In Depth

Who will replace Daniel Craig as the next James Bond?

Actor’s final outing as 007 delayed by months due to coronavirus

James Bond fans are being forced to wait months for the next film due to the ongoing coronavirus outbreak.

No Time to Die, the highly anticipated new outing, was pushed back seven months last week, and will now come out in the UK on 12 November and in the US on 25 November.

The film, which had been due for release on 3 April, will be Daniel Craig’s final appearance as the British secret service agent, having confirmed multiple times that he would quit after his fifth Bond film.

Rumours have once again begun to circulate over who might take over from the 52-year-old. Here are the frontrunners to replace Craig as the famous spy, according to the bookmakers:

James Norton: 5/2

Norton is, according to Esquire magazine, the “dark-horse candidate for the job”. Best known for his roles in TV dramas McMafia and Grantchester, the 35-year-old has attempted to dismiss rumours that he could be the next Bond, The Sun reports, telling his fans “not to bet on him” to be picked for the role. Addressing the speculation in 2018 he told Gentleman’s Journal that he would instead “love to play a Bond villain”, adding that he “loves” Craig and would “love him to do more films”.

Jack Lowden: 13/2

The youngest contender among the candidates is 30-year-old Jack Lowden, who came to prominence in the 2016 BBC mini-series War and Peace. He also starred in Christopher Nolan’s 2017 epic Dunkirk and 2018’s Mary Queen of Scots. The Daily Express says the Scottish star is also an “accomplished stage actor”, having won an Olivier Award for Best Supporting Actor in 2014, “thanks to his work as Oswald in Henrik Ibsen’s Ghosts”.

Tom Hiddleston: 8/1

Hiddleston, 39, came into favour after issuing a “come and get me” plea following his Bond-esque portrayal of a spy with a taste for violence in The Night Manager. In a Times interview Hiddleston even talked up his physical prowess in relation to the role saying: “I’m very aware of the physicality of the [Bond] job. I would not take it lightly.” He has also played a caricature of the smooth spy in a series of Jaguar adverts.

Sam Heughan: 8/1

Possible candidate Sam Heughan, who was once the favourite to replace Craig when he steps down, has seen his odds drift in recent months.

Heughan, who is best known for playing Jamie Fraser in the time-travelling drama series Outlander, recently addressed rumours he could be taking over as the new Bond during an appearance on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon.

“I can reveal, right now, that I…” he said. “Am not James Bond, no.”

Richard Madden: 8/1

Barbara Broccoli, 007’s executive producer, is taking the 34-year-old Game of Thrones and The Bodyguard star Madden seriously as a candidate, according to the Mail on Sunday, with one source telling the newspaper late in 2018: “It’s seriously looking like he [Madden] is going to get the job. Not only is he on top of Barbara’s list, but she is preparing to offer the role.”

Michael Fassbender: 10/1

Fassbender first came to prominence for his role as IRA activist Bobby Sands in Steve McQueen’s 2007 drama Hunger, but is perhaps best known for playing Marvel Comics supervillain Magneto in four separate X-Men films.

The Telegraph says that “early on in negotiations” the German-Irish actor was “frequently listed” to take over from Craig, but his odds have lengthened somewhat recently.

Back in 2016, when Michael Fassbender was asked in an interview with GQ magazine if he would be up for the part, he said: “To be honest, no.”

Idris Elba: 12/1

Steven Spielberg threw his weight behind Luther star Elba to be the next James Bond, but it seems the actor himself is not so keen on the idea. He has repeatedly said the studio has not been in touch, describing rumours to the contrary as the “wildest in the world”. Now 47, Elba has suggested his age might hold him back. “I think I’m too old for that - running around in cars and ladies and martinis,” he told Good Morning America in 2018.

Aidan Turner: 14/1

Another Irish actor, Turner, who has previously been at the top of the list, is best known for his role as Ross Poldark. His predecessor in the role, Robin Ellis, who starred in the 1970s BBC version, backed the 37-year-old as the next Bond. “I think he’d be an excellent Bond. Aidan is a good actor, and the first 007, Sean Connery, was a very good actor. Aidan is quite capable of doing that part. Good luck to him if he gets it. I’ll be very pleased for him,” said Ellis.

Tom Hardy: 16/1

Hardy is a mainstay of the list, first boosted by the “big splash” he made in Mad Max: Road Fury, says Vanity Fair. Though his Mad Max character was a “grunting road warrior” he can do suave when called upon, says the magazine, with roles in This Means War and Inception proving his range. The 42-year-old’s “you mustn’t be afraid to dream a little bigger, darling” line in Inception was “classic Bond”, it says.

Cillian Murphy: 16/1

Peaky Blinders star Murphy, 44, would be the second Irishman to take on the role of 007 after Pierce Brosnan in the 1990s.

He is among the most high-profile names on the list, having appeared in Hollywood films dating back to the early 2000s, but appears to have a low opinion of his chances of taking the role of Bond.

“There’s two things I’ll say about that,” he told The Guardian last week. “Firstly, there’s a whole other industry which is completely separate from the film side of things, and that’s the bookies. The second thing I’d say is that I think it should be a woman, which rules me out.”



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