After Daniel Craig’s announcement that he will no longer play the famed character, there has been a lot of speculation about who will be chosen as his replacement for the next James Bond.
While “Bond 26” won’t begin production for several months, rumors are already circulating about who the producers are considering. Fans are eagerly anticipating news about who will take on the role of Ian Fleming’s famous spy.
What we do know is that the next Bond is unlikely to be the well-known 007 character. Following the timeline of “No Time to Die,” James Bond is deceased, and Lashana Lynch’s character, Nomi, has taken on his MI6 agent number. However, the next Bond movie could choose to disregard this established timeline and exist in an alternative Bond universe. After all, it never really made sense that Sean Connery’s Bond from the 1960s and Pierce Brosnan’s Bond from the 1990s were the same individual.
Before we explore our list of potential candidates, it’s important to note that producers Barbara Broccoli and Michael Wilson have made their expectations clear. They are seeking a British actor to play the next Bond who is young enough to carry the role for at least 15 years, and the next Bond will be male, not female.
As with any rule, Agent 007 knows that they can be bent or even broken altogether. With the James Bond franchise celebrating its 60th anniversary, we have considered actors from the Commonwealth, as well as those in their 60s and 70s, and yes, even women. Ultimately, the key factor is whether the actor can bring the required gravitas, style, and charm to embody Britain’s most renowned secret agent.
Taylor-Johnson, a British actor, has the necessary qualities to play Bond, including charm and gravitas. He has also demonstrated his ability to portray an adrenaline-fueled character with self-destructive tendencies, as seen in his role as the villain Ray Marcus in “Nocturnal Animals,” which earned him a BAFTA nomination for best supporting actor.
Taylor-Johnson has showcased his versatility in other roles, such as the action-comedy “Kick-Ass,” Marvel’s “Avengers: Age of Ultron,” and the hitman in “Bullet Train.” With his range, he is capable of handling both the dark and the quick-witted sides of Bond.
Lucien Laviscount, Emily in Paris’s love interest, is rumored to be a top contender for the next James Bond. The British actor has been seen on UK TV since he was a teen and has appeared in US shows like “Scream Queens” and “Katy Keene.” While his feature roles are limited, his charm has caught the attention of Bond producers. The Daily Mail reports that he “ticks all the boxes” and would look dapper in the 007 tuxedo.
Richard Madden, known for his roles in “Game of Thrones” and Marvel’s “Eternals,” is being considered for the role of James Bond. The Scottish actor’s experience in action scenes and his Golden Globe-winning performance in “Bodyguard” make him a strong candidate. While his characters may be softer, he has the potential to evolve the role of Bond. However, he may face competition from his role in the upcoming spy series “Citadel.”
With a range that includes playing a sociopath, a vicar, and a conman, James Norton has proved his acting versatility. Though at 37 he is near the upper age limit for the next Bond, his piercing gaze and seductive smile make him a contender for the role. Norton’s background in theology and Buddhism could bring a soulful dimension to the character, while his experience in “McMafia” – which saw him don a tux, learn martial arts, and speak Russian – demonstrate his readiness for the action-packed role.
Henry Cavill, known for his role as Superman in the DC Extended Universe, has also played several spy characters including Napoleon Solo in “The Man From U.N.C.L.E.,” assassin August Walker/John Lark in “Mission Impossible – Fallout,” and Sherlock Holmes in “Enola Holmes.” Cavill’s experience in action and stunts, combined with his charming good looks, make him a strong contender for Bond. However, his high profile as Superman may make it difficult for audiences to see him as anything else.
Other notable names include: Henry Golding, Andrew Garfield, Tom Hardy, Daryl McCormack, Joe Alwyn, Jacob Elordi, and John Boyega.