Who Is The Next James Bond? While Daniel Craig Plays It Cool, Here Are Eight Contenders For 007

In a week that saw James Bond cast to the forefront of the cinematic world once again, many people have been speculating about the future of the suave super spy. Iconic in cinema for decades, 007 is not going anywhere fast, and the franchise is currently in the midst of its most successful run in years, which is why Sony and Bond bosses are eager to keep Daniel Craig in the role. After all, if it’s working fine, don’t fix it. However, the actor has been clear about his reluctance to step back into the role and is eager to walk away from the part — or so it seems.

This week, Radar Online revealed that Sony have offered Daniel Craig $150 million for two more James Bond films. The films would be made back-to-back in an attempt to continue the success of Craig’s current run and possibly ease the actor’s reluctance with a less grueling schedule. Despite his critics, Craig has made the franchise relevant once again with his realistic bare-bones portrayal of the character, and it’s clear that Sony realizes the lucrative potential of this.

A source revealed the following.

“The studio is desperate to secure the actor’s services while they phase in a younger long-term successor. Craig has played a genius hand. Everyone knows how much executives adore him, and the idea of losing him at such a crucial time in the franchise isn’t an option as far as all the studio honchos are concerned. Daniel’s the key for a seamless, safe transition as far as Sony and Bond bosses are concerned, and they’re prepared to pay a king’s ransom to make it happen.”

Craig has played James Bond since 2005, a casting that drew some criticism on its initial announcement, and he has starred in four movies: Casino Royale, Quantum of Solace, Skyfall, and Spectre. Combined, the films have made over $2.5 billion at the box office, with Skyfall raking in over a billion dollars on its own. It’s no wonder Sony and the Bond executives are eager to keep Craig in the iconic tuxedo, as people clearly enjoy him as 007.

And despite the offer, Daniel Craig has yet to comment, which has some people wondering if the actor is a genius for playing hardball and showing his worth to the franchise or is simply not interested. Many believe it is the latter, but nothing is ever certain in Hollywood. Regardless, as is always the case, should Craig make his long-expected exit from the franchise, a potential list of suitors has been drawn up.

According to the Sun, here are the eight actors currently in line to play Bond. James Bond.

Tom Hiddleston. [Image via Universal Pictures]

Tom Hiddleston

Currently the favorite, and many believe most suited, to the role, Hiddleston has made a name for himself by playing suave, sophisticated characters with a hidden hint of menace. His role as Loki in the Marvel Cinematic Universe aside, a turn as damaged baronet Sir Thomas Sharpe in Crimson Peak showed that he has the potential to slip into the double-sided character of James Bond with ease. Excellent performances in I Saw the Light and The Night Manager have also increased his exposure. James Bond would be his first true franchise as a leading man, which is one reason Sony might be uncertain about his potential, but it would be crucial to remember that Daniel Craig was in the same position when they hired him in 2005.

Idris Elba. [Image via BBC]

Idris Elba

A constant figure on any recent James Bond casting lists, Idris Elba has been a long-term candidate for the role. His name has repeatedly come up as the successor to Daniel Craig and was even mentioned in the Sony email leak back in 2011. More recently in 2016, director Steven Spielberg claimed that Elba would be the ideal Bond and threw his weight behind the actor.

With blazing performances in The Wire and Luther and his casting in the movie adaptation of Stephen King’s The Dark Tower — a franchise he is now leading — Elba has all the credentials to play Bond. The biggest stumbling block would be the actor himself, who believes he is too old for the role. And despite being mentioned numerous times, to public knowledge, no one has ever contacted him in regards to the part.

Michael Fassbender. [Image via 20th Century Fox]

Michael Fassbender

Most people will recognize Fassbender as a younger Magneto in the last three X-Men movies, but the actor has slowly been solidifying his CV with a number of stellar turns. With Prometheus, Frank, Steve Jobs, Inglourious Basterds, and 12 Years a Slave beneath his belt, the actor has shown he has definite range. His brooding turns in The Counselor and Haywire have also hinted at a subtle knack for playing the undercover agent.

