By Emma Dooney
As Daniel Craig wraps up his longrunning tenure as the iconic James Bond, there's one burning question on everybody's minds—who will be his replacement?
The English actor shot to overnight stardom in 2006 after landing the lead role in Casino Royale, going on to portray the fictional M16 spy in the action franchise's next four installments. His fifth and final Bond film, No Time to Die, will hit UK cinemas on 28 September—much to the excitement of his British fans. (American movie theatergoers will have to wait a tad longer, with the US release date set for 8 October).
The departure marks the emotional end of a life-changing era for Daniel, who broke down in tears during his farewell speech to James Bond on set earlier this year. In a candid video clip, the 53-year-old can be seen tearing up as he expresses his affection for the crew and fellow castmates on the blockbuster movies.
While Daniel may be saying goodbye to the character for good, James Bond isn't exactly going anywhere. The British secret service agent, who was first introduced to the public by novelist Ian Fleming in his 1953 thriller Casino Royale, has now been played on the silver screen by a total of seven actors, and it looks like his legacy is set to prevail. While the 007 spy's replacement is far from confirmed, fans are already speculating on potential candidates.
1. Who will be the next James Bond?
The Dark Knight star Tom Hardy is currently the frontrunner, with Ladbrokes odds of him landing the gig standing at 3/1. The Academy-nominated actor is more than qualified to pull off the physical demands of James Bond's character, having worked on numerous actions movies in the past.
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James Norton is second in line to the Bond throne, coming in at odds of 4/1. The English actor has plenty of experience with heavy-duty dramas, boasting credits in numerous popular British TV shows and films. He gained critical acclaim—and a BAFTA nomination—for his performance in Happy Valley, in which he played serial rapist Tommy Lee Royce.
Regé-Jean Page is also in the running, with odds of 6/4 to score the coveted role. If he was cast, the Bridgerton star would be the first non-white actor to play James Bond.
When asked about her thoughts of Regé replacing Daniel, Bridgerton director Julie Anne Robinson said, "It’s interesting about Regé, I hope he is not offended by this but I never saw him as a sex symbol. I always saw him as a serious actor, very committed, a caring professional. And now look at him, I mean, goodness me. It’s incredible, I hope he is the next James Bond.”
Idris Elba and Luke Evans are further down the list, tying at odds of 8/1.
2. How long has Daniel Craig been James Bond?
Daniel Craig has played James Bond for an incredible 15 years, taking over the role from Pierce Brosnan in 2006.
3. Could the new James Bond be female?
There have also been rumors of James Bond's replacement being a woman, but we wouldn't get our hopes up. The idea was floated by Daniel, and let's just say, it didn't exactly go down well.
"The answer to that is very simple. There should simply be better parts for women and actors of color. Why should a woman play James Bond when there should be a part just as good as James Bond, but for a woman?” he told Radio Times in response to the suggestion.
Emma is a news writer for woman&home and My Imperfect Life. She covers the Royal Family and the entertainment world, as well as the occasional health or lifestyle story. When she's not reporting on the British monarchy and A-list celebs, you can find her whipping up vegan treats and running the roads to cheesy '90s pop music...but not at the same time, obviously.
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