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Will Downton Dan leave us shaken and stirred?

It was announced recently that Daniel Craig will be returning in the 25th James Bond film, due to be released in 2019. It’s widely expected to be his last film as Bond, and he will have a curse to escape, most actors who have played the spy have finished with their very worst Bond film, think of View To A Kill (Roger Moore) or Die Another Day (Pierce Brosnan), both unlikely to top any list of the best Bond films.

Suggestions for the next James Bond have mainly centred on actors who happen to look good in a tuxedo, Tom Hiddleston, Michael Fassbender, Idris Elba, or in other words, the usual suspects. We should remember that few people at the time expected Craig to land the part, it was his role as a drug dealer in 2004’s Layer Cake that alerted the Bond producers to his potential. I’m going to make a prediction; for Dan ‘Downton Abbey’ Stevens, it will be his role in The Guest that will get him the job as the next James Bond. If you’ve not seen The Guest, it’s a great little low budget action thriller from 2014. Stevens plays a mysterious ex-soldier who visits the home of a dead comrade and slowly insinuates himself into the household, and he is magnificent, with a surprisingly magnetic screen presence. His character is gentlemanly, but brutal, reckless, yet loyal, remind you of anyone? Watch it and you’ll see what I mean. Visit Google Images and you’ll see he does also look great in a tuxedo. So, I forecast that Dan Stevens, the one who played foppish Matthew Crawley in Downton Abbey, will be James Bond number 9, whatever would Lady Mary think? And more importantly, who do you think it should be?

By Michael Hudson

From our weekly column in the Oswestry Advertizer, published in July 2018.

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