Salary Survey Extra is a series of periodic dispatches that give added insight into the findings of our most recent Salary Survey. These posts contain previously unpublished Salary Survey data.
Pop culture is a funny thing. Sometimes it's funny ha-ha, like whenever (usually) the cast of Saturday Night Live is involved. And sometimes it's funny in that "You know what's weird?" kind of way that makes you shake your head or roll your eyes or lean back in your poolside lounger and take a long sip from a tall glass.
Last year when we were busy dialing up our usual round of post-survey chaser questions, the fall "appointment viewing" calendar had a big date circled: Oct. 8. It's a good bet that almost no one remembers it now, but the movie — THE movie — scheduled to open on that date was the 25th canonical James Bond film, No Time to Die.
If you cared about seeing the movie, and maybe still do, but have somehow managed to not see it yet, well — SPOILER ALERT — it turns out that there was, in fact, time for Mr. Bond to perish. Yup, they actually went there. After nearly 60 years of pointedly NOT perishing on camera, Mother Britannia's most enduring public figure other than the queen herself finally crossed the boundary into Shakespeare's undiscovered country.
So, yeah, that happened. END SPOILER.
The funny thing is that everything to do with the movie has receded so quickly that it's almost like it happened eight years ago, not eight months. In late summer of last year, No Time to Die was at the beating heart of the pop-cultural zeitgeist, and now it's like, "Huh? Who? What happened and why should anyone care?" (Sorry, gang. Sometimes its hard to predict whether this stuff will still seem remotely de rigueur by the time that we report it for you.)
U.S. moviegoers, still mired in the aftermath of the Delta surge of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, largely shrugged the movie off. No Time to Die still made almost $800 million after accounting for non-U.S. markets, however, so the producers surely meant it when they tacked on the traditional post-credits memo to the audience: "James Bond will return."
Who will not return, however, is Daniel Craig. The sixth actor to play the long-running role only actually made five films as Bond ... and it feels like he's been trying to divorce himself from the part for at least the past four of them. His Bond-weariness was definitely at rolling boil during the yearlong run up to theatrical release. So a lot of the excitement on the prelease No Time to Die front swirled around one of Hollywood's favorite questions: Who got next?
Now, most certified IT professionals probably don't have moonlighting gigs as Hollywood casting directors. But since a lot of regular moviegoers were talking last fall about who the next James Bond should be, we figured that at least some in the IT crowd were having their own water cooler conversations about the same thing.
So we included this topic in the Not So Serious section at the end of the 2022 Salary Survey. Who should take Daniel Craig's place? Here's what we learned:
Q: Who should be the next James Bond?
Clive Owen — 6.4 percent
Idris Elba — 17.3 percent
Ewan McGregor — 11.5 percent
Tom Hiddleston — 9.6 percent
Henry Golding — 4.2 percent
Saif Ali Khan. The only place left for Bond to go is full Bollywood. — 7.8 percent
Lashana Lynch, duh. She's in the new movie and everything. — 4.2 percent
Ana de Armas, duh. She's in the new movie and everything. — 3 percent
BoJack Horseman — 4.3 percent
Let's give Pierce Brosnan a do-over. He looked bored in the Cinderella movie that Amazon made. — 7.1 percent
Woody from Toy Story. A James Bond movie by Pixar would be awesome! — 9.7 percent
Did Daniel Craig learn nothing from Sean Connery? Never say, "Never again," son. — 14.9 percent
Idris Elba, perhaps best known for playing Stringer Bell on the first three seasons of HBO's The Wire, has had major people's choice energy for a while now. The same is true, to a lesser extent, of Ewan McGregor, whose most famous role is coming around again later this month on Disney+. So it's not all that surprising that the two of them are our leading vote getters ... along with Craig, who would seem to be pretty definitively out of the running, given that SPOILER ALERT.
Clive Owen used to be where Elba and McGregor are now, but it seems pretty clear that his window has closed. Tom Hiddleston is handsome and British, so he's bound to get mentioned. Henry Golding has a British father, spent some formative childhood years in England, and is also handsome. Like Elba, his casting would also potentially broaden the character's appeal.
Either animation or massive song-and-dance theatrics would seem to be a natural fit for the over-the-top Bond adventure dynamic. And that may account for the solid performances by Bollywood megastar Saif Ali Khan and animated cowboy icon Woody (from the Toy Story movies). Also, there was a pretty good James Bond joke in the final episode of Season I of Bojack Horseman, so don't just say "horsefeathers" to the notion of an equine cartoon superspy.
Pierce Brosnan has already been James Bond, but it would appear that many IT professionals wouldn't mind giving him another shot. And that leaves us with Lashana Lynch and Ana de Armas, Craig's costars in No Time to Die. Both of them played secret agents and both did the job pretty well. Both also got the fewest votes here — though Lynch did tie Henry Golding and was almost on par with Bojack Horseman.
Sorry, ladies. Of the all the new directions that IT professionals might be willing to swallow from the next James Bond movie, whenever it comes around, a revolutionary gender swap is apparently not in the cards.