James Bond Jaws
Roger Moore's Bond and Richard Kiel's Jaws scrap in The Spy Who Loved Me. United Artists

The James Bond franchise and Hollywood as a whole has lost one of its icons. The inimitable Richard Kiel was best known for playing metal-mouthed henchman Jaws, a character who popped up twice to trouble Roger Moore's super spy.

Jaws' steely grin represents a long-lost era of James Bond films, and something that has been buried in the latest films starring Daniel Craig's chiselled gentleman-thug version of Ian Fleming's MI6 agent.

While I am a huge fan of the Daniel Craig Bond films (well, Casino Royale and Skyfall) it's safe to say they are considerably more serious in tone than the majority of the 20 films which preceded it, despite having moments of lightness during all the bloodshed and violence.

It's why a vocal portion of Bond fans have rallied against the Craig era.

Despite the current films being closer in tone to the original Fleming books and Craig's Bond being one of the most faithful representations to the character Fleming created, many have longed for the fun and light-heartedness of the 70s and 80s era defined by Roger Moore.

Bond's current direction came around partly because of the disaster that was Die Another Day – the 20<sup>th Bond film and Pierce Brosnan's last – as well as Matt Damon's Bourne franchise, which appealed to the worldwide film-going audience's desire for a more gritty, believable product in a post-9/11 world.

It's not a direction Bond producers should drop entirely, but after the monumental success of Skyfall two years ago the series' producers can feel a little safer regarding future plans, which in turn could open them up to more outlandish concepts.

This does not mean a return to the invisible cars, giant solar lasers, and Halle Berry's of Die Another Day, but how about a classic villain's lair or, to tie this whole thing together, a memorable henchman for Bond to routinely fight as the chief bad guy sits and sneers?

There will never be another Jaws, but why not bring back his ilk, someone to stand alongside him and his fellow right-hand b******s like Oddjob, Red Grant, or the last great one, Xenia Onatopp?

Well, it appears that's exactly what might be happening. According to a report from Bond news site MI6-HQ director Sam Mendes (returning from Skyfall) and his team are seeking a "physically imposing henchman" for the 24th Bond film, set for release next year.

They say casting directors are after someone who is "extremely physically fit and over 6'2"" and who will have "several altercations with Daniel Craig's 007 throughout the film and also a driving sequence".

Good signs indeed for fans of the classic Bond henchman, but will he have something iconic about him? Jaws had his teeth, Oddjob had his hat, Nick Nack had his height, and Xenia had her thighs. What will make the next Bond henchman unique? Whatever it is, we'll be glad to have a classic Bond staple back.