Has MGM Found The Next James Bond?

With Spectre due for release at the end of October, and Daniel Craig hinting that he may hang up the tuxedo after his fourth outing as James Bond, the potential casting rumours for the next 007 have re-ignited in recent months. Many actors have been mentioned for the pivotal role, and some have the backing of the public, but if a new report is to be believed, then MGM has already found their next Bond.

As mentioned in an Inquisitr article, "James Bond: Who's Next In Line To Play 007," many names have been mentioned for Daniel Craig's replacement. Idris Elba was the most popular choice in the light of the Sony hacking scandal in 2014. An email from Sony co-chairman Amy Pascal cited him as her favourite to step into the role, a story revealed by the Telegraph. These rumors gathered momentum when Bond author Anthony Horowitz classed Elba as "too street" to play the suave super-spy, something that Elba took in his stride. However, despite other names being thrown into the pot -- including Tom Hardy and Henry Cavill -- the name MGM has "selected" is none other than Damian Lewis.

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The Mirror, a British newspaper, confirms that English actor Lewis has been given the "unofficial nod" to take over as James Bond when Craig departs. Whether this information holds any truth, only time will tell, but bookies have been mooting Lewis for some months now, even naming him as the favourite to secure the role. Again, it's pure speculation at this point, but Lewis could be a solid choice for the role of 007. When asked why Lewis was selected, the source simply stated as follows.

"He is seen as an all-round international star who is perfect for the role. As he ages, he looks increasingly suave and sophisticated."
Lewis starred in Homeland as Nicholas Brody, a USMC Sergeant who is captured and held as a prisoner of war by al-Qaeda terrorists. After eight years, he is rescued and returned home to his family. Brody is instantly hailed as a war hero, but the CIA suspects that Brody was turned by al-Qaeda, places him under personal surveillance, and tries to prevent him from turning on his homeland.

Where international appeal is important for anyone stepping into Bond's shoes, Lewis also has one major trait going for him. As Brody, Lewis had a phenomenal onscreen presence, one dripping with mysterious terror and charisma. Lewis, at times, was unbearably sinister and played the character perfectly, inciting unpredictability and realistic horror in a show that was praised and acclaimed for its originality. For a trained assassin with a license to kill, this seems like the perfect formula. If MGM does cast Lewis, they could be onto a winner.

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Until Lewis is given the official nod, rumours will continue to surface. Fans will still be hoping Elba has a chance at auditioning. After all, the actor said he would consider the role if asked, but he also believes that his decision to take the role shouldn't be defined by race. Where this is correct, another rumour recently surfaced that could throw the 007 rumour mill into overdrive.

According to the Metro, recent reports have called for Bond to be cast as a female. Pierce Brosnan -- who played Bond between 1995 and 2002 -- has weighed in on these reports, stating the obvious about 007.

"Anything is possible for sure, but I think he'll be male and he'll be white. There's wonderful black actors out there who could be James Bond, and there's no reason why you cannot have a black James Bond. But a female James Bond, no, I think it has to be male. James Bond is a guy, he's all male. His name is James, his name is James Bond."
Have we seen the last of Daniel Craig as Bond? Only time will tell. Rumours will continue to circulate -- be it Lewis, Elba or a woman -- but Craig's latest outing as Bond could change everything, including his desire to play 007 just one more time.

Spectre opens in the UK on October 26 and the U.S. on November 6.

[Images -- Showtime Television and MGM Pictures]