What About Tom Hiddleston? Jamie Bell To Replace Daniel Craig As James Bond

Gregory Wakeman

It's looking increasingly unlikely that Daniel Craig will return as James Bond. But while Tom Hiddleston had previously been seen as the bookie's favorite to replace Craig in the role, a new contender has emerged in the shape of Jamie Bell.

These rumors first emerged earlier this week when The Sun, via the Daily Mail, reported that the 30-year-old actor had been approached by Barbara Broccoli and James Bond producers to discuss the iconic role.

Broccoli is believed to have been impressed by Jamie Bell's skills after watching him on the set of his new movie, Film Stars Don't Die. Broccoli, who has been the producer of the James Bond franchise for 20 years, allegedly has been hugely impressed by his ability during the shoot.

— Daily Mail Celebrity (@DailyMailCeleb) May 25, 2016

Deadline has only added to these rumors by reporting that Daniel Craig has just signed up to join Logan Lucky opposite Katherine Heigl, which will be directed Steven Soderbergh.

As the publication points out, Daniel Craig's slate is becoming increasingly full which makes it look more and more unlikely that he'll have time to appear in another James Bond film. That's because he's also due to star in the television series Purity, which is going to consist of 20 episodes over two seasons. Craig also made it perfectly clear while he was out promoting Spectre that he wouldn't be interested in shooting another Bond film.

This isn't the first time that Jamie Bell has been linked to a role in James Bond. In fact, there were rumors that Bell was being lined up for a role in Skyfall as a rival rookie agent opposite Daniel Craig's 007. However, that never materialized.

Jamie Bell shot to prominence 16 years ago when Billy Elliot was released in 2000. Directed by Stephen Daldry, it told the story of 11-year-old Billy who during the 1984-1985 coal miners' strike in the north-east of England, develops an affinity and talent for ballet dancing. It went on to become a worldwide phenomenon, grossing £72.8 million from just a £3 million budget.

But since then, Jamie Bell has forged out a rather formidable Hollywood career for himself. This saw him star in 2005's King Kong, which was directed by Peter Jackson, while he also played the titular role of Tintin in 2011's The Adventures Of Tintin, which just so happened to have been directed by Steven Spielberg. Bell also currently plays the leading role of Abraham Woodhull in AMC's period drama Turn: Washington's Spies, which is now in its third season.

— Jim Vejvoda (@JimVejvoda) May 26, 2016

But while Jamie Bell is the latest name to be heavily linked to the role of James Bond, he will undoubtedly face fierce competition for the part from Tom Hiddleston, Idris Elba, Damian Lewis, and Aidan Turner, each of whom have seen their names mentioned in discussions with the iconic part.

[Image via 20th Century Fox]