James Bond: Recasting Dr. No If It Was Made Today | ScreenRant

Although the James Bond series wouldn’t truly find its feet until its third installment Goldfinger, Terence Young got the franchise off to a rollicking start in 1962’s Dr. No. Sean Connery embodied the role of 007 from the offset and the movie successfully injected a healthy dose of fun into the spy genre, which was wallowing in self-seriousness at the time.

RELATED: 10 Ways James Bond's First Movie Dr. No Was A Hit

This movie kicked off a franchise that’s been going strong for the past six decades. But if Ian Fleming’s Bond stories didn’t make it to the big screen until today, it might’ve starred Robert Pattinson and Lupita Nyong’o instead.

10 Lupita Nyong’o As Honey Ryder

The first-ever Bond girl, Honey Ryder, remains one of the most iconic. Ursula Andress gave an unforgettable performance as a shell diver who falls for Bond and ends up getting swept up in his mission.

Ryder is a more or less straightforward romantic interest, but she still gets involved in a lot of the film’s action. If the movie was made today, Lupita Nyong’o could do a terrific job with the role. She deftly handled action in Black Panther and brought pathos to an archetype in The Jungle Book.

9 Tilda Swinton As Dr. No

The title role of Dr. Julius No was the Bond series’ first megalomaniacal villain. Joseph Wiseman played the part so memorably that, even after years of building on and deconstructing this trope, Dr. No still holds up as one of the franchise’s greatest baddies.

Wiseman’s portrayal of Dr. No set a high bar for all Bond villains to come. If the movie was made today, Tilda Swinton would nail the balance of cartoonish villainy and “god complex” grandiosity.

8 Kenneth Branagh As M

Bernard Lee made his first of 11 appearances as M in Dr. No. The producers didn’t feel the need to recast the role when they rebooted the franchise with Roger Moore, because Lee had been playing it so well.

This role needs an actor who can make straightforward exposition compelling, because M’s entire role in the plot is to explain Bond’s missions to him. Kenneth Branagh has made a career out of delivering captivating monologues. If he can handle Shakespearean soliloquies, he can tell 007 about his latest assignment.

7 Lakeith Stanfield As Felix Leiter

Initially played by Jack Lord, Felix Leiter is Bond’s CIA contact who provides him with crucial information in the field. From the offset, Leiter was characterized as 007’s American counterpart.

RELATED: 10 Ways Sean Connery's Bond Movies Still Hold Up Today

Today, the role could be played by Lakeith Stanfield, the rising star who headlined the searing anti-capitalist satire Sorry to Bother You. In Get Out, Uncut Gems, Knives Out, and The Harder They Fall, Stanfield created memorable characters out of minor roles with limited screen time.

6 Anne Hathaway As Miss Taro

One of the only female villains in Bond movie history, Miss Taro is a government secretary who turns out to be a double agent working for Dr. No. Zena Marshall played the role as a Bond-verse femme fatale.

Anne Hathaway gave a terrific performance as Selina Kyle – arguably the quintessential femme fatale from the realm of comic books – in Christopher Nolan’s The Dark Knight Rises.

5 Samuel L. Jackson As Quarrel

Originally played by John Kitzmiller, Quarrel is an operative sent on a covert mission to collect rock samples in Crab Key. He teams up with Leiter before Bond arrives and later teams up with Bond himself.

Samuel L. Jackson has proven time and time again, from Die Hard with a Vengeance to The Incredibles to The Hitman’s Bodyguard, that he’s great at playing a sidekick in an action movie.

4 Gal Gadot As Sylvia Trench

Eunice Gayson’s Sylvia Trench was the first of only a few recurring love interests in the Bond franchise. After appearing in Dr. No, she returned in From Russia with Love, suggesting she was the on-and-off girlfriend of 007.

Today, the role could be filled by Gal Gadot, who played action-oriented roles spectacularly in the DCEU and The Fast Saga. Gadot is also the breakout star of Netflix’s Bond riff Red Notice, giving a more memorable performance than her co-stars Dwayne Johnson and Ryan Reynolds.

3 Emilia Clarke As Miss Moneypenny

M’s secretary Moneypenny is one of the Bond series’ most outdated characters. The Daniel Craig movies have made her a field agent, but in the early movies, her only role in the plot was to flirt with 007 outside M’s office.

RELATED: 5 Ways Dr. No Established The Bond Formula (& 5 Ways Goldfinger Perfected It)

Lois Maxwell played this problematic role from the beginning of the Connery era to the end of the Moore era. If the movie was made today, the part could be played by Emilia Clarke, who flirted with a different iconic antihero as Qi’ra in Solo: A Star Wars Story.

2 David Mitchell As Major Boothroyd

The Dr. No role of Major Boothroyd was an early precursor to Q with more grounded gadgets. Instead of giving Bond a spiked umbrella or a submersible sports car, he gave him a Walther PPK to replace his Beretta M1934. The role was initially played by Peter Burton, who never returned to the franchise.

If Dr. No was made today, David Mitchell’s dry sense of humor – seen in Peep Show, Back, and countless panel shows – would be perfect for the role of Q.

1 Robert Pattinson As James Bond

As played by Sean Connery, the original 007 who debuted in Dr. No was gritty, grounded, and rough around the edges. Since leaving the Twilight franchise behind, Robert Pattinson has shown that edge in Cosmopolis, Good Time, and The Lighthouse.

Pattinson played a charming spy brilliantly in Christopher Nolan’s Tenet, while the trailers for the latest Batman reboot have shown that he can transfer his brooding arthouse sensibility into a coveted franchise role.

NEXT: Retro-Casting No Time To Die In The 1980s



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