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The Independent UK
The Independent UK
Ellie Harrison

James Bond: The 14 actors rumoured to take over from Daniel Craig, from Aaron Taylor-Johnson to Idris Elba


From Aaron Taylor-Johnson and Idris Elba to Regé-Jean Page and Cillian Murphy, there’s a long list of actors being touted to play 007.

There has been speculation about who will replace Daniel Craig as James Bond ever since 2015, when he joked he would rather “slash his wrists” than do another Bond film.

Craig left the franchise after the 25th Bond film, 2021’s No Time to Die, and rumours have only intensified since then.

For years, dozens of actors have been batting away questions about whether they might play the most famous spy in cinema.

Here’s a list of the actors who are tipped to replace Craig...

Aaron Taylor-Johnson

Aaron Taylor-Johnson (Getty Images)

Taylor-Johnson, 32, reportedy sat down with producer Barbara Broccoli recently, for a meeting that went “very well”, after there was speculation that he had filmed a secret audition late last year. Bond co-producer Michael G Wilson previously said that the team was looking to make the new 007 a thirtysomething character, which bodes well for the actor, and he’s played action roles in Bullet Train, Kick-Ass, Godzilla and Tenet.

Tom Hardy

(Chris Jackson/Getty Images)

The 45-year-old, known for his roles in Venom and The Revenant, previously spoke about Bond rumours with The Daily Beast, saying: “If I mention it, it’s gone. You know, there’s a saying amongst us in the fraternity of acting, and in the fellowship of my peer group, that if you talk about it you’re automatically out of the race. So I can’t possibly comment on that one.”

Cillian Murphy

Cillian Murphy (AFP via Getty Images)

Peaky Blinders star Murphy said he is “flattered” by speculation that he could become the next James Bond. The 46-year-old told GQ: “It’s incredibly flattering to be in that conversation. I think it should be a woman [next].”

Regé-Jean Page

Regé-Jean Page (Rex Features)

When the 34-year-old Bridgerton star was asked by Jimmy Fallon about the Bond rumours, he said: “I think the internet thinks a lot of things, that's one of the more pleasant ones, so I'm pleased as far as that goes. But there might be an element of cultural translation here. If you're a Brit and you do something of any kind of renown, that people regard well, then people start saying the 'B' word. It's like a merit badge. You get a 'B' word merit badge.”

James Norton

James Norton (Rex Features)

The 37-year-old star of War & Peace, Happy Valley and McMafia previouslty told The Independent that if playing Bond meant sacrificing roles in indie films, “it would be a hard thing for me to swallow”.

Sam Heughan

Sam Heughan (Rex Features)

The Outlander star has previously said he would like to bring Bond back to Scotland for the first time since Sean Connery’s stint as 007. “Of course it would be a dream role and a Scottish Bond,” said the 42-year-old, “who doesn’t want to see another Scottish Bond!”

Aidan Turner

Aidan Turner (Rex Features)

In 2018, Turner broke his silence on the 007 rumours. Respecting the fact that Daniel Craig hadn’t yet finished his tenure as the spy, the 39-year-old Poldark favourite said: “There’s someone else playing the role at the moment, but when it’s free I’ll have a look at it.” But he hasn’t said a lot about it since then.

Tom Hiddleston

'Thor' actor Tom Hiddleston (Getty Images)

There were lots of rumours that Hiddleston, 41, would be the next Bond after a reported meeting with Bond producer Barbara Broccoli a few years ago. However, in 2016 he told fans that “your guess is as good as mine, to be honest”.

Richard Madden

Richard Madden (Rex Features)

The 36-year-old Bodyguard and Game of Thrones star previously told GQ: “I’m more than flattered to be mentioned, for people to consider putting me in that role. I’m very flattered and thankful. It’s a really brilliant thing to be in.”

Jamie Bell

Jamie Bell (Rex Features)

The 36-year-old star, who rose to prominence for his debut role in Billy Elliot, said he would give playing Bond “some serious consideration”. He also suggested, however, that future films in the franchise need to be more progressive.

Jack Lowden

Jack Lowden (Rex Features)

The 32-year-old Dunkirk actor has been tipped for Bond, but he previously said he never wanted Craig to leave the role. “I’m a massive Daniel Craig fan and I don’t think he should ever stop doing it,” Lowden told GP. “Bond dealing with age is a brilliant idea and I think we should go the whole way until Daniel’s 85.”

Michael Fassbender

Michael Fassbender (Rex Features)

Fassbender, 45, is one of the favourites to play 007, even though he has ruled himself out as he thinks a younger actor or a woman should take on the role. When asked in an interview with GQ magazine if he would be up for the part, he said: "To be honest, no."

Idris Elba

Idris Elba (Rex Features)

Luther star Elba, 50, has long been tipped to replace Daniel Craig, however he has attempted to quash the rumours, saying to Event: “Bond is one of the biggest franchises in the world, and for that reason, whoever ends up playing it, lives it. You’re THAT character, and known as that character for many, many years. I’m creating characters now that can still live alongside Idris. Not ones that take over me and solely define me.”

Henry Cavill

Cavill asiste al estreno de 'The Witcher', estrenada en Netflix (Getty Images for Netflix)

The 39-year-old star of The Witcher actually already auditioned for James Bond in his twenties – but obviously never got the role. In an interview years later, he said of the opportunity coming around again: “If Barbara [Bond producer Barbara Broccoli] and Mike [co-producer Michael G Wilson] were interested in that, I would absolutely jump at the opportunity. At this stage, it’s all up in the air. We’ll see what happens. But yes, I would love to play Bond, it would be very, very exciting.”

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