Spectre has hit the big screen this week and sees Daniel Craig return to the role of James Bond for his fourth film. Spectre may or may not be the last time that we see Craig in this role and there has been a lot of talk about who could replace him should he walk away from the franchise.

Tom Hardy

Tom Hardy

Personally, I would love to see Craig do one more movie as I think he has been a terrific Bond and has really helped revitalise this iconic film series - it will be sad to see him go.

But who could take over one of cinema's biggest roles? We take a look at some of the actors who have been linked to 007 and those that perhaps should be in the mix.

- Tom Hardy

When it comes to casting a successor to Daniel Craig, for me, there is only one name in the running... and that is Tom Hardy. Not only does he look the part, he is a great actor, and he has air of menace and danger that I think is essential for this role.

Hardy is also a hugely popular actor and really could help to elevate this franchise even further. But with popularity and talent comes demand and Hardy is one of the busiest actors around.

He is already tied into the Mad Max franchise with a rumoured two more movies potentially in the pipeline. Not to mention he is always being linked with Marvel and D.C. film projects.

Hardy has also expressed an interest in taking on this role and I think he would bring a rawness and a steel to this role. I think he be the perfect choice but his availability going forward has the potential to be a real problem. If Hardy is to be Bond I think they need to snap this actor up as soon as possible.

Tom Hardy

- Idris Elba

Idris Elba is the name that has been linked to the role of James Bond the most in recent years... whether it will become a reality still remains to be seen.

I am a huge fan of Elba and there is no doubt that he would do a great job - I think the argument that we shouldn't have a black Bond are totally ridiculous.

However, what do we think about an older Bond? Elba is forty three years old now... what if Craig decides to do a fifth film? Elba could be forty five at least before the cameras on his Bond movie start rolling. We all know how physically demanding Bond movies can be - Craig has admitted himself that the action side of things has got tougher as he has got older.

We have seen the gritty side of Elba as an actor with the likes of Luther and I think he would mix the darkness of this character with his charm perfectly. But could Elba follow in Craig's footsteps and stay in this role for a decade?

Idris Elba

- Damien Lewis

I have to say, it did come as a shock earlier this year when it was revealed that Damien Lewis was another name that was in the mix for the role of 007.

Don't get me wrong, I think that Lewis is a terrific actor but I just don't see him in this role and I don't think that he would be a perfect fit at all.

I do see Lewis in the Bond franchise but I think he would make a much better Bond villain that 007 himself. Now whether Lewis has been the favourite with Sony for the role really does remain to be seen but I do think that there are far better choices out there.

There's no denying that from a character point of view Lewis would bring a new and different side to Bond, but I just don't see him as an action hero.

Damien Lewis

- Henry Cavill

Henry Cavill is an actor that was in the running for the role of Bond when Daniel Craig landed the role ten years ago... it's is fair to say that he would be considered a second time.

Cavill certainly looks the part and is no stranger to tackling action and blockbuster projects but he already has one major franchise that he is currently part of.

Cavill is currently enjoying huge success as the new Superman and he will back in Batman v Superman next year. The studio is building towards a Justice League to rival that of the Avengers so Cavill is going to be tied with this role for the foreseeable future. Could he really juggle both?

The actor has revealed that he is still interested in the role - he was just twenty two when he screen tested for the first time - and I think that he is a better age for this role now.

Henry Cavill

- Luke Evans

Luke Evans is an actor who has seen his star rocket over the last few years and could well be in the mix when the casting for the new James Bond starts.

Over the last few years, Evans has mixed action/blockbuster roles in Fast & Furious 7 and The Hobbit franchise with more character driven roles in TV mini-series The Great Train Robbery and Tamara Drewe and could balance both of these aspects to a Bond film.

Did we mention that Evans also looks the part and looks great in a tux? Evans is not the biggest and most well-known actor on this list, but Bond was the role that really turned Craig into a global superstar.

At the age of thirty-six, Evans could potentially be with the franchise for many years and lead this film series into a new era.

Luke Evans

- Tom Hiddleston

Tom Hiddleston is one of the most popular and talented British actors around at the moment and must be a consideration when casting this role.

Of course, we know Hiddleston best for his role as Loki in the Marvel Universe but he has delivered some fantastic character driven work in the likes of Only Lovers Left Alive and The Deep Blue Sea.

While Hiddleston may not be the biggest action star, we are going to be seeing him in the likes of blockbusters Kong: Skull Island and Thor: Ragnarok.

At thirty-four, Hiddleston is another actor who could be with the Bond franchise for many year and I think he could explore the character like we have never seen before. I suppose he would be a bit of a risk but he is a terrific actor who could really make this role his own.

Tom Hiddleston

- Richard Armitage

Richard Armitage had enjoyed an extensive TV career before landing the role of Thoin in The Hobbit trilogy - a movie series that really helped to send his star rocketing.

More recently, Armitage has been another actor who has been linked to the role of Bond and could well be a serious contender when casting for this role truly gets underway.

There's no denying that Armitage is a great actor who can tackle action/blockbuster roles but - much like Idris Elba - is he an actor that could stay with the franchise for many years?

At forty-four, Armitage is the joint oldest actor on this list for the role of Bond - he is the same age as Lewis - could he really give a decade to the Bond as Daniel Craig has?

There's still no word on the future of Daniel Craig as 007 and - should he decide to do a fifth film - it could be quite a few years until a new actor gets his shot at putting his stamp on this character and film series.

Richard Armitage

Spectre is out now.

by for www.femalefirst.co.uk
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