Who will replace Daniel Craig as the next James Bond?

Name: Bond, James. Height: 183cm; weight: 76 kilograms; slim build; eyes: blue; hair: black; scar down right cheek and on left shoulder; signs of plastic surgery on back of right hand; all-round athlete; expert pistol shot, boxer, knife-thrower; does not use disguises. Languages: French and German. Smokes heavily; vices: drink, but not to excess, and women.

So goes Ian’s Fleming’s description of James Bond from his novel “From Russia, with Love.” Although we’ve never really had an on-screen manifestation perfectly matching Fleming’s description of Bond, each actor has brought his own personality and swagger to the role.

Recently, there has been a lot of speculation that Daniel Craig’s days as the spy with a license to kill are numbered, ending an almost 10 year run as the headliner in four Bond films. Craig has brought danger and allure to the role, modernizing Bond for the 21st century.

When asked last year, if he plans on reprising his role, his answer was vague and consisted of many “I don’t knows” and a more dramatic, “I’d rather slash my wrists than play James Bond again.”

Daniel Craig

Craig is supposedly contracted to play Bond one more time in the upcoming Bond 25, but he has rather explicitly expressed his desire to leave the franchise on more than one occasion. It is rumored that producers are trying to woo him back to the role, but, as of now, it’s still up in the air.

Even though nothing is official, the bookmakers are working hard to determine the odds for who should take over the iconic spy role. As of now, here are some of the front runners at Paddy Power:

Tom Hardy (+187.5)

tom hardy bond

The Mad Max: Fury Road star has been slowly moving up the ranks and is now the favorite (+187.5) to become the next 007. It’s without question that he’s my personal favorite. He has the rugged looks and the grit to kill it as the next Bond. He’s proven time and time again that he’s a man of few words but he still manages to ooze cool and dominate the screen. Hardy is carving out his niche in Hollywood and becoming a regular leading man, which actually may work against him as Bond characters tend to gain fame from the role, and not vice versa.

Tom Hiddleston (+225)

tom hiddleston bond

After his recent appearance on “Jimmy Kimmel Live!” Hiddleston made two things pretty clear: he knows he would be in great company if he does take over as the iconic spy, and he certainly looks dapper in a suit. He’s had roles in Thor and The Avengers and he currently plays a spy on the British television show The Night Manager, resulting in many people viewing him as a natural choice.

Aidan Turner (+500)

aidan turner bond

Could the next Bond be another Irishman? Turner may not be a household name yet in the U.S., but he stole the show in last year’s BBC mini-series And Then There Were None. After the first installment in the series aired, Twitter was in a frenzy with many users expressing that Turner has the looks and the acting chops to slay it as the next Bond.

I must admit I am not really familiar with the actor, but after watching some clips from And Then There Were None I can definitely see the allure. Reports even say that he’s in preliminary talks with producers and he recently met with them in Los Angeles to further discuss the role.

Damian Lewis (+500)

damian lewis bond

Best known for his role on Homeland, Lewis was dominating the books for a while as the favorite to become the next secret agent. It was even reported by UK tabloid “Mirror” that Craig gave him the “unofficial nod” as his first choice to replace him. Who knows what an “unofficial nod” really is, but Lewis is an international star, who seems to get more smooth and sophisticated with age.

When asked if he is being groomed for the part, his response was rather perfect, “I would tell you but I would have to kill you.” Out of all the choices, Lewis aesthetically seems to bear the closest resemblance to Craig, with the exception of his red hair of course.

Idris Elba (+500)

idris elba bond1

Idris Elba has been coined the “Dream Bond” and has been most frequently linked to the role. The London-born star definitely has the charm and charisma. After the Sony hacks last year, it was revealed that Elba is a favorite for the role not only by the fans but by the Sony executives as well. He’s able to act witty, sensitive and hard all at once making him a strong contender for the role, and a Bond of color would definitely be a bold and refreshing choice. Although, he may need to ditch the mustache.

