- Roger Moore tops AI bill as best ever James Bond to date
- Star Trek’s Karl Urban ranks as worldwide favourite male
- Deadpool’s Gina Carano ranks as worldwide favourite female
It’s official, the first ever AI-assisted casting process has put the most hotly debated future Bond contenders under the microscope to reveal which of the actors are predicted to generate the highest grossing Box Office revenues. No Time To Die, set for its November 2020 release, will see Daniel Craig’s fifth and final outing as the iconic double-O agent and speculation has hit fever pitch as to who will fill his shoes. The research, conducted by award-winning AI software provider, www.Largo.ai, is the first of its kind to put actors head to head for film and literature’s most ubiquitous and iconic role of all time using cutting edge technology to forecast which of the would-be Bonds could outperform Daniel Craig, the franchise’s highest grossing ever Bond, at Box Office.
Topping the bill with a score of 92.3% is classically handsome British actor Henry Cavill best known for his role as Superman in Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice and Justice League. Cavill auditioned for the 007 role back in 2005 and got down to the final two before being passed up because of his young age. With Daniel Craig scoring just 88.6%, other British actors pipping him to the 007-post include; Richard Armitage (92.0%) best known for period drama North & South and the trilogy of The Hobbit films. As Lucas North, a member of the MI5, in the British series Spooks, Armitage is already a Bond in the making. Ranking as third favourite is star of The Wire and Luther, Idris Elba with 90.9%; Golden Globe-winner Elba has long been a frontrunner and a popular choice with critics and fans alike. Barbara Broccoli, the franchise’s producer, is quoted as saying ‘it is time’ for a non-white actor to take on the part. Next up is Sons of Anarchy, Pacific Rim and Legends of the Sword star, Charlie Hunnam with 90.6% – self-confessed as being ‘English and devilishly handsome in a suit’ Hunnam has the voice, the physicality and the revered stoicism required to catapult himself into the coveted role.
Largo’s AI scoring system works by creating a DNA footprint of each actor which comprises over 1000 on-screen character attributes, such as character typology, story elements, and cinematographic tones. The system then analyses each of these attributes – weighing up audience reaction by cross-comparing the data against historic films. The systems also looks at the actual film character (James Bond rather than Sean Connery, the actor) and creates another DNA footprint for the character. It then cross compares the actor’s DNA footprint against the characters’. In this instance, the software looks for correlation between the two. This is crucial given research and previous projects have found a very high correlation between the success of a movie and the actor/character match rate – such correlation is more important than the popularity of the actor.
Other hotly contested actors who have long been on the Bond shortlist include; bookies favourite and arguably the acting talent of his generation Tom Hardy (Locke, Legend) with 88.3%; star of Amazon Prime’s Outlander, Sam Heughan with 87.6%; bookie’s favourite and leading man in BBC’s smash-hit Bodyguard, Richard Madden with 86.7%; Billy Elliot child star and Washington Spies and Fantastic Four star Jamie Bell with 86.5%. Once a frontrunner, The Night Manager’s beguiling spy Tom Hiddleston is AI’s tenth favourite with 85.2%, followed closely by Four Lions, Nightcrawler and critically acclaimed The Night Of star, Riz Ahmed with 85.0%; star of Happy Valley, War and Peace and Grantchester, James Norton with 74.2% and brooding Irishman and star of Poldark and The Hobbit, Aidan Turner with 65.9%.
Traditionally a quintessentially English role, Largo’s AI-assisted casting also produced some thought-provoking results when widening the double-O net to the rest of the world – with all three proposed actors beating Daniel Craig by a wide margin to carry the longest-running cinematic franchise of all time. Taking the worldwide lead with a staggering 96.7% score is New Zealand born actor and star of the rebooted Star Trek franchise and Dredd, Karl Urban. Next in line is Captain America franchise star and Daniel Craig’s former co-star in Knives Out, American actor Chris Evans with 93.9%. Dubbed by Newsweek as Hollywood’s ‘most powerful actor’, Grammy-award winning Will Smith follows closely with 92.2% – having recently starred as superspy-turned pigeon in 007 style animation Spies in Disguise.
