In Depth

Who will replace Daniel Craig as the next James Bond?

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

Next James Bond: Will Daniel Craig be replaced?

13 September

Sony is reportedly offering British actor Daniel Craig £113m to play James Bond in two more feature films.

"The studio is desperate to secure the actor's services while they phase in a younger long-term successor," according to a source quoted on entertainment website Radar. "The idea of losing him at such a crucial time in the franchise isn't an option as far as all the studio honchos are concerned."

Last year Craig said he would rather "slash my wrists" than reprise the role and earlier this year he was reported to have turned down £68m to take on two more Bond movies.

The Flickering Myth film website notes that the new offer is "considerably more", while Time Out concludes that "surely enough money to buy a small Caribbean island is a tempting excuse". 

With speculation rife as to who might replace Craig, the film industry website IndieWire cautions that the news "has to be taken with a grain of Himalayan sea salt".

In fact, Drew McWeeny at HitFix calls the whole thing "nonsense", explaining that Sony might not even have anything to do with the next James Bond film – leaving fans of the franchise even further in the dark.

"When I reached out to someone close to the Bond franchise about what’s really going on with Daniel Craig and the future of the series, what became clear immediately is that there is no big story at the moment," says McWeeny.

Before Craig or anyone else signs on for the new films, the first announcement will be about who EON, the production company, chooses to do the distribution, he says.

"Will they re-sign with Sony? Unlikely, but possible... It’s far more likely that they’ll jump to a new studio, and Warner Bros has been particularly aggressive about trying to make sure they’re the new home for the enduring super-spy," says McWeeny.

He doesn't buy that Sony has "some ongoing stake in the future of the character", when "they don’t even have the rights to release one film".

Most commentators, though, would prefer the current Bond to hang on in there. "We're pretty sure Sony don't want any of Craig's rumoured replacements to reprise the role any time soon and for that Sony we salute you," says the Back to the Movies website. 

Time Out agrees. Craig is the "growliest, punchiest Bond since Sean Connery, and a damn fine actor to boot", it says.

New James Bond: Studio bosses 'considering Idris Elba'

2 September

Film executives working on the next James Bond film have apparently drawn up a shortlist of candidates to replace Daniel Craig if he follows through on hints to quit the franchise – and attention has once again turned back to Idris Elba.

A source at MGM reportedly told The Sun the actor had particularly impressed studio bigwigs with his charismatic turn in Luther.

"There will be a lot of trepidation about a new Bond, but Idris's talent and proven appeal gives executives a lot of heart," the unnamed source said.

Elba has previously denied he has been sounded out as a potential 007, saying he is too old for the role. At 43, he would be the oldest debuting Bond since Roger Moore, who was 46 when he took over from Sean Connery in Live and Let Die. Moore, though, went on to front the franchise until 1985's A View To A Kill, when he was positively grandfatherly at 57, proving that a mature Bond isn't necessarily a deal-breaker.

Other names on the list include X-Men's Michael Fassbender, Luke Evans from Fast & Furious and Sons of Anarchy actor Charlie Hunnam.

Next James Bond: Chris Hemsworth 'perfect for the role'

30 August

Thor star Chris Hemsworth should be the next James Bond, according to a former 007 stuntman.

Bobby Holland Hanton said the 33-year-old Australian actor was "head and shoulders" above the competition, reports the Daily Mirror.

He added that Hemsworth, who is currently filming a new project alongside fellow Bond-hopefuls Idris Elba and Tom Hiddleston, was the perfect fit to play the suave spy.

"The buzz, and in my opinion, is that it's Chris Hemsworth for Bond. He would be perfect. I am not being biased in any way," said the award-winning stuntman, who appeared in three Bond films alongside outgoing 007 Daniel Craig.

"I think he would be perfect for it, and he has got a fantastic English accent as everyone knows from his performance in Rush.

"He has obviously got the physical shape. Tom [Hiddleston] is also training and hard at it in his own gym, but Chris is in a league of his own when it comes to physique.”

The Australian was recently asked about the prospect of taking on the job.

"I don't know many who wouldn't jump at that. Would it be scary and daunting? Of course. But what isn't?" he replied.

If Hemsworth were cast as the next Bond, he would officially be the second Aussie to play the role, after George Lazenby starred in the 1969 film On Her Majesty's Secret Service.

The actor's rise to the top of the pile comes as bosses of the franchise have reportedly given up hopes of tempting Craig into another outing. According to the Mirror, he has opted to switch his focus to new projects, saying: "We're done. All I want to do is move on."

Next James Bond: Bookies take bets on Jeremy Corbyn becoming new 007

25 August

One of the UK's biggest bookmakers is taking bets on Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn becoming the next James Bond.

Admittedly, they are quite long odds at 1000-1, but it should be remembered that at the beginning of the last football season, Leicester City were 5000-1 to win the Premier League.

So who else is Corbyn up against at the bottom of the list?

"Perennial bookies' favourite for every football manager's job Alan Curbishley" is a contender, Mental Floss says, "as is Jose Mourinho, pundit Robbie Savage, disgraced former Fifa president Sepp Blatter (which if rumours about corruption are true might not be such a silly bet), and TV gang botherer Ross Kemp."

Corbyn, of course, is still "the least likely man on the planet to be James Bond", the site adds, and only Ladbrokes is offering any kind of odds on him becoming Bond at all.

Counting against him, presumably, is his pacifism, his reluctance to wear a suit and the fact he is said rarely to drink alcohol.

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