It’s the question that consistently comes up around the water cooler and on social media. Who will replace Daniel Craig as the most famous secret agent in the world?
Will it be a woman or a person of colour for the first time? Here is the list of famous actors, who the new Bond will follow…
Previous James Bonds:
Daniel Craig – (2006-2021)
Films: Casino Royale, Quantum of Solace, Skyfall, Spectre, No Time To Die
Pierce Brosnan – (1995-2002)
Films: GoldenEye, Tomorrow Never Dies, The World Is Not Enough, Die Another Day
Timothy Dalton – (1987-1989)
Films: The Living Daylights, Licence to Kill
Roger Moore – (1973-1985)
Films: Live and Let Die, The Man with the Golden Gun, The Spy Who Loved Me, Moonraker, For Your Eyes Only, Octopussy, A View to a Kill
George Lazenby – (1969)
Films: On Her Majesty’s Secret Service
Sean Connery – (1962-1971)
Films: Dr No, From Russia With Love, Goldfinger, Thunderball, You Only Live Twice, Diamonds are Forever
What do we know so far?
It is all quiet on the Bond front and the only snippets we’ve had out of the Broccoli camp seem to indicate it’s not going to be an immediate decision. It looks like at the very earliest production will start in 2024 with a theatrical release in 2025. With those timescales we’re not going to get an announcement until next year at the very earliest.
Series producers Barbara Broccoli and Michael G Wilson have given us a few hints as to what they are and aren’t looking for in the next Bond in a recent Deadline interview.
Broccoli ruled out a woman playing the role any time soon stating:
“I think it will be a man because I don’t think a woman should play James Bond.
I believe in making characters for women and not just having women play men’s roles. I don’t think there are enough great roles for women, and it’s very important to me that we make movies for women about women.”
She also added:
“He should be British, so British can be any [ethnicity or race].”
Lastly, we’ve had a few clues about the age of any prospective bond:
“We’ve tried looking at younger people in the past. But trying to visualise it doesn’t work. Remember, Bond’s already a veteran. He’s had some experience. He’s a person who has been through the wars, so to speak. He’s probably been in the SAS or something. He isn’t some kid out of high school that you can bring in and start off. That’s why it works for a thirty-something.”
So, we’re looking for a 30-something British male actor who is available for a potential 10-12 year period. Let’s look at the candidates…
Who are the favourites?
Henry Cavill – 11/4
The English actor remains at the head of the market but has drifted slightly from earlier in the year. 39-year-old Cavill looks a perfect fit for the role but has one major stumbling block. Superman.
Cavill recently stepped down from the role of Geralt of Rivia in the Netflix fantasy series The Witcher, which may have given fans hope of him picking up the role of the MI5 spy, yet he still has future DC work as Superman and has recently stated he may be too busy for the role.
Cavill did try out for the role previously though, losing out to Craig, so he clearly has some interest in playing the role.
henry cavill should actually be the next James Bond pic.twitter.com/xK5mUAixf6
— Harley 🦇 (@harleysuniverse) November 8, 2022
Rege Jean-Page – 3/1
The second favourite is English actor Rege Jean-Page. The 34-year-old won hearts all over the world as the famously non-committal Simon Basset, Duke of Hastings in Netflix’s period drama Bridgerton.
Jean-Page is slated to reprise one of Roger Moore’s old roles, as Simon Templar aka The Saint. When asked about his chances of taking on Moore’s most famous role, he has been noticeably reticent in his answers.
Here’s how actor Regé-Jean Page reacts to questions about James Bond casting rumors at the world premiere of Netflix's 'The Gray Man' pic.twitter.com/F3audjHGWN
— Reuters Showbiz (@ReutersShowbiz) July 14, 2022
James Norton – 9/2
Another 30-something Englishman, James Norton is probably best known for his roles in Happy Valley, War and Peace and McMafia.
The 37-year-old Yorkshireman certainly has the looks for the role of Bond and has expressed admiration for how Daniel Craig had changed the character over the years. This one could have legs.
Dan Stevens – 6/1
Londoner Stevens could be on the upper age limit for the role of Bond but has an impressive resume. The 40-year-old has starred in Downton Abbey, Beauty and the Beast and Legion.
