No Time to Die was Daniel Craig’s swansong for his role as James Bond which he portrayed for 15 years and four films, but not only were people talking about the magnificent movie; rumours on who was going to be the next 007 started swirling.
Names such as Tom Hardy and Idris Elba have been banded around – but who would be the right fit?
No one wants a repeat of George Lazenby, the one-time Bond who didn’t do the role justice, so the producers are under a lot of pressure to get it right, especially after the wonderful job Craig has done.
Here is a look at which actors could be in contention for the (sometimes infamous) role:
Hardy has been tipped to take over the role of Bond for a while now and it isn’t hard to see why.
He’s a highly-acclaimed British actor and has taken on a variety of different roles over the past 20 years – making his film debut in Black Hawk Down before playing Shinzon in Star Trek: Nemesis, Handsome Bob in Guy Ritchie’s RocknRolla, Bane in The Dark Knight Rises, Farrier in Dunkirk and most recently, Eddie Brock/Venom in the Venom films.
To add to this, he’s also appeared on the small screen in TV shows such as Band of Brothers and Wuthering Heights – an actor who really isn’t one to be pigeonholed.
The 44-year-old has already proved that he’s a versatile performer and could therefore portray all sides of Bond perfectly – and there’s no doubt he could pull off an English accent given he was born in Hammersmith, London.
However, there is one slight issue, he’s 44 years old and if he was to be successful in clinching the role, he could be filming high speed car chases, fight scenes and charming women in his 60s if he has a similar reign to Daniel Craig’s 15 years.
Elba is another iconic British actor who has been circulating James Bond rumour mill for just about as long as Hardy has – but with the same argument cropping up every time – Can Bond be black?
The answer is yes of course he can – and 007 film producer Barbara Broccoli agrees, revealing in 2018 “it’s about time a black actor is the next James Bond.”
However, the Luther star seems to have bowed out of the race for the world-renowned role, telling ITV that he’s definitively not going to play the British spy.
Given he’s entering into his fifth decade this September and wants to concentrate on his current roles it’s quite understandable why he’s withdrawn from contention – but it’s such a shame as he would have made an awesome Bond.
He already fights crime on Luther, he’s got the action and stunt background from appearing in films like Thor: Ragnarok, Avengers: Infinity War and The Suicide Squad and appeared in a quintessential British film RocknRolla – which Hardy was also in.
There is still hope, the producers could still get to Elba and persuade him to take the role, but for now it doesn’t look like he’s the frontrunner anymore by his own choice.
A background in Game of Thrones as Robb Stark (albeit, he came to a gruesome end), starring in a film about a legend in the music world; Rocketman and keeping the nation hooked and begging for a second series with his portrayal PS David Budd in the Jed Mercurio production Bodyguard is what that Scottish actor Richard Madden has been getting up to over the past 10 years.
He’s got the skills, he’s got the role flexibility, he’s got the looks and he’s got the... Scottish accent?
Fear not, this will definitely not put him at a disadvantage as the first ever Bond, Sean Connery, was a Scot and that didn’t stop him. In fact people still look at him today as the classic and ultimate 007.
Madden was named the Most Stylish Man of the Year in 2019, as well as featuring on Time 100 in the same year, which is a list of the most influential people in the world – if that doesn’t scream Bond, I don’t know what does.
To top it all off he’s only 35 years old - ladies and gentlemen I think we have a new frontrunner.
Boyega already has national and international recognition as a result of his role as Finn in the Star Wars sequel trilogy films, meaning he’ll be able to handle the press attention that comes with the role of 007 – I mean if you can handle the die-hard Star Wars fans, you can handle anything.
The Detroit star has already registered his interest in becoming the next Bond, telling MTV in 2020 “we could show them something different” when asked about whether he wanted the infamous role.
He already has some experience of the spy game as he appeared on four episodes of 24: Live Another Day which was set in London, the perfect training for a James Bond film.
The stars look like they’re aligning for Boyega, he ticks all the right boxes in terms of what is needed for a future Bond – but will he be Craig’s replacement, or the replacement for the replacement?
Crazy Rich Asians, released just four years ago in 2018, was the film which catapulted Golding into the limelight, receiving critical acclaim and topping the box office in the US on its opening weekend - oh and it was his first ever acting gig.
He hasn’t been acting for long but what he has done so far has caught the eye of audiences and people in the industry – bagging roles in films such as Guy Ritchie’s The Gentlemen, Last Christmas opposite Emilia Clarke and a spin-off from the GI Joe franchise called Snake Eyes where he plays the main character.
Although the 34-year-old was born in Malaysia he moved to Surrey when he was just eight, before moving back to his country of birth to live in Kuala Lumpur in his early 20s.
The British-Malaysian is still fairly new in the movie industry, but that could work in his favour and Bond could be the role that really establishes him in the fabric of films.
It was after The Night Manager aired, which won him a Golden Globe, when the rumours about Hiddleston taking over from Bond started to fly about – another classic British actor who knew how to speak the Queen’s English and looked like he was born to play the role.
Admittedly, bagging the role of Loki in the Marvel films and now TV show made a lot of people write off the 40-year-old for the 007 role simply because of potential time constraints and the MCU character could be his most notable career role.
Daniel Craig is known as James Bond, not “oh yeah he played [insert character here] and Bond, whereas if Hiddleston got the part, audiences in cinemas around the world could turn to their friend/significant other/family member, point to the new James Bond and say, “look it’s Loki.”
James Bond deserves more than that.
He’s not to be written off although though, the Londoner is a highly talented actor and could probably pull off the role of 007 – but maybe he would have been a better suit if the opportunity came up a few years earlier.
Everyone’s favourite flat-cap wearing bad boy Cillian Murphy has been a quiet but deserved addition to the James Bond rumour mill.
He’s best known for playing the role of Tommy Shelby in Peaky Blinders, but he’s also made a name for himself by appearing on productions including Dunkirk, A Quiet Place Part II and The Dark Knight.
Murphy is from Cork, Ireland, doesn’t like to speak about his personal life and has never expressed any desire to move to Los Angeles to mix with the Hollywood elite – would playing 007 and the media circus that goes with it be a step too far for the 45-year-old or would he make for a refreshing change that the Bond films are crying out for?
Similar to Hardy, the Irish actor is in his mid-40s which could make the producers think twice about casting him given he might not be able to commit himself to four films like Craig did.
Only time, and the producers, will tell who the next James Bond will be – but we’re going to love him no matter who it is, let’s be honest.
Words by Lucy Roberts for Female First, who you can follow on Twitter, @Lucy_Roberts_72.