It would be great to do it. The producers saw me after Timothy Dalton left, but I had these very unsexy sideburns for some period thing, which spoilt my chances." Needs to raise his profile, though, and avoid making any more turkeys like Mad Cows. Odds: 2-1

TREVA ETIENNE, 34 If we're talking tall, dark and handsome, why not go the whole hog and cast a black Bond? Former London's Burning star Treva Etienne, who appears in Eyes Wide Shut, reckons he's got what it takes. "I'm sure I can raise an eyebrow in just the right way," he said. "We have had an Englishman, an Irishman and a Scot. It is about time we had a black man." Even the production company that makes the films, Eon, concedes: "A black Bond is a good idea for the new millennium." Odds: 16-1

JEREMY NORTHAM, 37

After starring in The Net opposite Sandra Bullock, the hunky actor seemed set to become America's favourite British heart-throb. But following the failure of the sci-fi thriller Mimic, his Hollywood star has faded somewhat. He is perhaps best known here for playing the doughty Mr Knightley in Emma, and has returned to top-hat-and-tails roles in An Ideal Husband and The Winslow Boy. Having auditioned to play Bond after Dalton's exit, though, he remains a real contender. Odds: 4-1


RUPERT EVERETT, 40

After a career that seemed to be going nowhere, he has bounced back to become Hollywood's favourite gay star. He's appeared in hits such as The Madness of King George and Shakespeare in Love, and all but stole the show in My Best Friend's Wedding. He has those uniquely British upper-crust good looks, plus a sense of irony and, since moving to America, impressive-looking biceps. But would the public buy a gay Bond? Odds: 66-1

RALPH FIENNES, 36

Has a reputation as an over-serious thespian, but was a serious Bond buff at school who scrawled "007" in felt tip on his shoes; his classmates would whistle the Bond theme when they saw him. Has the looks, did karate at school and was a superb Rada swordsman. However, his lacklustre Steed in The Avengers suggests he might lack a light touch for Bond's cheesy one-liners. Odds 5-1

RUFUS SEWELL, 32

Another rising British star tipped for the part post-Pierce. Just about every woman in the land seemed to fall for him after seeing his performance as Will Ladislaw in the 1994 television adaptation of Middlemarch. He's gone on to star in films such as Martha, Meet Frank, Daniel and Laurence, Dark City and The Woodlanders - none of which quite lived up to expectation. But shorn of his girlie curly locks, he could make the grade. Odds: 4-1

RUSSELL CROWE, 35

Tough-guy New Zealand actor who would inject a degree of machismo not seen since Connery's day. After finding fame as a skinhead in Romper Stomper, gave a powerful performance as the straight-talking cop in LA Confidential; stars in Michael Mann's latest, The Insider, and Ridley Scott's Roman epic, Gladiator, next year. However, the one antipodean who's played 007 to date - one-film wonder George Lazenby - is a less than encouraging precedent. Odds: 12-1

IOAN GRUFFUDD, 26

Shot to fame in the big-budget television versions of the Hornblower novels. Beside his dark, brooding, Celtic good looks, Gruffudd displayed an admirable steeliness beneath his character's outward sensitivity. Soon to star in 102 Dalmatians, his name has apparently cropped up on the Bond film-makers' secret shortlist of post-Brosnan candidates. Despite a name that might be virtually unpronounceable to anyone not from Wales, a strong contender. Odds: 3-1

JASON ISAACS, 36

Would go down as the first Jewish Bond. Was screen-tested after Dalton ditched his tuxedo. Earned his acting spurs as a disturbed ex-paratrooper in Lynda La Plante's Civvies. Describing himself as "a passionate Zionist", he has since appeared in Armageddon and Event Horizon and will next be seen in The Patriot, an American war of independence drama, as a ruthless British commander. Would bring a new twist to the Bond saga, but needs to play more good guys. Odds: 6-1

ROBBIE WILLIAMS, 25

The joker in the pack. Despite being Britain's current prince of pop, the former Take That star wants to pursue a career in acting - and he has set his heart on playing Bond. Has been a fan of the secret agent since he was a kid and dressed up like 007 in the video for his chart-topping hit Millennium. He would need to get some acting experience under his belt first. Still, time is on his side. Odds: 100-1

JOHNNY VAUGHAN, 33

He might have the looks. He might be one of the wittiest presenters on TV. But that still doesn't qualify the Big Breakfast host, who's spoken of wanting to play Bond, for this gig. Don't give up the day job, Johnny. Odds: 1,000-1



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