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Who’s in the Running to Become James Bond No. 7?

James Bond
Daniel Craig has finally said goodbye to James Bond. Who will take his place in the iconic franchise? Credit: Wikimedia Commons/CC BY-SA 2.0

Daniel Craig has donned his James Bond tuxedo for the last time in the film “No Time To Die,” so it’s time to consider his replacement in the iconic film franchise. Here are some actors who could be considered candidates for James Bond No. 7.

After the lineup of Sean Connery, Roger Moore, George Lazenby, Timothy Dalton, Pierce Brosnan and Daniel Craig, speculation among critics, reporters, bookmakers and fans has gone haywire. So let’s cover our basics and see the list of potential James Bonds.

Tom Hardy: Die Hard Bond, James Bond

Tom Hardy
Tom Hardy could become a tough-as-nails Bond. Credit: Gage Skidmore / Wikimedia Commons/ CC BY-SA 2.0

The current favorite with the bookmakers has long been held up as a potential successor to Daniel Craig, and it’s easy to see why – Hardy looks good in a suit, has charisma to spare, and has a big Hollywood profile.

But, there’s little on his resumé that suggests he’d want to be the next James Bond – he’s an actor with a history of idiosyncratic career choices.

Even his blockbuster roles (Eddie Brock in “Venom,” Eames in “Inception,” Bane in “The Dark Knight Rises”) lean towards the eccentric. In fact, it’s hard to imagine him playing a role as by-the-book as 007.

Henry Cavill: Super Bond

Henry Cavill
Acting superman Henry Cavill certainly has the muscles to be the next Bond. Credit: Gage Skidmore / Wikimedia Commons/ CC BY-SA 2.0

Having narrowly missed out to Daniel Craig ahead of Casino Royale, the 38-year-old “Man of Steel” star remains a leading contender to be the next James Bond.

He’s already proved he looks the part as a secret agent in both “The Man from UNCLE” and “Mission: Impossible: Fallout,” and he told GQ in 2020 that he would “absolutely jump at the opportunity”.

But with “The Witcher” a major commitment – and the possibility of playing Superman again still open – will he have the time?

Idris Elba: The first black Bond?

Idris Elba
Some think “Sexiest man alive” Idris Elba would be the ideal black Bond. Credit: Harald Krichel / Wikipedia Commons/ CC BY-SA 4.0

Elba, considered by some to be the sexiest man alive, is another star now associated with 007 by default. And having taken roles in the Marvel Cinematic Universe (the “Thor” movies), the DC Extended Universe (“The Suicide Squad”), the Alien franchise (“Prometheus”) and “Pacific Rim,” his blockbuster credentials are beyond reproach.

While he’d undoubtedly be brilliant in the role, however, the big question mark over Elba is his age. At 49, he’s just four years younger than Daniel Craig. One has to wonder if the producers will want to commit to a leading man who’d be in his mid-to-late fifties by the time his third movie came around.

Regé-Jean Page: James Pop Bond

Page’s starring role in Bridgerton (Netflix’s biggest show ever) has turned him into one of the hottest talents on the planet – and a frontrunner to play the next James Bond. He’s now signed up to play the lead role in a movie reboot of Leslie Charteris’s spy thriller “The Saint.”

Still, one can’t expect that to stand in the way of Bond if Broccoli and Wilson decide he’s their man. Besides, Roger Moore played the Saint before his long-running stint as 007, so there is a precedent.

James Norton: Suave Bond

When conversations begin regarding the identity of the next James Bond, there’s usually a few British network TV stars in the mix. The leading contender this time out (in the eyes of the bookmakers, at least) is James Norton.

Norton has become a big name in the UK thanks to “Happy Valley,” “Grantchester,” “McMafia” and “War & Peace.” Despite a leading role in HBO’s “The Nevers,” however, his limited Hollywood profile may count against him.

Tom Hiddleston: Smiling, tricky Bond

Tom Hiddlestone
Tom Hiddlestone (Marvel’s Loki) has the ironic smile that could turn James Bond into a trickster. Credit: Sean Reynolds / Wikimedia Commons/ CC BY-SA 2.0

Another big name who seems to fit the 007 like a glove, Hiddleston even went to the same school as the fictional character, though Bond was expelled from Eton College for his misdemeanors. The “Loki” star proved his espionage potential in brilliant BBC drama “The Night Manager,” and would undoubtedly be a bankable lead.

And yet after a decade in the Marvel Cinematic Universe (and Loki still a going concern), would he really want to tie himself to another mega-franchise? Marvel co-star Benedict Cumberbatch may have similar issues with the role.

Richard Madden: A Game of Bond

Richard Madden next james bond
“Game Of Thrones” actor Richard Madden would certainly be a dashing Bond. Credit: Gage Skidmore / Wikimedia Commons/ CC BY-SA 2.0

He may not have made it past the third season of Game of Thrones, but the former King in the North hasn’t let the events of the Red Wedding stand in his way. He’s about to make his blockbuster debut as a god-like superhuman in Marvel’s “Eternal.”

His big 007 calling card is undoubtedly his role in hit 2018 Brit drama “Bodyguard” (created by Line of Duty’s Jed Mercurio). If the producers want their next James Bond to punctuate the action with scenes of intense brooding, Madden could be their guy.

Tom Ellis: Devilish Bond

Tom Ellis next james bond
Having played “Lucifer,” Tom Ellis has the devil’s charm to be the next Bond. Credit: vagueonthehow / Wikimedia Commons

A slightly leftfield option for the next James Bond, admittedly, but Tom Ellis does have some time on his hands now that “Lucifer” has finally, definitively come to an end on Netflix.

Playing the Devil in LA across six seasons, Ellis proved he has suaveness in spades, and if the producers unexpectedly decide they want to ramp up the Roger Moore-style archness, we can’t think of a better candidate.

Sam Heughan: Scottish Bond

“Outlander” star Sam Heughan could become the second Scott to put on the Bond suit. Credit: Christine Ring/Wikimedia Commons/CC BY 2.0

The Scottish star, 41, was more enthusiastic at the prospect of taking on the beacon of the classic role, admitting he would “jump” at the chance. He previously starred as special forces operator Tom Buckingham in SAS: Red Notice, an adaptation of former SAS soldier Andy McNab’s novel of the same name.

Speaking about the possibility of being cast as Bond earlier this year, he said: “I don’t know if there is a conversation being had apart from in the media, but I think it’s an incredible franchise and a great character, so of course I would jump at it.

Suranne Jones: The lady Bond

Jones is currently one of the favorites to star as the first female Bond, with William Hill placing her at number seven on its list and offering up odds of 9/1. She plays DCI Amy Silva in the new BBC drama Vigil, made by the production company behind Line Of Duty and Bodyguard.

The actress, 43, also previously played the role of Karen McDonald in Coronation Street for four years, but her portrayal of Gemma Foster in the hit BBC One drama series Doctor Foster rose her to prominence. She would be an ideal Jemma (?) Bond.

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