Former ‘NCIS’ Star Michael Weatherly to Play James Bond Next?
Known for his recurring roles in NCIS and Bull, Michael Weatherly has grown accustomed to playing charming, albeit sometimes arrogant men, with a knack for investigation. As Jason Bull, Michael Weatherly plays what he once deemed a “more mature,” and “receptive” Tony DiNozzo.
Michael Weatherly played Tony DiNozzo in NCIS for 13 seasons. Portraying the jokester and Agent Gibbs’ second-hand man for so many years, Weatherly has grown intimately tied to the special agent who can’t seem to mature out of adolescence. However, with Bull, he’s proven an ability to bring a little sophistication to his humor – a quality that portraying James Bond necessitates.
Michael Weatherly has, time and again, discussed his admiration for James Bond. When conversations concerning Daniel Craig’s replacement first began hitting the table, Michael Weatherly’s name popped up a few times. And, given Weatherly’s debonair disposition and old-school Hollywood look, he would pay homage to the Bonds of yesteryear, while bringing lighter energy to James Bond.
According to CBS News, Michael Weatherly is a huge fan of the Bond film franchise, and he has been a member of the Bond Fan Club since 1979. Meaning, this decision would not come down to the actor. He would obviously take this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. However, would he be selected to replace Craig?
Would Michael Weatherly make for a good James Bond?
Michael Weatherly’s star status is on the rise in Hollywood. He went from starring in a major supporting role in the most-watched scripted procedural on TV to leading his own CBS series. Thus, when it comes to name recognition, he wouldn’t be the worst choice. While not an A-list movie actor, he does boast quite the fan following and seems well-suited to make the leap to cinema successfully.
As for Bond’s replacement, the need for something “different” has been stressed as a paramount factor. Michael Weatherly’s Bond would be a 50-year-old American and, unless he is asked to feign an accent, his casting would do away with the standard British identity. Michael Weatherly could be an American Bond, who may be a little less polished, but is no less suave.
Michael Weatherly, as a TV star, has already proved his ability to inhabit a character with Bond’s characteristics; thus, his casting would minimize risk. He has previously played an agent. And, he was responsible for bringing to life one of the most famous slow-boiling romances in all of TV history. Thus, he knows how to convey attraction and chemistry, and every Bond must be equally talented in the bedroom, as they are in the field.
Would fans of the franchise accept Michael Weatherly as James Bond?
To gauge how Weatherly would be received, we need to first discuss the demographic flocking to James Bond films. These films have been around for decades; meaning, while younger audiences enjoy them, older viewers possess childhood associations to the franchise and its growth across time. Thus, several James Bond movie enthusiasts are over 50 years old. Why is this relevant?
NCIS is the most-watched show on television, and viewers aged 50 and over constitute a majority of the people tuning in every Tuesday night. Thus, Weatherly has already found his way into the hearts of several people who would pay to see James Bond in theaters.
Not to mention, when Weatherly was thrown out as a possible replacement to Craig, Twitter entered a frenzy. MediaMass noted several fan responses, including:
“His name is Weatherly. Michael Weatherly!”— Alan Sepintree (@sepintree) June 23, 2019
“He was perfect as Tony DiNozzo in NCIS, he will be tremendous portraying James Bond.”— The Clear Observer (@clearobserver) June 23, 2019
“Now, this might be a bit of a controversial pick for the role. But think about it: Weatherly has always been a skilled actor. He’s also known for his wit.”— Claire Stone (@averageclaire) June 23, 2019
If anyone has a shot at replacing Craig, without facing an insurmountable degree of backlash, it’s probably Michael Weatherly. Craig has one more outing left as James Bond, so until then, we will have to wait and see.