Arts & Entertainment

The Next James Bond Could Be One of These Six Men

Hiddleston. Hardy. Madden. Murphy. Who will replace Daniel Craig?
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The next James Bond film, known as Bond 25, begins shooting in April with a theatrical release planned for next year. Because it will likely be Daniel Craig's last film in the franchise, speculation is rampant about who will be the next Bond. Several names have made their way into the media thanks, in part, to gambling oddsmakers. Keep in mind that Eon Productions, the company that makes the Bond films, has not said who will suit up next. Still, here are the six actors whose names have come up the most.

Idris Elba

Known for: The Wire, Luther, Thor, and Avengers

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Rumors about Elba becoming the next Bond have circulated since at least 2014 when a leaked email from Sony's co-chairman, Amy Pascal, said, "Idris should be the next Bond." Since then, Steven Spielberg has said Elba should be the first choice to replace Craig. A producer on the Bond franchise reportedly said it's time for a non-white actor to take over the role. Elba tweeted, "My name's Elba, Idris Elba," and took a selfie with Craig.

But in a recent profile in Event, an entertainment insert from the Daily Mail, Elba talked about why he wouldn't want the job. "Bond is one of the biggest franchises in the world, and for that reason, whoever ends up playing it, lives it," he said. "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."

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He also told The Hollywood Reporter in March that Bond producers had not formally reached out to him about playing 007.

Tom Hardy

Known for: The Revenant, Mad Max: Fury Road, Dunkirk, Venom, Peaky Blinders

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Last April, Hardy set the internet ablaze when he posted a photo on Instagram of a news story saying Craig had quit Bond and Hardy had been selected as his replacement. The caption read: "in my tux and on the runway Gtg." Thing is, the article to which he referred was a joke, because this was April Fools' Day.

Still, his name has come up frequently. Pierce Brosnan even said in 2018 that he'd prefer Hardy as Bond. "I think Tom Hardy could be a good Bond. I'd be happy to see him do it. You need an actor who can put a bit of wiggle into it—that's what makes Bond," he told Event.

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Tom Hiddleston

Known for: Avengers, Thor, The Night Manager

Hiddleston is one of the favorites to replace Craig, according to oddsmakers. Like Elba, Hiddleston's name has floated around for years, fueled in part by his starring role in The Night Manager, a miniseries about a spy. But two years ago it seems as if his chances were scuttled. In 2017, Page Six reported that Barbara Broccoli, who produces the Bond films, didn't like Tom Hiddleston because "he’s a bit too smug and not tough enough to play James Bond.” His escapades with Taylor Swift, in particular, nearly destroyed his chances, according to Page Six. Clearly, he's recovered (in the eyes of oddsmakers, at least).

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This story originally appeared on Esquire.com.

* Minor edits have been made by the Esquiremag.ph editors.

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