It looks like Daniel Craig has finally hung up his holster as it’s reported that Sony are looking for a new James Bond 007. But who are the top contenders? These are the bookies favourites...
Before his punchy turn in the insanely popular adaptation of John Le Carre’s The Night Manager, Tom Hiddleston was seen as a bit of a Bond outsider. But his star has risen so much in the past few months that the London-born, Eton-educated actor now finds himself the bookies favourite. Rumours abound that Hiddles was recently seen in talks with Bond producer Barbara Broccoli, and one bookmakers this week suspended betting on him. There’s a lot of smoke with this one, but is there any fire?
Two years ago, only a few fans of BBC3 YA drama Being Human had ever heard of Aidan Turner. But that was before Poldark. The 18th century Cornish drama made a bona fide sex symbol out of the 32-year-old mannequin-handsome Dubliner, solidifying his place in female hearts with THAT six-pack scene. He played the debonair Philip Lombard in the Agatha Christie adaptation And Then There Were None last year, which almost seemed like an audition for Bond itself.
Hiddles’ main rival for the role, at least in the minds of the great British public, Elba’s possible casting would be radical. We’ve had a Scottish Bond, a Welsh Bond, an Irish Bond and a blond Bond, but never a black one. He’s definitely got the charisma and steeliness to be 007, but not everyone’s on his side. James Bond novelist Anthony Horowitz recently said, “For me, Idris Elba is a bit too rough to play the part. It’s not a colour issue. I think he is probably a bit too ‘street’ for Bond. Is it a question of being suave? Yeah.”
The odds are currently 8/1 on the Mad Max hunk taking over from Daniel Craig. He’s certainly got the brawn for the role, and his role as Reggie Kray showed he could do suave. The difficulty would be Hardy convincing us of Bond’s privileged background – most of his characters have been rough ‘n’ ready working class types.
A few years ago we could have definitely seen it, but – at 45 – is Damian Lewis a bit past it? True, Daniel Craig is 48, but the Bond people will want to hire someone who will hang around for ten years at least. It’s a shame, because everything else is just so perfect – he’s a heartthrob, is suitably posh and, like Pierce Brosnan, has a wife who’s already appeared in a Bond film (that’s Helen McCrory, from Skyfall, fact fans).
We’ve had one Irish Bond already (step forward Pierce Brosnan), and at 39, he’s the right age for Bond. Fassbender’s stock is pretty high now, but crucially he’s not so big as to prove too expensive for the Bond people. We’re right behind this one.
Cavill nearly won the role of James Bond in 2006 for Casino Royale. Famously the then-22-year-old actor lost out to Daniel Craig, but Cavill has since found fame as Superman in 2013’s Man of Steel and 2016’s Batman v Superman. He played a Bond-type role in last year’s The Man from UNCLE (playing a character – Napoleon Solo – who was co-created by Bond author Ian Fleming) and his chiselled good looks certainly mark him out as a possible Bond. So far though, his box office potential is unproven. He was sidelined in Batman v Superman and The Man from UNCLE was a commercial dud. File under: Missed The Boat.
At 38, the former EastEnders hunkthrob is the right age for Bond, and certainly has the right mixture of charm, swagger and ladykilling skills. His schedule is luckily quite free to take on the role of 007 (rumours abound that Gaffney has cancelled a planned opening of a new shopping centre in Trowbridge to accommodate the filming of Bond 25), so expect to see Gaffney confirmed as the new James Bond any day now.
Odds: Not rated
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