With a number of successful franchises to his name — including the upcoming Assassin’s Creed, a film that is expected to change the video game adaptation genre as we know it — Fassbender is probably the busiest person on this list, with regards to work commitments. Might this be a problem for a potential casting as 007?

Charlie Hunnam. [Image via 20th Television]

Charlie Hunnam

A new addition to the list — much like many of the actors that follow below — Charlie Hunnam has come to prominence since his role as Jackson “Jax” Teller in the FX drama series Sons of Anarchy. Long considered a heartthrob amongst viewers, and with a solid film career to date — both of which leave him in good stead for the role of Bond — the actor is fast showing that he has the mentality to take on a huge leading role.

He has featured in ensemble casts for Crimson Peak, Pacific Rim, and Deadfall, and he is scheduled to make his mark as a leading man in King Arthur: Legend of the Sword (2017) and the remake of Papillon (2018). The next two years are crucial in his career and will confirm if the actor can go from TV champion to Hollywood heavyweight. If Craig resigns and Bond is recast in the next few years, and Hunnam proves to be a box-office draw, he could find himself near the top of the list.

Aidan Turner [Image via The BBC]

Aidan Turner

The Irish actor has already been likened to former Bond Pierce Brosnan, and much like his fellow countryman, he is now in contention to play 007. People will recognize Turner from the Hobbit trilogy, where he played dwarf Kili, and stand-out roles in BBC series Being Human and Poldark. He was also spotted mimicking Daniel Craig — either by accident or in homage — at a recent GQ event.

According to bookie odds, Turner has become the fan favorite on multiple occasions in 2016 and refused to comment on the role of a lifetime at a recent MCM Comic Convention in the UK. Despite this, fans of the actor have been clamoring for his casting as the suave super spy. Only time will tell if he is a serious contender, but the fans seem to think he is the perfect choice for the next Bond.

Luke Evans [Image via Universal Pictures]

Luke Evans

In 2015, Idris Elba and Tom Hardy topped this list, but at the same time, Luke Evans was also in contention. GQ magazine have already confirmed that Evans is their favorite to secure the part of Bond, as voted for by their readers, a poll that saw Elba, Hardy, and Aidan Turner fall by the wayside. Evans has been acting since 2000, where he was a regular on the London West End, but roles in Sex & Drugs & Rock & Roll, Dracula Untold, and Fast & Furious 6 have cemented his reputation as a Hollywood star. He has the looks and the charisma, and several roles have confirmed he can bring the dark, mysterious side when needed, however, the lack of a successful franchise may hinder the Welsh actor’s chances here. An outsider, yes, but a genuine talent who could bring Bond into the new era.

Jamie Bell [Image via Les Films du Losange]

Jamie Bell

Some viewers were shocked when Jamie Bell appeared on the list of potential Bond successors, and his name has somewhat faded from the equation in recent months. However, he first got on the list for one major reason: Bond executive producer Barbara Broccoli was impressed with the actor’s work in Film Stars Don’t Die in Liverpool.

Despite a solid acting career as an adult, Bell will always be remembered for his portrayal of Billy Elliott in the film of the same name, and this might have hindered his chances in the eyes of the public. People should not forget that Bell also has action credentials from films like King Kong and Snowpiercer and has shown a rare edge and darkness in Filth and Nymphomanic. Both of these traits are evident in the latest incarnation of Bond, and shouldn’t be overlooked.

James Norton [Image via BBC]

James Norton

In recent months, James Norton has become one of the outside favorites to secure the role of James Bond. Less known to people outside of the UK, Norton is fast becoming a solid candidate with excellent portrayals in a host of television shows, most notably War & Peace, a BBC miniseries based on Russian author Leo Tolstoy’s masterpiece. He also played terrifying psychopath Tommy Lee Royce in BBC drama Happy Valley. He won Glamour magazine’s Man of the Year and has confirmed he is comfortable with being a heart-throb in his native land. With the looks and talent to play Bond, despite being an outside bet, you can expect his name to pop up when the casting starts.

So there are the eight current picks for the next James Bond. With a wealth of talent vying for the role of a lifetime, let’s hope Daniel Craig makes his decision soon.

[Image via MGM Pictures/Columbia Pictures]

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