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Idris Elba and 5 Candidates to Be the Next James Bond

By Taylor Smith
Published on September 25, 2017
james-bond-idris-elba

Being cast as James Bond is one of Hollywood’s greatest honors. The British Secret Service agent has been the subject of 24 major motion pictures to this point that have grossed over $7 billion worldwide. The James Bond film series is the fourth-highest grossing film series to date, trailing only the Marvel Universe, Harry Potter and Star Wars. Good company, indeed.

The first Bond film, 1962’s Dr. No, starred Sean Connery in the role of James Bond. British actor Daniel Craig has held down the role for each of the last four films, and he’s set to reprise his role yet again in the next film, which will hit theaters in November of 2019. Craig said that he was done playing Bond in 2015, but, clearly, he lied.

Bond has been portrayed by a number of actors, but the most noteworthy to take the role to this point have been Craig, Connery, Roger Moore, George Lazenby and Pierce Brosnan. If Craig hangs up his wingtips after the next movie, who should be the next actor to take the role?

Odds via Paddy Power

Tom Hardy 4/1

Prior to Craig’s announcement that he will play Bond once more, reports had surfaced that Tom Hardy had signed on to play the role. That, evidently, wasn’t the case, but it hasn’t stopped bookmakers from listing Hardy as the favorite to pick it up wherever Craig leaves it.

The initial reports claimed that Hardy had inked a deal to play Bond in three films with Christopher Nolan attached to direct. The link between Hardy and Nolan is obvious considering the two have paired up numerous times in the past for films like The Dark Knight Rises, Dunkirk and Inception. Nolan has also publicly offered his support of Hardy for the role, saying, “He’d be amazing. He really would.” We don’t disagree.

Ladbrokes also reported that, before Craig decided to reprise the role once more, there had been a huge rush on bettors backing Hardy to star in the 25th Bond film. The aforementioned reports surely had plenty to do with that, but where there’s smoke, there’s usually fire.

Hardy has become a huge star over the last several years, so attaching his name would instantly add all sorts of hype to one of Hollywood’s longest-running film franchises. Hardy has the action background, the looks and the British guile to play the role perfectly, so he certainly makes plenty of sense as a favorite here. On the flip side, the actors that play Bond are rarely huge names at the time they begin the role. Tabbing Hardy to play Bond would be something of a departure on that front.

Betting on Hardy to play Bond offers pretty good profit potential at 4/1, so hop on that while you still can.

Idris Elba 7/1

Idris Elba has been rumored to take the role as the first black James Bond for quite some time now. Elba still hasn’t formally been offered the role, but that hasn’t stopped rampant speculation from spreading regarding his potential interest in the job. It’s actually gotten to the point where Elba is sick and tired of people asking him if he’ll be Craig’s :

“It feels like I’m campaigning, and I’m not. At first, it was harmless – oh, I know, wouldn’t it be great? – and now it’s started off racial debates. I’m probably the most famous Bond actor in the world, and I’ve not even played the role. Enough is enough. I can’t talk about it anymore.”

Even if Elba is tired of being asked about it, the speculation isn’t going to stop whenever the time comes to cast the next James Bond. However, the question of whether Elba is “too famous” to be the next Bond is certainly going to come up. Most remember him from his role as Stringer Bell in “The Wire”, and he also gained prominence for his role as Detective John Luther in the BBC series of the same name.

Elba would be great in the role because he’s great in everything he does, but it seems as though the time may have passed for him to do so. He could always come back around the next time producers are looking for the next Bond, but it sounds as though he’s more than ready to wash his hands of the entire episode.

As much as we’d love to see Elba play James Bond, it doesn’t sound particularly likely anymore.

Tom Hiddleston 8/1

Hiddleston was a trendy sleeper pick to play the next James Bond just a few years ago. However, one of the franchise’s longtime producers, Barbara Broccoli (a real name!), said that Hiddleston lacks a few qualities in the traditional James Bond.

For starters, to properly play Bond. Unfortunately for Hiddleston, this may be entirely accurate. Remember his speech at the Golden Globes during which he essentially patted himself on the back about how much he’d given to charity? Yeesh. Settle down, Tom. We get it, you’re great.

Broccoli also said that Hiddleston isn’t tough enough to play James Bond. This one’s a little more dubious. After all, one of Hiddleston’s breakthrough roles was his role as the villain Loki in the Iron Man movies. You pretty much have to be at least a little bit tough to successfully portray a villain, don’t you?

It also probably doesn’t help Hiddleston’s case that he’s probably too famous to be Bond now. He’s dating Taylor Swift, who might be the most famous woman on the planet at the moment. It’s hard to be anonymous when you’re holding hands with T-Swift everywhere you go.

Hiddleston would make for a solid James Bond, but there seem to be a few red flags here. We’re going to say Tom Hiddleston will not be Daniel Craig’s 007 successor.

Michael Fassbender 12/1

Michael Fassbender is an Academy Award-nominated actor that has gained mainstream success in movies like Steve Jobs, the X-Men series and 12 Years A Slave. Unfortunately, when asked whether he would have interest in playing 007, Fassbender rejected.

In December of 2016, Fassbender told British GQ that he felt the franchise needed a breath of fresh air. He said, “To be honest, no” when asked if he would accept the part, and suggested that the series should tab “Jane Bond” rather than another James moving forward. While Fassbender, 39, is admittedly a fan of the Bond movies, he thinks Bond should be someone younger.

Fassbender has lived in London for the last 21 years, but he’s also from Germany. When’s the last time we had a German James Bond? Never, that’s when. Speaking of Jane Bond…

Gillian Anderson 33/1

This one is more of a longshot than our other candidates, but, if the Bond series does decide to cast a female lead, what about Gillian Anderson? Anderson herself seems open to the idea, considering she tweeted a photoshop of herself as 007 back in May of 2016.

Anderson first rose to prominence playing Agent Scully in “The X-Files” back in the 1990s. Anderson, who grew up in Chicago, is of English, German and Irish ancestry. We’ve seen her pull off a plenty convincing British accent in the past, so she would certainly have no trouble belting out the English accent as Jane Bond.

She certainly has the look to pull it off, and one would imagine it’s just a matter of whether the studio is ready to take the franchise in a different direction. It certainly wouldn’t be the first time we’ve seen a traditional male role turned over to women. Last year, Melissa McCarthy, Leslie Jones, Kate McKinnon and Kristen Wiig successfully reprised the characters in Ghostbusters.

The betting value is pretty huge here on Anderson at 33/1 to be the next Bond protagonist. Don’t be surprised to hear Emilia Clarke’s (AKA Daenerys Targaryen) name pop up if Jane Bond is on the way, either.

Who Will It Be?

In terms of most likely successors to Daniel Craig’s Bond, we’ll rank our candidates this way:

  • Tom Hardy 4/1
  • Gillian Anderson 33/1
  • Idris Elba 7/1
  • Tom Hiddleston 8/1
  • Michael Fassbender 12/1
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