Tom HardyWhy It Should Happen: I've got to be honest, I'd watch Tom Hardy in anything; he has an intangible aura, and presence that I just eat up, and in the more villainous and unhinged roles he has so far committed to screen - most notably in Cape Wrath, Star Trek: Nemesis, The Take and Bronson - he exudes menace that is as much about the fire and cold pleasure in his eyes as it is about his considerable size. Hardy would offer a different take on the Blofeld character that we have never seen - but Blofeld was young once, and he must have got to his position of power through some seriously villainous behaviour. Hardy also has a wonderful voice, with slightly plummy tones and a rough edge that would offer a good mirror to the character's own inexplicit contradictions - most specifically, of course that traditional contradicition of charisma and evil. Why It Might Not: Hardy will be finishing up (or perhaps already has completed) his time on The Dark Knight Rises that ends filming next month and he will then prepare for taking on the mantle of Mad Max early next summer. Scheduling wise, I guess it all comes down to whether Hardy needs time off after the physical and mental strain playing Bane must have on him and he may be wary of not wanting to become the franchise man with a place for him also likely in a Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy sequel. Plus he may not want to ruin his chances of perhaps one day playing James Bond by appearing as the villain.... Picked by Simon Gallagher
Daniel Day LewisWhy It Should Happen: A pick very much on the same lines as Hardy, though with even more presence, and a slightly less overtly wild spirit: two time Oscar winner Daniel Day-Lewis could and should play every notable villain ever, and he has the on-screen power to completely disarm the audience. Combined with the actor's size, that presence and power would make a Day Lewis Blofeld the biggest ever threat to Bond, which is precisely what Daniel Craig's so far fairly invincible 007 needs. The casting of Day-Lewis could be the greatest thing the Bond universe has done in years. Why It Might Not: Well it simply won't happen. Daniel Day-Lewis is currently preparing (and with him, that pretty much means living, breathing the role for months and demanding that people refer to him as "Mr. President") his biopic of the 16th U.S. President Abraham Lincoln in an ambitious Steven Spielberg biopic that begins filming around the same time as Bond. So he simply won't be available... plus he has never once accepted one of these annual offers to play an iconic character in a movie blockbuster and we doubt he is ready to start now. Picked by Simon Gallagher
Sir Anthony HopkinsImagine if you will a Silence of the Lambs era Anthony Hopkins, the perfect portrait of chilling intensity, curiously surveying Daniel Craig's Bond the same way Lecter sized up Clarice, like a small but horribly poisonous spider toying with a fly caught in his irresistible web. Now tell me that's not the ultimate image for Blofeld: he isn't a man who needs to call upon ultra-violence to convince of his malignancy, because his piercing, silent intensity is enough to fill a room with negative energy anyway. Why It Won't: Sadly, Hopkins may now be a little old, and his Blofeld may well be too close to Donald Pleasance's, but that is why it fits so well - Pleasance after all was the greatest of all four actors who have taken on the role so far. There's very few reasons NOT to cast Hopkins except that he may be too perfect for the role and it may end up being Anthony Hopkins playing Anthony Hopkins as Blofeld (kind of like Jack Nicholson playing Jack Nicholson as The Joker in Batman) rather than Hopkins playing Blofeld. Plus modern Hopkins villains (see "The Rite") are ridiculously campy. Picked by Simon Gallagher
Brendan GleesonWhy It Should Happen: Slightly left-field, I'll concede, but Irishman Brendan Gleeson actually fits the same sort of bill as Donald Pleasance, Telly Savalas and Charles Gray, blending comedy credentials and a disarming charm with a frame of intensity and explosive power when necessary. Gleeson should be cast in a future Bond based on his status as one of Britain's pre-eminent acting talents, and crucially, his choice would resist the cliches that tend to be attached to the character, and his characteristics. His presence would also be a considerable forte, since many of his former roles have involved physicality, though many have also called for him to mask that power until necessary (see In Bruges), and the idea of this hulking man sitting, menacingly stroking that white cat, possessing the requisite size to overpower, but not the need to use it. Additionally Gleeson, beyond all others suits Blofeld's unspoken narrative - he would be the perfect answer for the need to show that Blofeld once had to make his way to the top of the villainous ladder. Why It Won't: The only thing going against Gleeson is that he isn't an A-lister. But then neither were the awesome actors who have played Blofeld in the past or most Bond villains so this shouldn't be a problem. Picked by Simon Gallgher
Jason StathamWhy It Should Happen: Despite Blofeld being James Bonds arch enemy he has never really had much opportunity to do much ass-kicking so that is why I have chosen Jason Statham for my fantasy casting. With Bond of late taking a more brutal approach and a shoot first, ask questions later style of interrogation I think Statham would be the perfect opponent for Daniel Craigs Bond. There is little point in playing Blofeld as a feeble old guy with a white cat when the current Bond would just take him out with one punch. I want to see a Blofeld that is more than a match for Bond and Statham has certainly proved himself in the butt-kicking department in The Transporter films. It would also be great to see him in a bad guy role plus he is already bald so shaving his head would not be a problem. Why It Won't: For all the reasons it should happen. Picked by Chris Wright
Michael ShannonWhy It Should Happen: Since being Oscar-nominated for his supporting role in Revolutionary Road, Michael Shannon has turned up in a wide range of films, including two collaborations with Werner Herzog his sort-of remake of Bad Lieutenant and the David Lynch-produced My Son, My Son, What Have Ye Done?. Uniting all of his roles is a freakish and strange charisma which sends shivers down ones spine. His unusual features and silently aggressive posture make him the perfect choice for Bonds nemesis. Hes a naturally intimidating screen presence, with huge amount of menace and facial expressions that could kill. Why It Won't: Assuming hes comfortable playing pantomime villains, it will depend on his commitments with Man of Steel, where he fills Terence Stamps shoes as General Kneel Before Zod. Two iconic screen villains together for Shannon just seems so unlikely. Picked by: Daniel Mumby
Toby JonesWhy It Should Happen: Still best known to many as Dobby the House Elf from Harry Potter films, Toby Jones as every bit as chameleonic as Blofeld himself. Truman Capote in Infamous, Smee in Finding Neverland, Karl Rove in W. and Armin Zola in Captain America are just some of a huge range of credits. His outstanding recent performance as Percy Alleline in Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy proves that he is at home in the spy thriller genre, while his brooding, cerebral presence in Frost/Nixon gives him the same sense of suave danger that Charles Gray captured in Diamonds are Forever. Why him? Because like Blofeld, he could be absolutely anyone.
Why It Won't Happen: Outside of the fact he is mostly seen by the general public as "That guy!" (which should be a positive and has allowed him to play such a variety of different roles) and isn't a household name (but he is a household face), there is absoulutely no reason he couldn't be Blofeld in Bond 23. His casting to us seems highly possible, especially if all the awards talk for TTSS amounts to anything by December.Picked by Daniel Mumby