He’s already appeared in The Simpsons and Star Trek but Stephen Hawking says there’s one role that would be perfect for him: a James Bond villain. The legendary astrophysicist made the comments during an interview with Wired UK (print edition only as reported by The Telegraph). "My ideal role would be a baddie in a James Bond film," he said. "I think the wheelchair and the computer voice would fit the part."
Apart from Hawking’s proven dramatic ability (he even appeared in a special video segment of the final Monty Python show in January this year) he rightly points out that he has exactly the sort of "accessories" that gives a Bond villain flair. Plus, his real life profession might provide the bones for a suitably apocalyptic threat to Earth. With all the comic book movies around, it's about time James Bond went galactic in its stakes.
"I think the wheelchair and the computer voice would fit the part."
Imagine Bond uncovering a devious plot to hold the world’s governments to ransom using a miniature black hole with – shock, horror! – trusted and esteemed professor Stephen Hawking at the head of the intrigue. Bond travels to Hawking's old alma mater Cambridge University to hunt down the evil mastermind in his steepled and ancient lair, and cinema-goers get to enjoy 20 minutes of explosions and chaos in the cloistered alleyways. (Will there be a chase scene on the river using boats? Of course. Will Hawking make a getaway using his wheelchair's hidden outboard motor? Absolutely!)
Then: the final showdown where the Bond writers get to the beating British heart of the series. No, that’s not the delusional sense of empire or a love of classic cars: it’s the puns. Those terrible, terrible puns. Bond, perhaps, at this point is in dire straits, hanging on to a crumbling cliff face by just his fingertips. Hawking is poised disdainfully above, ready to unleash a shower of boulders to flatten the spy.
Bond: So Hawking, after all your scientific scheming, this is how you plan to finish me off – a pile of rocks? This feels a bit rushed for you.
Hawking (via computer): You know what they say, Mr. Bond. A rolling stone... gathers no moss.
[Nitro boosters pop out from the sides of his wheel chair. Wheels screech! Hawking tears off as boulders slam down towards Bond.]
Hmm. When you think about it, the most difficult thing about casting Hawking as a Bond villain isn’t the believability of him being evil –- it’s trying to picture him not winning.