James Bond is one of the longest-running and most popular film franchises in the history of the silver screen, and yet it also remains one of the most popular even after several decades. This year the search is on for the next actor to play the famous 007, and the time-honoured tradition of trying to guess is also well underway! There are several favourites to win the coveted role, each with their own merits and each with different reasons why they may or may not be the likely choice.
Yorkshire-born and bred James Norton could be one of the top contenders to be the next 007. He’s a well-known and beloved face on British television, having landed roles in Grantchester, Happy Valley and War and Peace in recent years. He’s proven that he’s a diverse actor, having portrayed three entirely different character profiles, each as convincing as the next. He’s proved that he can tackle characters on opposite ends of the spectrum, and just looking at him in a suit you could imagine him charming his way out of even the most difficult situation.
In an interview with Sky News, Diane Keaton said that James Norton was her favourite to be the next Bond. Having starred alongside James Norton in Hampstead she thinks that he has everything you need for the ultimate charming James Bond. She told Sky News “He’s got everything you need. He’s extremely attractive, very smart, well-educated and a fantastic actor” before going on to add “women are going to love him!”
If Nicholas Hoult is successful in winning the role he will be one of the youngest actors ever to play 007 – something he is probably keen to be able to add to his resume. This is potentially a brave choice for the casting director but it could be a career-defining role for Hoult, and it would bring a refreshing change to the same character as Hoult’s entire demeanour is pretty much the opposite of Daniel Craig. However, critics have argued that he doesn’t look tough enough to beat up henchmen.
Next is Luke Evans. He’s one of the more popular choices, mainly down to his impressive stance (and well-groomed facial hair, befitting of 007). His role in Fast and Furious 6 showed his skill in the action genre, and his part in The Hobbit proved he’s a versatile actor, but he might not be famous enough for the role. The James Bond casting team usually like someone who’s already massively famous in their own right. He’s fairly low down the odds at the bookies, possibly due to not being well-known enough to the British public – after all, a British franchise has to have a Bond actor that will draw the British public in.
Idris Elba is the odds maker’s favourite to win at 2/1, having taken an early lead after his performances in Luther and The Wire. In fact, James Bond producer Barbara Broccoli said that Elba was “part of the conversation” for the role. He fits the character well, being tall, strong and charismatic, and after the franchise has received multiple criticisms for only casting white actors, Elba would bring the diversity that fans of the franchise have been crying out for over the years. However, Idris Elba’s age might be a determining factor – at 49 he’s only 4 years younger than Daniel Craig was at the end of his stint. The current casting team have repeatedly favoured younger actors 20or the role in recent years but, considering Roger Moore was 58 by the time he vacated the role, age isn’t really a valid reason to turn Elba away.
Others in the Running
The debate about who the next James Bond could be is always an ongoing one, with Hollywood generally keeping tight-lipped until the official announcement is made. However, as well as the front-runners in the race there are always a few others that make the list, with no one really sure whether the next James Bond be will be someone we suspect or not.
This year other names that make the list of possible James Bonds include Tom Hardy, Cillian Murphy, Richard Madden and Jamie Bell. Of course, there will also be plenty of people hoping that the next James Bond will be female, with fans calling for the return of Lashana Lynch, who took on the007 role in 2021.
Who Do The Bookies Think Will Be The Next James Bond?
Despite having plenty of public support and support of Hollywood’s finest A-listers, the bookies don’t seem convinced James Norton is currently 8/1 on to be the next James Bond according to odds sourced by Compare.bet, falling behind Tom Hardy at 7/1, Henry Cavill at 4/1 and Idris Elba at 2/1.
While the odds don’t fall quite in favour of Yorkshire’s sweetheart, they’re very close which highlights that the bookmakers aren’t entirely convinced on this one. Yes, Idris Elba is sitting at 2/1 odds, but no one is miles behind which suggests that it’s still all to play for.
Bookies’ odds always change and movie fans will be keeping a keen eye out for any news that could affect the James Bond movie. For example, if one of the front runners announces that they’re taking on the leading role in another film, this could increase their odds if this means a clash in possible filming schedules. Others will be looking out at social media for hints that their favourite actors are travelling to a place where filming could be. If we see James Norton at an airport anytime soon then there will be plenty of Yorkshire fans that will be hoping he’ll be jetting off to do some filing as part of the next James Bond role. However, as yet there is nothing confirmed and the rumour mill will continue turning – so we’ll have to wait and see whether Yorkshire will be making its mark on Hollywood anytime soon or not!