On 30th September, the eagerly anticipated latest James Bond film, No Time to Die, finally premièred in the UK. The film, which was originally set to be released in April 2020, has become one of the most delayed films in cinema. If Bond fans weren’t excited about its release before, they certainly will be after such a long delay. (I’m actually off to see it this evening, I can’t wait! Ed)
As well as being a momentous occasion due to its seventeen-month delay, this film marks another historic moment in the world of 007 – Daniel Craig’s final outing as the eponymous character. After five blockbuster films, Craig is set to step aside to focus on other projects. This has left movie fans everywhere pondering over who will be next to step into Bond’s classic tuxedo and put their own twist on his vodka martini order. Names such as Riz Ahmed and Daniel Kaluuya have been thrown into the mix, and all this talk of who’s coming next has made us reflect on the ingredients that make the perfect James Bond.
Each previous actor has put their unique spin on the character, but which of them really managed to steal audiences’ hearts? Findings compiled by Neil Dutta of Angelic Diamonds can now reveal our most beloved Bond of all time according to monthly Google searches, Instagram hashtags, and Wikipedia page visits. Let’s see who topped the charts.
Seventh place: George Lazenby
After only appearing in one Bond film, On Her Majesty’s Secret Service, in 1969, it’s no big surprise that George Lazenby isn’t the Bond that we instantly think of. With the fewest Wikipedia page visits out of all the Bond actors, it appears that he has slipped our collective minds. For big Bond enthusiasts, George Lazenby’s portrayal of the character has caused division. While some see him as the quintessential James Bond, others view him as the worst actor to take up the part. It was his very first acting gig after all!
Sixth place: David Niven
Another Bond actor who only appeared in one film, explaining why he isn’t one of the nation’s favourites, is David Niven. He starred in Casino Royale in 1967, the spy spoof in which an ageing Bond returns from retirement. Interestingly, No Time to Die will allegedly centre around a similar storyline. With only 5.1 stars on IMDb, this film may not have secured its place as one of our favourites, but Niven still receives more Wikipedia page visits than his successor, George Lazenby.
Fifth place: Timothy Dalton
With 4,9500 average monthly searches and 7,404,784 total Wikipedia page views, Timothy Dalton is officially the nation’s fifth favourite James Bond actor. He starred in two of the 007 films, between 1987 and 1989: The Living Daylights and Licence to Kill. Many fans contend that Dalton’s portrayal of James Bond was the truest to the character from the original Ian Fleming novels.
Fourth place: Roger Moore
In fourth place is the star of seven epic Bond films, including Live and Let Die, The Spy Who Loved Me, and A View to a Kill. Roger Moore first played the iconic character in 1973, and he was beloved by fans for bringing humour to the role and putting his own twist on the character – for example, his Bond never actually ordered the famous martini!
Third place: Pierce Brosnan
Daniel Craig’s predecessor, Pierce Brosnan, comes at number three in the rankings, with 11,0000 monthly searches, 149,000 hashtags on Instagram, and 18,512,260 all-time Wikipedia page views. Brosnan starred in four James Bond films from 1995 to 2002, including GoldenEye and Die Another Day. Famous for his suave and sophisticated style and his witty one-liners, Brosnan is up there with the greats.
Second place: Daniel Craig
Just missing out on the number one spot, we have Daniel Craig, the actor who brought some gritty reality to the role. With five Bond films to his name, including the much-anticipated upcoming movie, Daniel Craig has certainly made the role his own. The IMDb ratings for his films speak for themselves; of all the Bond films, Casino Royale is awarded the most stars (eight out of ten), with Craig’s Skyfall (filmed localy at Hankley Common, near Elstead) coming in joint second with Connery’s Goldfinger (both with 7.7 stars).
First place: Sean Connery
Taking the top spot and proving to be the nation’s favourite James Bond of all time, we have Sean Connery. The star of Dr. No, From Russia with Love, and five more classic Bond titles has 450,000 average monthly searches, 304,000 hashtags on Instagram, and 29,118,237 Wikipedia page visits, awarding him first place in the rankings. The film ratings also support Connery as the very best Bond. The average IMDB score for all of his films is the best out of any of the Bond actors.
Full of charm and charisma, Sean Connery certainly set the standard for how this iconic character should be portrayed. The question now, however, is who will be next to step into 007’s shoes? Will they showcase the charisma of Connery, the grit of Craig, the wit of Brosnan, or will they bring something fresh and exciting to the role?