The position of James Bond, the charming and daring spy created by Ian Fleming, is perhaps the most coveted role in British cinema. Over the years, six actors have taken on the iconic character on the silver screen. However, Daniel Craig, the current Bond, is set to depart after the release of No Time To Die.
Who will take the vacant seat in the technologically advanced Aston Martin parked at the front?
For years, there has been much talk about who will succeed Craig as the next Bond, particularly due to his enthusiastic comments about not wanting to portray the character again after Spectre in 2015. Idris Elba was considered the leading candidate for a while, but it appears that he is currently not very interested in taking on the role. The only information we have from Bond producer Barbara Broccoli regarding the next actor to play Bond is that he can be a male of any race.
After the conclusion of Cary Fukunaga's No Time to Die, there are still numerous appealing options to portray James Bond. According to sources, the producers are seeking a candidate who is "over 5ft 10 tall" and in their thirties for the role of the next 007.
Here Are Our Top Picks That We Believe Meet The Criteria.
Before Bridgerton became the most popular show to binge-watch, Regé-Jean Page may have been an unfamiliar name to you. However, he quickly climbed up the bookies' list of potential James Bond actors. Page even referred to the Bond rumors as a "merit badge" for British actors who achieve recognition. While many actors have been considered for the Bond role after starring in a successful production, Page's timing may be perfect to secure him the iconic tuxedo.
When Daniel Craig was a child, he dreamt of being Superman rather than James Bond, but if Henry Cavill were to replace Craig as Bond, he would have achieved both roles. Cavill, who is known for his heroic portrayal of the Man of Steel, as well as his lead role in The Witcher and his Bond-esque character in The Man from U.N.C.L.E., would be a popular choice for the iconic spy.
He previously auditioned for the role but lost out to Craig, and expressed interest in playing Bond if given the opportunity. The producers have a history of considering previous hopefuls, as seen with Roger Moore, Timothy Dalton, and Pierce Brosnan, so Cavill's chances look promising.
The tragic Red Wedding scene devastated Game of Thrones enthusiasts, while his appearance in the hit series Bodyguard propelled him to the forefront of TV discussions. Consequently, Madden has been a consistent favorite among bookmakers for the role of James Bond, with rumors circulating that he was on the verge of being offered the part. While the offer never materialized, Madden remains one of the actors most closely associated with Bond, particularly when he dons a tuxedo on the red carpet.
James Norton, known for his roles in Grantchester and McMafia, rejected the idea of playing Bond in 2020, calling it "bizarre and quite flattering". Despite denying the rumors, his name frequently appears on bookmakers' lists, suggesting there may be some truth to them. Norton is in his early to mid-30s, similar to Daniel Craig when he was cast for Casino Royale in 2006, and has had a successful career on television. A more glamorous opportunity may await him.
Dev Patel has established himself as one of Britain's most affable actors, from his stint on Skins to his recent Academy Award nomination for Lion and starring role in The Personal History of David Copperfield by Armando Iannucci. He has demonstrated his versatility in comedy, intense drama, and action in films such as Neill Blomkamp's underrated Chappie and the distressing Hotel Mumbai from 2019. Patel possesses all the necessary attributes for Bond, including his ability to look dashing in a suit, and would undoubtedly make history as the first non-white actor to portray the character.
Nicholas Hoult, a former Skins colleague of Patel's, has demonstrated his ability to seamlessly fit into major franchise roles, such as portraying Beast in X-Men and the war boy Nux in Mad Max: Fury Road. Before the COVID-19 pandemic, he was slated to play a villain in the upcoming Mission: Impossible movies, but scheduling conflicts arose.
Although he is slightly younger than many of the actors on this list, at 32, Hoult has exhibited ample charisma throughout his career, making a strong argument for his inclusion in the next James Bond film.
Aaron Taylor-Johnson, a member of the younger generation of actors who could potentially play Bond, has an impressive background in action films. He starred in the superhero parody Kick-Ass and played the main human character in Gareth Edwards' Godzilla. Additionally, he has received numerous award nominations for his performance in Nocturnal Animals and has recently taken on a variety of transformative roles, such as playing a time-manipulating soldier in Christopher Nolan's Tenet, demonstrating his versatility as an actor.
Tom Hardy, much like Idris Elba, has been a popular contender for the role of James Bond for over a decade. He has played various characters that would make him a great fit for the role, such as the suave Eames in Inception and a more subdued field agent in Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy.
