James Bond is one of the most iconic fictional characters in the world. Since 1962, there have been 23 official films based on the secret agent, and the franchise falls in one of the top three grossing film series of all time.
This begs the question, what would a Pakistani production of James Bond look like? Who would star and direct? More importantly, would the Pakistani Bond be able to keep up his womanizing without the ghairat brigade on his trail?
Who would play the man himself? Usually, when peoples peak of a Pakistani 007 they throw around names such as Fawad Khan, Shaan, and Humayun Saeed.
But no, this isn’t how the casting of Bond usually works. Almost without fail, a lesser known talent is selected to take up the mantle. Someone the world of cinema is unfamiliar with, who can make the role his own.
These are our picks:
Noor Hassan Rizvi
Although the talented actor has advanced in his career post Humsafar, Noor hasn’t hit the heights of Fawad or Mahira. This could be because the goodlooking star played a supporting character in the breakout drama, rather than a leading role. Of course, this makes him a perfect candidate for the Pakistani James Bond.
Certainly, Noor’s dark streak should make for a deliciously gritty 007, similar to Daniel Craig and Timothy Dalton.
This Pakistani comedian/actor is a talented performer and looks good in a suit. Sometimes this is all you need to play a secret agent.
Danish’s version may come across as a bit loony though, but perhaps a Pakistani James Bond needs a little bit of cray cray.
Recently, Daniel Craig said James Bond is a ‘very lonely, sexist misogynist', so uh… why not?
Our only concern is regarding the script rewrites Junaid Bond will demand:
Bond girl: “Take me James, I am yours.”
Junaid Bond: “Uhhh… how about we just hold hands?”
Bond girl: “OK, how about a martini?”
Junaid Bond: “How about a lassi?”
Some dialogue would remain unchanged, however:
Bond girl: “Can I drive your Aston Martin?”
Junaid Bond: “No. No you can not.”
The Pakistan test cricket captain is riding a wave of popularity, and would make a perfect older James Bond. He may not carry any acting experience, but hey, this is a Pakistani film after all.
Misbah’s careful nature may not translate well to the dynamic character though.
Bond girl: “Quick James, he has a bomb, hurry!”
Tuk Tuk Bond: “Wait; let me just think about this.”
Bond girl: “Hurry or I will die!”
Tuk Tuk Bond: “No, just slowwwww down.”
Bond girl: “JAMES!”
Tuk Tuk Bond: “Oops. I ran out of partners.”
The Bond girl
With her killer looks, supermodel height, and wide range of talent, Iman would make the perfect Bond girl.
In fact, she should be cast in the next official Bond film. Get on it Hollywood!
This young actress would leave fans salivating if cast alongside Noor. A real worry for Mahira could be if the film presents India in a negative light, as would be likely in a Pakistani spy film.
Recently, after posing at Nabila's Halloween party with Asim, who was dressed as a member of Shiv Sena, Mahira apologized on Twitter for the harmless joke. Don’t apologize Mahira. That’s not what a Bond girl does.
Reham would make a fabulous Bond girl. We think she would be especially convincing as a double agent.
Certainly, she can simulate a sophisticated accent, and is dedicated to whatever job she takes on, whether it is a presenter on the BBC in England, or a TV show host in Pakistan.
But perhaps what we like best is her ‘I don’t give a ****’ attitude on Twitter. That’s the sort of defiance we need from a Pakistani Bond girl. Mahira, please take note.
The Bond villain
Hamza Ali Abbasi
The opinionated actor everyone loves to hate, Hamza would make for an excellent rival to 007. As we have noted from his work on Burka Avenger, he has the skills to pull off a bad guy.
We can see Hamza’s Bond villain as a sympathetic former spy gone rogue, with an axe to grind with his former employers. Hopefully all the racy scenes will be shot after Hamza’s work is done, or he may disown the film.
Hamza’s ego could also create other complications, “I was offered every role in this film, including the Bond girl!”
Shoaib Ahmed Shaikh
From his speeches alone, the Axact CEO sounds a lot like a Bond villain. His rants are not only emotionally manipulative, but full of conspiracy theories.
Allegedly, Shoaib masterminded a multimillion dollar fake diploma enterprise, which caught victims across the world. What’s more, Shoaib was positioning himself into becoming one of the most powerful media moguls in the nation using these funds.
If Shoaib isn’t born to play a Bond villain, then we don’t know who is. At the very least, the scriptwriters could have fun at his expense.
Bond: “We finally caught you.”
Shoaib: “I’ll never talk. Now where’s my lawyer?”
Bond: “Here he is.”
Shoaib: “Oh thank god.”
Bond: “Good luck. He’s a graduate of Columbiana.”
This political leader in self-exile can sing, cry, laugh, and deliver earth-shattering speeches with powerful one-liners at will. In short, he has all the ingredients of an award-winning actor.
The logistical problems could result in some issues, especially with bhai phoning in his dialogues:
Bond: “Tell me everything you know!”
Altaf Hussain: Zzzzzzzzzz….
Bond: “Tell me everything you know!
Altaf Hussain: Zzzzzzzzzz….
Bond: ahem "Tell me everything you know!”
Altaf Hussain: “Huh! Huh! I told you I haven’t done any laundry. I don’t even have a washing machine!”
Bond: “Wait… That’s not in the script.”
Who would direct?
Pakistani filmmakers aren’t particularly experienced at shooting action sequences, so a stunt director from Hong Kong would be a welcome part of the team.
As for the director, Academy Award winner Sharmeen Obaid Chinoy would be an interesting gamble, though she isn’t known for live action films.
Shoaib Mansoor could do the job, except he has a tendency to overstuff his films with various themes.
This leaves us with the hottest director in Pakistan at the moment, Jami.
Jami’s version of Bond could either be a tremendous espionage film, or a pedestrian four hour long drama where 007 is inexplicably crying throughout, there is a dull card game that lasts several hours, and the audience is never quite sure what’s happening, until the film suddenly ends.
At the sign of closing credits, we will all praise the film for fear of coming across as stupid. But hey, at least it will look nice.