Sunday, December 7, 2014
007’s Next Nemesis: Stephen Hawking?
I’m not the world’s biggest James Bond 007 fan, but here’s an intriguing idea: the fictional secret agent’s next movie antagonist should be played by Stephen Hawking. Yes, that Stephen Hawking — the British theoretical physicist and cosmologist, who expressed interest in portraying such a role in a recent interview.
Virtually everyone who knows anything about him greatly admires Dr. Hawking’s expansive intelligence and his perseverance in the face of a terrible degenerative disease, and we are thankful that a computerized speech synthesizer allows him to continue communicating with the rest of the world. But the modern imagination is also mindful of how a withering of one’s physical abilities and an over-dependence upon technology can run the risk of sundering us from our own humanity. Imagining the dark side of someone with Professor Hawking’s genius whose deteriorative illness has alienated him from the rest of the world — as he speaks to it through an impersonal-sounding artificial device — sets the stage for an intriguing story of good against evil. So, the idea of Stephen Hawking playing a Bond villain makes for a fascinating concept.
However, production has just this month commenced on the 24th James Bond actioner, titled Spectre, for distribution late next year. If Hawking is ever going to play a Bond bad guy, such an endeavor won’t come about for at least two years. Many years ago, Hawking was told that he didn’t have long to live, but he beat the odds anyway. I hope that his health continues to hold out, and that he and the people behind the Bond franchise can make this intriguing concept a reality. Yes, let’s see Professor Stephen Hawking play the secret agent’s adversary in the 25th James Bond film!