Despite being ruled out by Bond producer, Barbara Broccoli, Largo.ai also ran a search to confirm AI’s highest scoring female suitors for the enigmatic spy’s role. Once again, all Largo’s AI proposed female actors outperformed Daniel Craig considerably with Hollywood’s most promising rising star best known for Deadpool and Fast & Furious 6, Gina Carano with the highest worldwide scoring of all actors at 97.3%. Next in line is American actress Katee Sackhoff, best known for Battlestar Galactica and Riddick, with an AI score of 94.4%. Ranking in third position, Academy Award winning actress Angelina Jolie is a hot contender with 94.2%, followed closely by Ukrainian-born actress and supermodel Milla Jovovich (The Fifth Element, Ultraviolet, Resident Evil) at 93.1%. Canadian actress best known for The Matrix, Carrie-Anne Moss also ranks highly with 92.9% followed closely by American actress Paula Patton (Warcraft, Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol) with 92.4%.
Taking a look back retrospectively at the debate getting most people’s tuxedos in a twist, Largo.ai also ran a search to create a definitive ranking of the best ever James Bond actors to date. So who embodied Ian Fleming’s superspy best? Contrary to recent reports voting Sean Connery as the best ever Bond, Largo.ai’s deep dive knocked Connery off the top spot with Roger Moore taking the definitive 007 crown with 91.8%, followed by Pierce Brosnan with 90.8%, Sean Connery with 90.3% and Timothy Dalton trailing behind with 88.5%.
Daniel Craig currently holds the record for the highest ever grossing Bond movies with all four of his 007 performances ranking in the top four spots at global Box Office: Skyfall ($1.111 billion), Spectre ($879.6 million), Casino Royale (2006) ($594.4 million) and Quantum of Solace ($591.7 million).
Sami Arpa, Co-founder and CEO, Largo Films, said: “James Bond is one of the most beloved and coveted roles in the history of film and its fans are deeply passionate guardians of the brand. AI has evolved rapidly in recent years and is now an integral part of successful filmmaking – casting is just one small element AI can support. It’s important to understand that the role of AI in filmmaking is best kept as an assistance tool – helping to quickly provide insights that underpin human instincts rather than replacing them. We’re proud to join the debate and open up the power and possibilities of data-driven storytelling.”
Founded by computer scientist and film director, Sami Arpa Largo.ai is a Lausanne-based venture, which has analysed over 400,000 films/series, 1,800,000 talents and 59,000 scripts to train cutting-edge AI programmes. The game changing technology can optimise all phases of a film’s lifecycle, from script development and casting through to financing, post-production, marketing and distribution. With over 80% predictive accuracy, Largo estimates it will be able to provide a mix of 10-20 recommendations which can improve Box Office results in aggregate by 10-15%. Because Largo.ai use similar tools to those used by bigger studios and streaming platforms, producers can be one step ahead when financing their projects. By identifying and keeping up with the spread of the audience, they can also negotiate more effectively and avoid losing their rights and revenues when dealing with the streamers. These analytics are also helpful in enabling greater access to other investors and diminishing risk at the earliest possible stage by building the right strategy that can be used for future ventures.
Created in collaboration with the prestigious Swiss engineering university, Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL), Largo.ai offers state-of-the-art, patented technologies developed by leading scientists. The software enables an understanding of the ingredients of a film and predicts the audience reaction and potential revenue, from script level through to rough and fine cut. Through a cognitive pattern understanding system it creates a ‘recipe of ingredients’ together with actionable insights on how to improve audience appeal, increase ROI and minimise risk. This means that not only are larger elements like editing, action, character suitability, genre and music reviewed, but that a host of smaller details are also taken into account, such as the way characters move, how funny they are, their hair colour, or even the objects they use. Country specific insights, where local cultural traits can vary enormously, also enable producers to better allocate marketing and distribution investments.
- Henry Cavill (92.3%)
- Richard Armitage (92.0%)
- Idris Elba (90.9%)
- Charlie Hunnam (90.6%)
- Daniel Craig (88.6%)
- Sam Heughan (87.6%)
- Richard Madden (86.7%)
- Jamie Bell (86.5%)
- Tom Hiddelston (85.2%)
- Riz Ahmed (85.0%)
- James Norton (74.2%)
- Aidan Turner (65.9%)
Rest Of World Bond
- Karl Urban (96.7%)
- Chris Evans (93.9%)
- Will Smith (92.2%)
- Gina Carano (97.3%)
- Katee Sackhoff (94.4%)
- Angelina Jolie (94.2%)
- Milla Jovovich (93.1%)
- Carrie Anne Moss (92.9%)
- Paula Patton (92.4%)
Best Ever Bond
- Roger Moore (91.8%)
- Pierce Brosnan (90.8%)
- Sean Connery (90.3%)
- Timothy Dalton (88.5%)
It’s official, the first ever AI-assisted casting process has put the most hotly debated future Bond contenders under the microscope to reveal which of the actors are predicted to generate the highest grossing Box Office revenues.