Henry Cavill (+800)

henry cavill bond

Tall, dark, handsome and extremely fit, Cavill certainly fits Ian Fleming’s physical description of Bond. He has been very successful in his role as the Man of Steel and looks-wise he may be the most logical choice to take over the franchise. The quintessential British gentleman was Director Martin Campbell’s first choice for Casino Royale but he was passed over for Craig because at only 22, he was deemed too young at the time.

A big question is whether he can even play Bond since he has a fairly long-term commitment to play Clark Kent. Now that he’s older and his age won’t be factored against him, it will be interesting to see what happens.

The table below displays the complete list of current odds for the next Bond:

Name 5/23/16 3/25/16 11/4/15
Tom Hiddleston 2/5 9/4 14/1
Aidan Turner 2/1 5/1 20/1
Tom Hardy 10/1 15/8 5/2
Idris Elba 10/1 5/1 4/1
Damian Lewis 14/1 5/1 7/4
Henry Cavill 20/1 8/1 5/1
Sam Riley 33/1 20/1 20/1
Tim Roth 33/1 N/A N/A
Michael Fassbender 33/1 14/1 14/1
Orlando Bloom 33/1 20/1 16/1
Christian Bale 40/1 40/1 33/1
James Norton 40/1 20/1 N/A
Gerard Butler 40/1 25/1 40/1
Adrian Lester 40/1 33/1 20/1
James McAvoy 40/1 33/1 18/1
Andrew Lincoln 40/1 33/1 14/1
Richard Armitage 40/1 20/1 16/1
Taron Egerton 40/1 40/1 N/A
Dan Stevens 40/1 20/1 16/1
Sam Worthington 50/1 33/1 25/1
Matthew Goode 50/1 25/1 50/1
David Oyelowo 50/1 40/1 14/1
Benedict Cumberbatch 50/1 50/1 50/1
Nicholas Hoult 66/1 33/1 33/1
Dominic West 66/1 33/1 33/1
Jamie Dornan 66/1 33/1 10/1
Richard Madden 66/1 50/1 50/1
Chris Hemsworth 66/1 50/1 N/A
Barry Sloane 66/1 40/1 40/1
James Purefoy 66/1 50/1 50/1
Liev Schreiber 80/1 40/1 40/1
Clive Owen 80/1 50/1 40/1
Eddie Redmayne 80/1 40/1 22/1
Hugh Jackman 80/1 66/1 50/1
Dougray Scott 80/1 66/1 33/1
Jason Statham 80/1 66/1 50/1
Matthew Lewis 80/1 80/1 N/A
Liam Hemsworth 100/1 50/1 50/1
Robert Pattinson 100/1 50/1 50/1
Rupert Friend 100/1 50/1 40/1
Alex O'Loughlin 100/1 66/1 50/1
Rufus Sewell 100/1 50/1 50/1
Philip Winchester 100/1 50/1 25/1
Leonardo DiCaprio 100/1 66/1 N/A
Goran Visnjic 100/1 80/1 80/1
Max Ryan 100/1 80/1 80/1
Colin Farrell 100/1 80/1 80/1
Ewan McGregor 100/1 80/1 50/1
Jude Law 100/1 50/1 50/1
Tom Felton 100/1 80/1 80/1
Colin Salmon 100/1 80/1 50/1
Cillian Murphy 100/1 80/1 50/1
Jon Hamm 100/1 80/1 33/1
O.T. Fagbenle 100/1 N/A N/A
Craig Fairbrass 100/1 50/1 50/1
Julian McMahon 125/1 100/1 100/1
Guy Pearce 125/1 80/1 40/1
Colin Firth 125/1 125/1 125/1
Russell Crowe 125/1 125/1 125/1
Jamie Foxx 125/1 125/1 125/1
Will Smith 125/1 125/1 125/1
David Walliams 150/1 100/1 100/1
Hugh Grant 150/1 150/1 150/1
Rupert Everett 150/1 150/1 150/1
Adrian Paul Hewett 150/1 150/1 150/1
Danny Dyer 150/1 100/1 100/1
Daniel Radcliffe 150/1 100/1 100/1
Eric Bana 150/1 100/1 100/1
David Beckham 200/1 200/1 200/1
William Hague 200/1 200/1 200/1
P. Diddy 250/1 250/1 250/1
Robbie Williams 250/1 250/1 250/1
Alan Carr 250/1 250/1 250/1
Danny Welbeck 500/1 500/1 N/A
Dele Alli 500/1 500/1 N/A
Jamie Vardy 500/1 500/1 N/A

