Why Stephen Hawking Wanted To Play A Bond Villain

Oh ho ho, how this could have played out...! The potential for puns. The genius interplay of threats and retorts. A mastermind of science vs. a gadget-laden super-spy. Consciousness vs. physicality. Singularities and Schrödinger's cat being stroked on Hawking's lap by a robot hand (or not stroked until you saw it, hah). So strap that wheelchair to a rocket, people, and blast "The Professor" (clearly his villain name) straight into Bond's flying car, because the world's foremost brain-in-a-body could have squared off against Daniel Craig (or Idris Elba, perhaps, in an alternate reality?) in a James Bond film ... if only a single studio executive had any inkling as to what could have earned 8,000 quadrillion dollars at the box office.

Bond: So sorry to interrupt you on the eve of your victory, Professor. I can see you're busy with your ... calculations. 

Professor (ray gun attached to wheelchair, chin poised on the trigger): Only your atoms need to be concerned about this eve, 007, right before I split your molecular ... Bonds. Bwa. Ha. Ha. Ha.

Yes, folks, Stephen Hawking, one of history's most brilliant scientific minds, wanted to play a Bond villain, as reported by Time. Hawking had, in fact, already been featured in a number of shows before his death in 2018, such as Star Trek: The Next Generation, The Simpsons, Futurama, The Big Bang Theory, and Monty Python Live, per IMDB. His acting chops were up to the task, and so was he.

This event's horizon looks quite black for you ... Bond

The reason Hawking wanted to be "a baddie in a James Bond film," according to his 2014 interview with The Telegraph? Come on. We all know, and so did he. "I think the wheelchair and the computer voice would fit the part," Hawking said. The physicist and author of A Brief History of Time completely and unabashedly owned his technological "accessories" over the course of his life, recognizing how critical they were in getting people to listen to his lectures. As stated in Rolling Stone, "I was able to speak with a speech synthesizer, though it gave me an American accent. I have kept that voice, because it's now my trademark."

Diagnosed with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) in 1963, as outlined by Australian Broadcasting Corporation News, Hawking outlived his prognosis by over half a century, and never once allowed his condition to slow him down. Right up until two weeks before his death, as described by the Independent, he was working on what could have earned him a Noble Prize by co-authoring A Smooth Exit from Eternal Inflation, in which he predicted the Heat Death of the universe, rather than a Big Crunch, and the exploration of alternate realities using space probes.

Even though Hawking never got the chance to play a Bond baddie in our reality, one thing is sure: his legacy persists as brightly as one of the stars that fascinated him.