Stevens also already has a Bond connection – narrating a Casino Royale audiobook in the past. Even so, I think this one is unlikely.
Richard Madden – 8/1
King in the North! Richard Madden played Robb Stark in the huge HBO fantasy drama Game of Thrones before meeting an untimely end at the red wedding. He recently played a Bond-style role in the BBC thriller The Bodyguard and the 36-year-old Scot also showed his versatility when playing Prince Kit in Cinderella.
Madden certainly fits the profile, is the right age and has smouldering good looks. I can see this happening.
Idris Elba – 8/1
Idris Elba has been spoken about as the next Bond even before Daniel Craig gave up the role. He is known worldwide from his roles of Stringer Bell in The Wire, Heimdall in the MCU Thor franchise and DCI John Luther in BBC crime drama Luther.
The 50-year-old Englishman is a favourite of the producers but surely is too old for such a long running commitment. He recently stated:
“I don’t think that playing Bond will satisfy some of my personal goals. It will definitely satisfy the will of a nation, I’m not going to lie. Every corner of the world I go… they always go, ‘Bond.’ And I feel it is beyond me at this juncture.”
Tom Hardy – 8/1
Another Englishman who has been talked about as a potential bond for at least a decade, 45-year-old Hardy is also perhaps too long in the tooth for such a role.
He is a world renowned actor famous for his roles in Mad Max: Fury Road, Venom, Legend, Peaky Blinders and The Dark Knight Rises and has already played a spy in Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy.
Hardy would have been perfect for the role 10 years ago but this one looks unlikely now.
Luke Evans – 10/1
Luke Evans is well known from his roles in Beauty and the Beast, Fast & Furious, The Hobbit and Nine Perfect Strangers but again at 43 looks on the wrong side of 40 to play Bond for a decade.
The Welshman is openly gay and has spoken about playing the role previously stating:
“We’re not in the Roger Moore [era] where he sleeps with five women per film, that’s not really what he’s about any more.
I don’t think it really matters at all to the character, if I’m really honest,”
Jack Lowden – 10/1
Another Scot, Jack Lowden has one of the lowest profiles of the major contenders but has age on his side.
The 32-year-old’s star is on the rise and after a career in theatre, he has started to receive starring roles in TV and film, including War & Peace, Dunkirk and Mary Queen of Scots – where he met his current partner, actress Saoirse Ronan.
This one looks fairly dubious but he is at a similar career point as Craig was when cast as Bond. He has shortened from 20/1 at the start of the year to 10/1.
Aiden Turner – 10/1
Irishman Aiden Turner is primarily known for his starring roles in popular British dramas such as Poldark and Being Human. He also starred in the global franchise The Hobbit.
At 39-years-old he is just on the right side of 40 and certainly has the looks to play Bond. Whether he is a big enough name is another question.
Any interesting outsiders?
Tom Hiddlestone – 33/1
41-year-old Londoner Hiddlestone looked a good bet for this role a few years ago, when starring in the BBC mini series The Night Manager and went as short as 1/4 for next Bond. However, since then he has become globally famous as Loki in the Marvel Cinematic Universe franchise and it appears unlikely he would take on such a demanding role as Bond, alongside such a regular money earner.
Tom Hiddleston Is Reportedly in Talks to Be the Next James Bond https://t.co/hol1CHYCZn pic.twitter.com/dxkTol7PCn
— Esquire (@esquire) May 30, 2016
Cillian Murphy – 33/1
Another Irishman, 46-year-old Murphy would be an interesting choice for Bond and would certainly provide some new character traits but again this one looks unlikely due to age.
However, Murphy has just finished playing the role of Tommy Shelby in crime drama Peaky Blinders, so is he available.
Lashana Lynch – 50/1
34-year-old Lynch played MI6 agent Nomi in the recent Daniel Craig movies and there was some speculation she could be about to take over the lead role of 007 for good. That appears to be dead in the water now that the producers have ruled out a woman playing the role.
Benedict Cumberbatch – 100/1
Last but not least, we have Benedict Cumberbatch who is globally known from his appearances in Star Trek: Into Darkness, Sherlock, Imitation Game and Doctor Strange, amongst others.
Again at 46, he looks too old to fit the role the producers wish to cast and is probably too big a name to take on Bond.