Who will be the next James Bond?
It’s the question every 007 fan has been asking since Daniel Craig drank his last Vesper and hung up the Walther PPK in No Time to Die (2021). There has been endless speculation and interesting rumors about who he’ll pick up the coveted mantle, and the tux weighs heavily, as Craig is considered one of the best Bonds.
This means that another major transition is coming, in the style of Casino Royale, in the second longest-running series in cinema. (The Bond franchise has had 25 films spanning 61 years, but the reigning king of the longest-running film franchise in history remains Godzilla, on screens since 1954 and with 38 films to date.)
AI-Powered Photography Brings James Bond Candidates to Life
Alper Yesiltas, attorney and Istanbul-based photographer, has become an AI-powered photography talent. Having digitally portrayed some iconic figures with series on aging celebrities dead (“As If Nothing Happened”) and alive (“Young Age(d)”), Yesiltas has used a combination of Midjourney, Dall-E, Artbreeder and Faceapp – among other tools – to portray James Bond candidates in action, to see who best fits the character. “My goal is to create a convincing and believable photorealistic portrait,” Yesiltas explains to Euronews Culture. Mission accomplished.
His Bond portraits are stunningly photorealistic, perfectly framing his choices of potential candidates with stylish threading and iconic Bond cars. Take a look at these three AI photography examples by Yesiltas:
Idris Elba as 007
Elba’s digital rendering oozes charisma and confidence, traits that could lend a robust edge to the Bond character. His potential casting would bring an exciting new dynamic to the Bond franchise.
Tom Hiddleston as 007
Hiddleston’s digital rendering hints at a Bond possessing quick wit, charm, and a degree of unpredictability.
Aaron Taylor-Johnson as 007
Taylor-Johnson has shown considerable variety in his roles, demonstrating an ability to balance action, drama, and humor. His digital portrayal as Bond hints at a character that is dynamic, intense, and accessible.
“Dreaming of this theme, I integrate the different aspects of the actors with the character,” explains Yesiltas. “After I started working with AI, I thought I would produce a project around this, including some actors in my mind, and when I saw that I was able to do it in software with convincing photorealism, I produced the works on this list.” mentions show a clear appreciation for the Bond series and what each actor could bring to the role. “The characters you see represent my dream combination of the particular actor and the Bond characteristics I’ve seen before. For example, when I think of Idris Elba, I imagine the technological and innovative side of Bond, while the traits of Taron Egerton or Henry Cavill are more traditional.”
AI Photography and the Future of Art
Do you have Yesiltas’ personal opinion on who will become the new 007? “I would like the actor who is going to play the role of Bond to be the one who can play it for the longest time,” he tells Euronews Culture. “To be honest, I think a less predicted (or never predicted, not even on this list) young actor will be cast in the role of James Bond.” A fair assumption, since the prediction curse states that the closer you are to your ring name 007, the less chance the interpreter has of being chosen. Still, many of Yesiltas’s cast seem doable. “I have a strong feeling that James Norton or Lucien Laviscount will be the next Bond,” he says. “I hope these phrases will gain value in the future!”
I don’t think AI-based photography can replace real photography. Artificial intelligence cannot recognize the sensations you get from shooting a real portrait. Jet-setting spies aside, what about warnings about using AI in art, such as songwriting? and photography, which have led some artists to consider it an enemy of true art, accusing it of undermining artistic creation. “I think it is a revolutionary process and the first steps of a great change,” says Yesiltas, who has a more positive vision of the use of AI in art. “From the point where we can produce art with AI-based tools, classical art production looks the same as classic canvas/brush (or paper/pencil) from the point where digital drawing tools are located. In the very near future, the artist’s imagination will be more important than how their art is drawn.””I’m not sure if AI-based photorealistic images will replace photographs in the future next,” he adds. “But I don’t think AI-based photography can replace real photography. Artificial intelligence can’t recognize the sensations you get from shooting a real portrait.”
Real or not, check out more of the stunning portraits of Alper Yesiltas Bond Next:
Lucien Laviscount as 007
Regé-Jean Page as 007
James Norton as 007
Tom Hardy as 007
Richard Madden as 007
Henry Golding as 007
You can find more works by Alper Yesiltas on Instagram, Rarible, and Twitter.