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New James Bond: these are the actors who should be the next 007

Our choice for who should replace Daniel Craig as the next James Bond.

New James Bond: these are the actors who should be the next 007
Tom Victor
10 April 2023
Daniel Craig bid farewell to playing James Bond after 2021’s No Time to Die. Craig’s been playing the iconic secret agent for 15 years since his first outing as 007 in Casino Royale. Throughout that time there’s been huge amounts of speculation about who will take on the role after Craig. So the big question is: who should be the next James Bond?
UPDATE:James Bond is 70 this year, with the first Bond novel, Dr No, released in 1953. While we won't be getting a new Bond movie for some years to come, here's hoping we will get news of who will best the next James Bond soon.
Over the years many names have come and gone in the discussion of who should play the next James Bond. This is no surprise and it’s exactly the same as what happened before Craig himself was picked to succeed Pierce Brosnan in the role – a decision many people weren’t happy with at the time.
As we’ve seen in discussions of the official Bond theme song, it’s really difficult (if not impossible) to please everybody when it comes to picking the next Bond. With that in mind, here are some of the leading candidates to be the eighth big screen Bond in the next few years.
Vote for your favourite future Bond below, and you can suggest your own Craig successor in the box at the bottom.

Who should be the next James Bond?

Who should be the next James Bond?

1. Tom Ellis

With Lucifer coming to an end, Tom Ellis will have a space in his diary to play James Bond. The only issue is his age - he's 42 at the moment and, realistically, the next movie will be around 2025. We reckon he would do a great job, though, and it would be great to see another Welshman in the role, after Timothy Dalton.

Image Credit: Luther, Netflix

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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.

Image credit: Man From Uncle, Warner Bros

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Dev Patel has wow-ed us in plenty of roles in his career, from Slumdog Millionaire through to his more recent fantastic performance in David Lowery's epic medieval fantasy The Green Knight. Sure his role as Gawain (the Green Knight) isn't quite the same as 007, but it shows his range and ability to play a conflicted action hero. At 32 he's a good age to take the Bond franchise into the next ten years at least.

Image Credit: A24

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Who should be the next James Bond?

4. Aaron Taylor-Johnson

Aaron Taylor-Johnson has become one of the frontrunners for the new James Bond job, thanks to numerous tabloid rumours which suggest that he has already filmed his version of the iconic 'shoot-to-camera' intro scene. None of this has been corroborated, mind, but we can definitely see the actor in the role and he's bang-on the age that Bond's producers seem to be after.

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Who should be the next James Bond?

5. Tom Hardy

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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.

Image Credit: Legend, StudioCanal

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Who should be the next James Bond?

6. Idris Elba

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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.

Image credit: Luther, BBC Studios

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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.

Image credit: High Rise, StudioCanal

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Who should be the next James Bond?

8. 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.

Image credit: Bodyguard, BBC

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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.

Image Credit: The Guest, HanWay Films

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Who should be the next James Bond?

10. Regé-Jean Page

Love it or hate it, Bridgerton has been a massive success for Netflix and certainly put Regé-Jean Page on the map as the next James Bond. He's superb as Simon Basset, the Duke of Hastings. At 31 he's the perfect age to play Bond in myriad movies.

Image Credit: Bridgerton, Netflix

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Who should be the next James Bond?

11. Jamie Dornan

Jamie Dornan already has the sadistic nature of James Bond nailed, having played a serial killer in The Fall and Christian Grey in the 50 Shades movies. But he can also play the action part as well and he's a fantastic actor. It would also be great to see another man from Ireland to take on the role of James Bond.

Image Credit: 50 Shades Of Grey, Focus Features

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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.

Image credit: Outlander, Amazon

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Who should be the next James Bond?

13. Emily Blunt

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.

Image Credit: Sicario, Lionsgate

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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.

Image Credit: Crazy Rich Asians, Warner Bros

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Who should be the next James Bond?

15. James Norton

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.

Image Credit: McMafia, BBC

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Who should be the next James Bond?

16. Oliver Jackson-Cohen

After a fantastic turn in The Haunting of Hill House and The Haunting of Bly Manor, Oliver Jackson-Cohen has proven himself to be a fantastic actor. It is perhaps his role in The Invisible Man that proves just how versatile an actor he is. He has all the makings of a fantastic James Bond.

Image Credit: The Invisible Man, Blumhouse Productions

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Who should be the next James Bond?

17. Brett Goldstein

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We are big fans of Ted Lasso Comedy Series and one of the main reasons is the brilliant Roy Kent, played by Brett Goldstein - he so good he won Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series at this year's Emmys. Yes, he's already 41 so it would make him one of the oldest Bonds from the get go, but it would be AMAZING to see him in the part. Also, he's kind of got history with the character, playing him in a Spectre Of Shame comedy sketch, where the super spy takes a visit to Sex Addicts Anonymous.

Image Credit: Ted Lasso, Apple TV Plus

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Who should be the next James Bond?

18. Omar Sy

After a star turn in Lupin, Omar Sy has shot up in our estimations and should definitely be considered as the next James Bond. He's fantastic in the Netflix show and has everything that's needed to pull off the Bond role, including suaveness, swagger and the odd one liner.

Image Credit: Lupin, Netflix

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Who should be the next James Bond?

19. Nicholas Hoult

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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?

Image credit: Tolkin, Allstar/Fox Searchlight

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Who should be the next James Bond?

20. Lashana Lynch

Lashana Lynch is in No Time To Die and it looks like she technically has the 007 moniker, after Bond has retired. This will all change when he gets back in the saddle but should she be the next James Bond? It would certainly be the shake-up the franchise needs, even if the Broccoli have said that Bond will be a man.

Image Credit: No Time To Die, Eon Productions

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Who should be the next James Bond?

21. Tahar Rahim

Tahar Rahim was already on our radar because of the fantastic French movie A Prophet but he's now the talk of the town because of his fantastic turn as real-life serial killer Charles Sobhraj in The Serpent. He certainly looks the part and could easily be the first French actor to tackle Bond.

Image Credit: The Serpent, BBC

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Who should be the next James Bond?

22. Damian Lewis

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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.

Image Credit: Life, NBC

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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.

Image credit: Mr Mercedes, Lionsgate

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Who should be the next James Bond?

24. Daniel Kaluuya

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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.

Image credit: Get Out, Universal Pictures

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