Considering his recent performances as eccentric characters with unusual accents, Hardy may be the only actor on the shortlist who could bring Bond back down to reality. However, at 44 years old, he may have missed his opportunity to take on the iconic role.
In a remarkably short amount of time, Henry Golding transformed from a relative unknown, save for fans of the Beeb's Travel Show, to the preferred candidate for the role of James Bond. His captivating charm and debonair charisma, on full display in Crazy Rich Asians, make him an ideal fit for the iconic character.
During an interview with Yahoo Movies UK in 2019, Golding revealed that playing Bond is a lifelong aspiration. Director Paul Feig, who worked with Golding on Last Christmas, also endorsed him for the role, provided he is allowed to direct the film.
Scottish actor Sam Heughan, famous for his award-winning performance on the historical drama Outlander, is a fresh face in the race to become the next James Bond. In March 2020, he added fuel to the speculation when he disclosed that he had previously auditioned for the role when producers were considering a younger approach for the reboot of Casino Royale. Now, after fifteen years, he could be a contender once again. Additionally, Roger Moore, who worked with Heughan on the movie Princess For Christmas in 2011, was also a fan.
Tom Hiddleston, a highly articulate British actor, is frequently mentioned as a potential successor to Daniel Craig. He has gained a significant following for his portrayal of Loki, a villain in the Marvel Cinematic Universe who is also a friend of Thor. Hiddleston is an accomplished performer on both stage and screen. He demonstrated his abilities in the espionage genre when he starred in the BBC's 2016 adaptation of John le Carré's novel The Night Manager, for which he received a Golden Globe award. If he can manage to balance his schedule with the Loki TV series, he would make an outstanding James Bond.
John Boyega has openly expressed his desire to portray James Bond, despite feeling he may be too young for the role back in 2018. He eagerly awaits the opportunity to take on the iconic character and wield the Walther PPK. In a recent interview with Men's Health in 2022, Boyega stated that he would jump at the chance if the producers were to approach him.
Boyega is no stranger to high-octane action, having played the role of Finn, a former Stormtrooper turned Resistance fighter in the Star Wars Sequel Trilogy. He exudes charisma and appears to relish every part he portrays. With Daniel Craig's complicated relationship with the franchise, casting someone like Boyega, who would fully embrace the role, could be a much-needed change.
Although he portrayed a Russian singer/lover in the Netflix film Eurovision Song Contest: The Story of Fire Saga in 2020, Dan Stevens, the former Downton Abbey actor, would be an excellent candidate to play James Bond. In addition to his roles in the ITV series and his leading role in the live-action Beauty and the Beast, which was heavily reliant on CGI, Stevens demonstrated genuine darkness in his unforgettable performance in The Guest. His version of Bond could have a surprisingly edgy quality.
Despite being the title character, Oliver Jackson-Cohen's most famous role in The Invisible Man saw him hardly on screen. The British actor played the abusive husband of Elisabeth Moss's character, utilizing his scientific expertise to become the titular tormentor. Jackson-Cohen has also appeared in the Netflix horror series The Haunting of Hill House and is set to return for its sequel, The Haunting of Bly Manor. Although his resume may not be as extensive as other potential James Bond actors, his impressive work speaks for itself. With his talent on the cusp of breaking into the A-list, he is a strong contender for Bond casting.
Having played supporting roles on both the big and small screens, Ṣọpẹ Dìrísù left a lasting impression in 2020 with his portrayal of Elliot Finch in Gareth Evans' Gangs of London and a refugee fighting spirits in His House. In Gangs of London, he portrayed a low-level gang employee who also worked as an undercover cop, concealing his true identity. This experience of playing a character with secrets in a high-stakes environment is reminiscent of James Bond.
Tom Hopper, who should not be mistaken for the director of Cats, Mr. Hooper, is frequently mentioned as a potential James Bond leading man by bookmakers. He is known for his roles as Dickon Tarly, the brother of Samwell, in Game of Thrones, and as Billy Bones in Black Sails.
Hopper has recently appeared in supporting roles in the Amy Schumer comedy I Feel Pretty and the sci-fi sequel Terminator: Dark Fate. He possesses suave and charismatic qualities but has yet to secure a signature leading role in movies. The role of Bond could be his opportunity to do so.