With New Bond Film Set for Release, Speculation Grows on 007's Replacement

Thursday August 26, 2021

With "No Time to Die," the final 007 film with Daniel Craig, hitting the screens on October 8 in the U.S. — after a prolonged COVID delay — the race is on to find his replacement, with any number of A-list stars (and some not quite A-list) in contention.

Franchise producers Michael G. Wilson and Barbara Broccoli are more concerned with getting their long-delayed film into theaters than with naming the Bond successor. "It's tough to think about the future until this film has its moment," Broccoli told the website Total Film. "I think we just really want to celebrate this and celebrate Daniel, and then when the dust settles, then look at the landscape and figure out what the future is. Although I think one thing we've certainly learned in the last 18 months is you never know what the future is. So we have to sit down and think about it."

Alex Apati of the betting firm Ladbrokes was quoted in the Daily Mail about the race: "It's looking increasingly likely Bond chiefs have made their minds up in the hunt for Daniel Craig's replacement, with Regé-Jean Page now clear favorite in the betting."†Page's odds are 4/5.

Coming in second is Tom Hardy, who had previously been favored to get the role, but has seen his fortunes fade with Page's breakout success with "Bridgerton." Hardy's odds are 4/1.

Also under consideration are James Norton, who comes in at 5/1, Luke Evans at 6/1, Henry Cavill at 7/1, and Idris Elba at 10/1.

In recent weeks it's been Cavill who has been trending. The website Brinkwire writes, "the actor who plays Superman, has swiftly become one of the frontrunners to replace Craig in the famous role. 'The Witcher' star has been given 7/1 odds to take over as the mysterious man of mystery this week."

Ladbroke's Apati commented on Cavill's momentum. "Regé-Jean Page has headed the Bond betting for the majority of 2021 but punters have recently leaned towards Henry Cavill as a potential name who could rival the 'Bridgerton' star for the role of 007."

Recently Cavill recalled to Insider his previous brush with Bond when he auditioned for the role early in his career and was told "he wasn't lean enough for the role."

"At the time, Cavill was about age 21. He told Insider the comment came from a place of 'mentorship and guidanc' rather than body-shaming."

"It was his tough love way of saying, 'Look, mate, you're in a Bond screen test. Next time you come to a screen test, really focus hard on making sure you lean up if it's for something like Bond.' And I wasn't by any means chubby, but I was probably overweight for taking my shirt off on camera," Cavill, 38, said. The comment was meant "good-naturedly," he said, as advice to a young man at the start of his career.

Norton, from the BBC series "McMafia," is making light of his chances. He told Radio Times, "If you're thinking of placing a bet on me, you'd better keep your money."

Recently, Henry Golding ("Crazy Rich Asians," and this summer's "Snake Eyes") has also been talked about as a possibility for Bond. "I guess they are looking for another candidate," Henry told Andy Cohen on "Watch What Happens Live," reports Digital Spy. "So, of course, any right sort of man would want to put their hand up for it. So sure, let's talk."

He added: "It's an honor to even be in the conversation. It's one of the greatest film roles ever, you'd be stupid to be like, 'I don't want to do that shit.' "

Also rumored to be under consideration is the star of the new Marvel movie "Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings," Simu Liu. His odds are 20/1. According to the British newspaper the Mirror, Apati said: "Simu Liu is very much among Hollywood's hottest properties right now, and with 007 chiefs still on the hunt for Daniel Craig's replacement, there could be a huge plot twist in the betting".

It would be the casting coup of all time if the producers were to choose a woman for the role. "The betting experts of the bookmakers are increasingly relying on a female 007 successor, the rate has recently improved from 33 to 12," reported GQ. "Will the coveted role ultimately go to an actress? Such a revolution is not ruled out. The 'James Bond' producer Barbara Broccoli had already indicated in the past that the next action hero might belong to another ethnic group and even become female."

The actress leading the odds is Emily Blunt. "With the bookmakers, Blunt has made a giant leap forward," wrote GQ. "Most recently, she improved her quota as Her Majesty's future spy from 250 to 50."

GQ threw their support behind Blunt. "Emily Blunt would fit perfectly into the role of a female 007! Born in London and endowed with both British and American citizenship, she perfectly combines a typical British charm with the sovereignty of a woman of the world. And on top of that, the mother of two daughters has already proven several times that she cuts an extremely good figure in action roles and can kick the asses of bad guys properly."

Also in contention is Gillian Anderson, who famously played an FBI agent in her role as Dana Scully in the TV series "The X Files."