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: Could Daniel Craig return?

16 August

It had been widely assumed that Daniel Craig's time was up as James Bond, but the lack of a concrete announcement – despite months of speculation on his successor – has led some to believe that news of his demise has been greatly exaggerated.

Craig's schedule appeared to rule out a Bond film as he had recently signed up for the US drama Purity, a show based on the book of the same name by Jonathan Franzen which tells a series of interconnected modern-day stories.

The 20-episode first season did suggest the actor would struggle to fit in his Bond commitments. However, Craig's publicists – quick to avert the rumours – suggested at the time that Purity would not rule him out of playing Bond in any future instalments. Now David Nevins, the CEO of the US network Showtime, has also confirmed that Craig would have time to do Bond.

"It depends when they do the next James Bond movie, but I don't think it precludes him is the answer," he said. "[Purity] will largely be completed during the course of 2017."

He added that production for the show will be "fairly continuous" but there might be "some breaks somewhere".

It has previously been confirmed that the next Bond film wouldn't be showing in cinemas until at least 2018, but with director Sam Mendes having jumped ship "it seems we could even be waiting until 2019 for another instalment", says The Independent.

Next James Bond: War and Peace's James Norton new favourite

8 July

Tom Hiddleston's highly publicised love life has given British actor James Norton a leg-up in the race to play James Bond.

Ever since Daniel Craig announced his intention to surrender his licence to kill last year, pundits and fans have speculated wildly about who would step into the role. Until recently, The Night Manger star Hiddleston topped the list of bookmakers' favourites.

However, says The Sun, while the actor's new romance with singer Taylor Swift may have upped his number of Twitter followers, his "stock has never been lower for becoming the new James Bond".

The paper quotes a film source as saying the much-publicised affair has made Hiddleston "too high profile" to play Bond and he is now out of the running.

That should make fellow 007 favourite Aidan Turner the frontrunner - but Norton has emerged out of nowhere to become the bookies' choice.

The 30-year-old won fans as the swoon-worthy Prince Andrei Nikolayevich Bolkonsky in the BBC's adaptation of War and Peace, but has also showed his dark side as chilling, violent criminal Tommy Lee Royce in police drama Happy Valley.

BBC Newsbeat thinks Norton has all the right credentials to play Bond. A Cambridge graduate with honours, he's smart, has "mastered the brooding moody look", is a thrill-seeker who once jumped off Mount Everest with skis and a parachute – and importantly, "women love him".

Indeed, female fans have been rallying around Norton ever since the rumour emerged that he was likely to play the role, notes the Daily Mail.

They took to Twitter "in their droves", adds the paper, and could "barely contain their excitement" at the prospect of Norton taking over. They've even created a new hashtag - #JamesNortonForBond.

"If James Norton is the new James Bond I'll cry with joy," said one fan, while others made enquiries about how to become Bond girls.

Such is the interest that bookies were briefly forced to suspend betting after an "unprecedented run of bets on James Norton, who was backed into favouritism from 20/1 in a matter of hours", a Ladbrokes spokesperson said. Betting reopened with Norton as the odds-on favourite at 4/7.

Expectations of Turner becoming the next 007 appeared to be dashed when he announced he would be appearing in a third series of BBC drama Poldark, which would seemingly make him unavailable for filming.

The sudden flurry of interest in Norton has raised suspicions that someone has insider knowledge about film negotiations, but the saga's not over until Bond producer Barbara Broccoli makes her final decision.

One possibility who does seems unlikely to raise his stakes, however, is Nigel Farage.

Despite recently announcing his departure from the Ukip leadership, his odds for the Bond role remain a dismal 500/1 with Paddy Power.

Aidan Turner pips Tom Hiddleston as new Bond favourite

20 June

Poldark star Aidan Turner is the new bookies' favourite to be the next James Bond, reports the London Evening Standard.

Boyle Sports suspended betting on the actor on Tuesday, after a spike in interest, including at least one four-figure wager. It reopened betting this morning – and promptly shortened the odds on him replacing Daniel Craig to 1/5.

"We have opened back up the market this morning but cut Turner into the red hot 1/5 favourite to be drinking his Martinis 'Shaken Not Stirred'," said a spokesman.

"There is no smoke without a fire and it certainly looks like Turner has been in negotiations with the Bond producers and it will be interesting to see how long we will be able to keep the market open for."

Rival bookmaker Coral suspended betting on Tom Hiddleston last month after he was spotted with Spectre director Sam Mendes and Bond producer Barbara Broccoli, causing a spike in betting on him to be the next 007.

However, the Night Manager star played down the rumours last week at Wizard World Comic Con in Philadelphia. "I don't think that announcement is coming," he told fans.

Despite Hiddleston consistently downplaying the rumours of his imminent appointment, The Guardian describes the actor as "waging an unprecedentedly aggressive campaign to become the next James Bond" in an article about the Night Manager star's budding romance with Taylor Swift.

Craig is believed to be leaving the role after four outings, despite offered a reported £68m to stay on. Jamie Bell, James Norton and Damian Lewis have all been touted as replacements.

Several commentators have suggested it is time for a black Bond on film (David Oyelowo and Hugh Quarshie have both played the role in audio versions), with Idris Elba mooted as the best man for the job.

The best woman, meanwhile, appears to be Gillian Anderson - the X-Files star signalled her willingness to be the first female Bond by retweeting a mocked-up poster of her as the secret agent last month, reported the Daily Telegraph.

"There is no reason why we couldn't have a gay Bond, female Bond, black Bond, disabled Bond, or any other kind of Bond we can imagine," Christoph Lindner, a professor of Media Studies who edited the 2003 essay collection The James Bond Phenomenon: A Critical Reader, told GQ.

"But we won't get a new or different version of Bond until we truly, genuinely want one. Hollywood tends to give the public what it wants, and the fact that Bond has remained male, white, straight, and British speaks volumes."

In terms of colour and gender, Turner is a conventional choice and, says the Standard, is now the "red-hot favourite" with his saturnine good looks and evident talent, despite having little track record on the big screen.

Turner has numerous positives, says The Guardian, including being "taller than Craig" and offering "even more shirt-off moments per episode than the current 007 in his starring role in Poldark". If the producers want sexy and suave, they could do little wrong in choosing him – and he's young enough to play Bond in a half-dozen or more films over the next decade and a half, the paper adds.


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