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New James Bond: who should be the next James Bond?

Daniel Craig is on his way out but who should be next?

New James Bond: who should be the next James Bond?
19 September 2020

Daniel Craig has confirmed his next James Bond film, No Time to Die, will be his last in the role. Some 15 years have passed since Craig first played 007 in Casino Royale, and throughout that time debate has raged over the new James Bond - with everyone asking who should be the next James Bond?

UPDATE: An article in the Vulcan Reporter seemingly confirms that Tom Hardy has been cast as the new James Bond. The actor who currently tops our new James Bond list has been touted as the next James Bond for a while - while nothing has been confirmed by the Bond camp, it will interesting to see how this one plays out, and whether he is announced around the same time as the new film No Time To Die comes out.

Plenty of names have come and gone in the discussion, as was the case before Craig himself was selected to succeed Pierce Brosnan in the role, and we could yet see a late contender find themselves in the right place at the right time.

As we’ve seen in discussions of the official Bond theme song, it’s really difficult to please absolutely everybody, but here are some of the leading candidates to be the eighth big screen Bond.

With each entry we've suggested a TV series or movie that shows off each contender's acting chops best. Vote for your favourite future Bond, and you can suggest your own Craig successor at the bottom.

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Who should be the next James Bond?

Who should be the next James Bond?

1. Tom Hardy

£7.00
Buy Locke on Blu-ray at Amazon

Right, so when it comes to talent, it’s hard to look past Hardy. If you were casting for 100 roles which fit his age and gender profile, Hardy would be on the shortlist for 90 of them before you knew anything else about the character. The question isn’t whether he would nail it, because obviously he would, but rather whether he’d feel as though Bond is too constrictive a role for him to take on.

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Who should be the next James Bond?

2. Idris Elba

£22.99
Buy Luther series 1-5 at Amazon

It feels like Elba would have been a frontrunner had Craig bowed out before No Time to Die, but the window may have now shut for the 47-year-old. That said, after taking the last few years to work on some smaller projects (also Cats, but we don’t need to dwell on that), there’s every chance the Londoner could be coaxed into a role which he has been linked with as frequently as Wesley Sneijder has been linked with Manchester United.

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Cavill’s had a few false dawns with ‘big’ roles in the past, most notably failing to turn Superman into career-defining role it might have been for others. However, this actually works in his favour from a Bond perspective: when watching Cavill as 007, the Man of Steel star won’t feel as though he’s in the wrong role quite as much. Also, and this is important, he looks great in a suit.

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Hiddleston has a strong profile outside the Bond franchise and, with him having ‘done’ Marvel, this may be the best (or even only) opportunity to snap him up. His slate looks busy but not irrevocably so, giving him time to polish off his to-do list before moving onto a big franchise role, and he’s easy to picture as 007. He turns 40 in 2021, though, and the studio may prefer someone younger.

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Who should be the next James Bond?

5. Emily Blunt

£3.49
Watch Sicario at Amazon

The question of whether we’ll ever get a female 007 has been a regular occurrence on tabloid pages and in entertainment magazines, but we feel closer than ever before. Jodie Whittaker was cast as the first female lead in Doctor Who in 2017, and the world hasn’t ended, so why not? Blunt would surely be a popular candidate if we do go down this route, as she holds the requisite swagger and cool to make the role her own.

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Who should be the next James Bond?

6. Richard Madden

Watch Bodyguard on Netflix

Richard Madden came to prominence thanks to his role as Robb Stark in Game of Thrones, but it was Bodyguard and Rocket Man where he truly showed off his acting chops. He's still young, (mid 30s) and is Scottish, so will definitely be on the Broccoli's hit list.

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Out of everyone on this list, Dan Stevens has perhaps had the most varied career so far. First seen in Downton Abbey, he has since shed some pounds and starred in the fantastic Marvel show Legion, featured in a couple of great horror movies and was last seen in the Netflix Eurovision movie. He's got the physique, charm, acting chops and humour to be a brilliant Bond.

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One of the more recent favourites, Sam Heughan wowed us all in Outlander and has the acting chops and looks to be the next James Bond. He's Scottish so would be walking in Sean Connery sized boots. At 40, he's a good age to be playing Bond and he's already put on a tux for spoof The Spy Who Dumped Me - not a movie we would recommend but Heughan makes it nearly watchable.

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When it comes to suaveness, the once host of BBC's Travel Show has got it in droves. Henry Golding is an actor whose stock is rising. He is superb in Crazy Rich Asians and is about to show off his action skills in the new Snake Eyes movie. If ever there was a well-rounded actor that would fit the tux perfectly, then Golding is it.

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Jack Huston was one of the best things about Boardwalk Empire, where he played Richard Harrow, a casualty of war and hitman. The role showed off what an actor he is. Since then he has flitted between Hollywood movies and TV and has everything needed to be a brilliant, brooding Bond.

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Who should be the next James Bond?

11. James Norton

£2.49
Watch McMafia at Amazon

The McMafia actor is a lot of bookmakers’ favourite for the role, and – to borrow a phrase from the political world – feels like a solid continuity candidate. Cambridge and RADA-educated, he’s the sort of Englishman that we imagine Americans picture when they think of Bond, and he’s roughly the same age Craig was when he took on the role for the first time. Also, importantly, he’s not too keenly associated with other film roles.

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Who should be the next James Bond?

12. Nicholas Hoult

£3.49
Watch Mad Max: Fury Road at Amazon

Keeping with the Skins theme, and that’s before we even mention fellow Bond candidate Jack O’Connell, Hoult has gained a bit of traction with the bookies. Like Kaluuya, he is 30, which makes those of us who first saw him in About a Boy feel very old. The question mark isn’t his age, but rather his prettiness: could someone with his boyish good looks work as a spy, or would he give the game away by turning too many heads?

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Who should be the next James Bond?

13. Damian Lewis

£2.49
Watch Our Kind of Traitor at Amazon

When casting a new Bond, there are often questions around how big a name or how long an acting CV the new star needs to have. You can be too much of an unknown, perhaps, but can you be too much of a household name too? Lewis’ name seems pertinent to this debate – will we be watching James Bond, or will we be watching Famous Actor Damian Lewis playing a spy? That said, his most famous roles coming on the small screen could work in his favour in this regard.

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Who should be the next James Bond?

14. Daniel Kaluuya

£7.99
Watch Widows at Amazon

Daniel Kaluuya doesn’t do bad performances. He doesn’t really do bad films, either, but he’s often the best thing about them even when not in a lead role, as we witnessed in Black Panther. There’s no doubt the Londoner is enough of a chameleon to be magnetic in any role – yes, even Bond – but there’s still the age question. Not whether Kaluuya is too young at 30, but whether he’ll feel he’s not far along enough in his career.

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Who should be the next James Bond?

15. Phoebe Waller-Bridge

Watch Fleabag at Amazon

Waller-Bridge is already part of the Bond ecosystem, having co-written the No Time to Die screenplay, so you’d imagine that’s one obstacle already out of the way. Additionally, we’re at the stage in the Fleabag star’s career where everything she touches turns to gold – if the same goes for her first venture into the 007 world, it would feel like a very 2020 choice. Ultimately, though, she may well be more comfortable retaining the (still lucrative) writing brief.

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