An interesting point to be noted is that both James Norton and Taron Egerton are somewhat recent additions to the list (they were added within the past four months) and they’re both listed within the top 25 most likely candidates.

James Norton’s odds are +2,000, while Taron Egerton is currently at +4,000. Norton doesn’t have a lot of big screen action, but his rise to the top of the list of contenders may have to do with his performance in the BBC adaption of War & Peace.  As for Taron Egerton, the potential Bond successor already has experience playing a spy in the successful film Kingsman: The Secret Service. The actor would be the youngest to take on the role (he’s 26 years old), and he has only been in a handful of major films; both points which actually may be an asset rather than a handicap.

With no shortage of rumors, it’s hard to tell what’s true and what’s merely speculation, but there is no question that producers need to maintain the trademark and quality of the film. If Craig does decide to no longer reprise the role, there’s definitely no shortage of suitable candidates.

5/23/16 Update:

There’s still no official word on whether Daniel Craig will reprise his role as James Bond but more and more signs point toward Craig walking away from the franchise. Bookmakers recently suspended their odds (reportedly because there was a flood of bets on Tom Hiddleston), but, as of today, Paddy Power is taking bets again.

Hiddleston (-250) has replaced front-runner Tom Hardy as the favorite. Large bets have recently been placed on Hiddleston and he was reportedly in talks with studio heads this past week. Aidan Turner, who was available at +2,000 back in November, jumped from +500 to +200. Idris Elba and Tom Hardy (+1,000) are now tied for the third-best odds, followed by Damian Lewis (+1,400) and Henry Cavill (+2,000).

6/2/16 Update:

Aidan Turner has bumped Tom Hiddleston (who’s now +275) out of the favorite spot. In the past week, Turner moved from +200 to –300.

Another noticeable change is the inclusion of Jamie Bell (+900). The English actor was added to the list of potential Bond’s, and he’s at the top of the list, right behind Hiddleston.

7/15/16 Update:

Over the past few weeks, there have been a couple of noteworthy changes to the Bond odds.  The new favorite to assume the role is English actor Jack Huston (+150). If the name doesn’t ring a bell, you may recognize him from appearances in American Hustle and The Longest Ride. Huston bumped the previous favorite, Aidan Turner, to 7/4 odds (+175), followed by James Norton who’s now listed at +200 odds.

What’s also interesting is the addition of a couple of women who are in line to grab the coveted role and possibly become the first ever female Bond. Now on the list: Kristen Stewart, who gained prominence from her role in the Twilight series, and The X-Files Gillian Anderson.  Stewart recently pitched an idea on how to freshen up the role: have the Bond girl actually be Bond – pull the old bait and switch.  Anderson also threw her hat in the ring when she tweeted a picture of herself as 007 with the caption “It’s Bond.  Jane Bond.” Stewart is currently listed at 40/1 odds (+4000) and you can get Anderson at +6600.

Who do you think would make a good next Bond? Do you think anyone is missing from the list? Do you think an American actor can take over the iconic role? Please leave your thoughts in the comments section below.

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Nicole Patti

Nicole Patti is the Marketing Coordinator for Sports Insights. She can be reached directly at nicole@sportsinsights.com.

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