Who will be the next James Bond?
Daniel Craig’s time as James Bond is over, and producer Barbara Broccoli has confirmed a Bond ‘reinvention’ is underway. So, who’s next to step into 007’s shoes?
Having previously stated that he would rather harm himself than return to the fabled tux, it didn’t take long for Craig to jump back in the Aston Martin. But No Time To Die – formerly known as “Bond 25” – really was his final film in the franchise.
Producers say it’s “early days” for casting the new Bond, given that it’s a 10-12-year commitment”. They’ve also said that they’re looking for a “30-something” to play the role. However, at this point we can’t take any statements as gospel. These are super spies they’re recruiting here.
The list of actors in the running is huge but these are the front runners – who’s your fave?
Taylor-Johnson has it all. The actor, no stranger to stunts, has proven himself as an action star in the making through roles in the Kick-Ass movies, Avengers: Age of Ultron and Godzilla . On top of this, he’s good at emotional range, and his breakthrough role as a young John Lennon in Nowhere Boy was a testament to these skills.
Taylor-Johnson is a Brit, checks the heartthrob box and has an established name without being too tied to any other franchise.
The Bond producers reportedly agree too. The 32-year-old has recently went for a secret screen test with producers including Barbara Broccoli at Pinewood studios, and seriously impressed them.
Remember James from The Inbetweeners 2 movie and The White Lotus? He’s fronted action franchises and played romantic leads, but crucially he’s never been defined by any one character from his roster and that’s good if you’re going to sign on to the most defining role of all time. He has that classic Bond charm and image.
But he doesn’t seem that keen on it. Of course, this may be classic actor humility, he said “I love some of the Sean Connery movies, but I think they need to do something else. Do you know what I mean? They need to really go with a reinvention of it in a different way and that wouldn’t be me.”
Voted the most attractive man in the world.
If Bond is the most eligible bachelor ever to appear on screen then there are few better auditions than Rege’s turn as the Duke Of Hastings, in Bridgerton. He’s tall and good-looking, his skills in a velvet frock coat and cravat mean he would ace the Bond tuxedo test and he has the necessary charm and lightness of touch to deliver Bond’s one-liners.
He has more charisma in his pinky than most people do in their entire body. So you know, we’d watch him do anything — I mean, we’d watch him read the phonebook!”
Bridgerton is charming and a gloriously Americanised view of high society in Regency England but would Page deliver the right sort of deep, brooding moody menace to Bond that Craig has in the role?
Draw a picture of Bond and the result would be Henry Cavill. Square-jawed, broad-shouldered, dark-haired, blue-eyed. Classically handsome, but could clearly take you in a fight. Auditioning for the role, aged 22, in 2005, Cavill reached the final two before Craig edged him out. Sixteen years later, matured as an actor and a man, surely he could go one better?
Cavill cuts a dashing figure but nobody can be Superman and James Bond, can they?
It’s hard to imagine a riskier role than Elvis Presley, probably the most imitated man in the world, but American actor Austin Butler does it with perfectly. Could Butler’s next step be the most imitated man in fiction? At 30, he’s about the right age, particularly given the producer’s stated intention to modernise the Bond character. He’s famous without yet being over-exposed or too connected to an existing role, just like Daniel Craig was when he took the helm and he can smoulder with the best of them, and could probably pull off the British accent.
He’s come a long way since vampire Edward Cullen. He has developed his acting repertoire substantially since the blockbuster Twilight franchise ended, opting for a raft of challenging indie roles and becoming the THE BATMAN, Bond’s physical nature wouldn’t be a problem for the newly-buff leading man.
He has the looks, the charm, and the dedicated approach to filmmaking that Bond’s production team look for in a candidate. Another Superhero to Superspy?
Could Bond save his acting career?
Harry Styles’ acting career had the best start. Although starting strong with a small role in Christopher Nolan’s Dunkirk that left us wanting more, in 2022 Don’t Worry Darling and My Policeman didn’t quite hit the mark. Still, God loves a trier and what better training than MI6? Bond needs an injection of something new, fresh and young to carry on working into the future, and never underestimate the power of Harry Styles fans putting their bums firmly in cinema seats.
He may just be too young and too good-looking. If the next James Bond has to be rugged and dangerous, maybe Harry isn’t the man for the job. Add to that his introduction to the Marvel Cinematic Universe and it looks like Mr Styles might be unavailable for the next ten years. And Gucci won’t be happy about that. Or my daughter.
Amidst all the other names that are thrown around, Elba’s has been the one that keeps seeming to crop up, and unsurprisingly, given he is the perfect fit for the Bond criteria: tall, ridiculously attractive, magnetic. And now we have further evidence that the pendulum has finally swung fully towards Elba with Barbara Broccoli, quoted as saying he is ‘part of the conversation’ for the role — the first time she has admitted as such. Elba fits the criteria as an actor but he is 49: only four years younger than Daniel Craig at the end of his tenure.
His acting range isn’t limited to a kinky sex enthusiast and serial killer. He’s played real-life army heroes and also able to handle comic scenes plus displays his ever-growing depth as seen in Sir Kenneth Branagh’s semi-autobiographical Belfast.
So, the acting is there, but Bond has to be a bit of a stud. Dornan was dubbed “The Golden Torso” by the New York Times, and named by Vogue as one of the 25 biggest male models of all time. Box ticked.
He’s box office, pure and simple.
On 20 September 2020, it was reported that Hardy had already been cast in the role after supposedly auditioning and that he was due to be unveiled as Bond in November on the release of No Time To Die. Although that didn’t transpire, the news prompted bookies to slash odds, including Ladbrokes shortening theirs from a fairly distant 8/1 to 4/5 – practically a shoo-in. He’s drifted since, but is a permanent fixture in the most-likely top three.
Hardy physically resembles Fleming’s Bond and would bring a dangerous edge and devastating talent. And recently he fuelled the debate by stating: “There’s a saying amongst us in the fraternity of acting… that if you talk about it [Bond rumours], you’re automatically out of the race. So I can’t possibly comment on that one!”