With the announcement that Daniel Craig won’t continue in his role as James Bond, a of rumours abound as to who will replace him. Who is the smart money on?
Idris Elba – 4/1
The Beasts of No Nation and Luther star is many bookies’ favourite to be the next Bond. Even as recently as ten years ago, the idea of a black James Bond caused a stir among filmgoers and the media, but in the second decade of the new millennium, the average punter is more discerning about acting quality than race. And with the recent Oscars race scandal, British film companies will be desperate to show their commitment to diversity. Don’t misread that, however. If Elba is to be the next Bond it’s due to his abilities as an actor, as well as his abundant charisma. The key sticking point for Elba is whether or not he is, at forty-three, too old to take on the role. He himself joked that this might be the case, but we’d wager that his mix of charisma, good looks and reputation for taking on gritty roles makes him the frontrunner.
Tom Hardy – 6/1
Hardy has a lot of what it takes to be the next Bond. Good looking, charming and renowned for his physique, he would slot into the role fairly easily. Although he’s famed for the variety of his roles, particularly as working class gangsters, Hardy is privately educated and wouldn’t struggle to emulate Bond’s boarding school accent. However, Hardy is famed for playing dark, villainous figures. While modern Bond is a conflicted, gritty individual, it’s unclear whether a ‘hero’ role would suit Hardy. Still, he is an extremely good actor, and can’t be dismissed as an outsider.
Tom Hiddleston 25/1
The Avenger’s star has the looks and the English gentleman credentials. However, the role of Bond has changed over the last fifteen years, largely as a result of the success of the Bourne movies. Although the humour and camp charm lives on, (to a degree) Daniel Craig’s Bond is darker, more mysterious and ruthless. Had Hiddleston been around when producers were looking to replace Brosnan (or Dalton), he’d have had a much better chance. As it is, his stereotypical English gent persona is unlikely to get him the role, and he is a little on the lean side. Definitely an outsider.
Damian Lewis – 14/1
Since starring in television hit, Homeland, Lewis has established himself as a film star in the making and like many of the actors on this list, has shown his credentials for darker, gritty roles, a requisite for a Bond star in the modern day. He also has credits in the action genre, having starred in HBO’s Band of Brothers at the turn of the millennium. The Eton-educated star ticks all the right boxes for old English style, but as mentioned already, it’s uncertain whether this is what the producers will want. The key question with the next Bond is whether they will revert to a pre-Craig model or continue with their darker, edgier version. Still, it wouldn’t be a surprise were Lewis to get the nod.
Michael Fassbender 30/1
Fassbender is popular with producers for his louche charm, good looks and straight-talking manner. However, despite his hugely successful career, including a number of roles in top Hollywood films, he remains something of an outsider, working in both independent cinema as well as the big money films. It seems likely the Irish actor will be overlooked despite having the charisma, steel and good looks the role doubtless requires.
Henry Cavill – 10/1
Chiseled Superman star Cavill was one of the favourites to get the role back in 2005, before Craig was cast in Casino Royale. Although the film probably won’t be directed by Martin Campbell, this still works in his favour and increases the chance he will be chosen. Although Craig was a star when he was picked to play Bond, many thought it a surprise given his relatively diminutive size and blonde hair, with Clive Owen seen as the frontrunner. Although Cavill doesn’t carry the same A-list name, his popularity with directors and producers puts him in with a good shout of being picked.
Clive Owen – 100/1
Speaking of Owen, it would be unfair to talk about 007 without discussing his chances of finally getting the role. Sadly, they seem almost non-existent. At 51, the star probably is too old to take on the role. He has always had a rugged, weathered look, more whiskey-drinking anti-hero than super fit super spy. If you think back to Skyfall, you’ll remember Bond failing a fitness test. That was a super-charged, super-fit Daniel Craig. Unfortunately, unless they go back to the booze-guzzling Bond of the ‘50s, Owen’s time has passed.
Eddie Redmayne – 50/1
Redmayne’s success at the Oscars last year (and potentially this year as well) means his name is in the hat, but it’s extremely unlikely he will be chosen ahead of any of the others. Like Hiddlestone, the actor is much too lean, and his boyish demeanour makes it unlikely he would be able to portray Bond convincingly, particularly as a follow up to Craig’s coldhearted 007.