For film fans, there are few questions more pressing than ‘who will be the next James Bond?’ Once a Bond is cast, the clock immediately starts ticking. When Daniel Craig was cast in the role in 2005 there was already much speculation about when he’d leave the part.

That speculation was kicked into high gear when, during a press tour for his most recent 007 outing, Spectre, Craig admitted to Time Out that he wasn’t interested in doing another Bond film.

“Now? I’d rather… slash my wrists. No, not at the moment. Not at all. That’s fine. I’m over it at the moment. We’re done. All I want to do is move on.

“I don’t know what the next step is. I’ve no idea. Not because I’m trying to be cagey. Who the fuck knows? At the moment, we’ve done it. I’m not in discussion with anybody about anything. If I did another Bond movie, it would only be for the money.”

However, in an interview with Stephen Colbert in August 2017, Craig seemed to have changed his mind. He confirmed he would return for the 25th James Bond film, due out in cinemas in November 2019.

Craig also explained his previous answer:

“There is no point in making excuses about it, but it was two days after I finished shooting the last movie. I went straight into an interview and someone said, ‘Would you do another one?’ And I went, ‘No.’ And instead of saying something with style and grace, I gave a really stupid answer.”

However, Craig did confirm that it would be his very last outing as Bond.

Since The World Is Not Enough in 1999 and Die Another Day in 2002, the average gap between Bond films has been three or four years. So, any new Bond probably wouldn’t actually appear on screen until 2022 at the earliest.

Still, that hasn’t stopped the speculation.

Barbara Broccoli’s insight on the next Bond after Daniel Craig:

Few people have quite as much insight into the question of the next James Bond as 57-year-old Barbara Broccoli. Broccoli is head of Eon Productions, the film studio behind the Bond movies. Broccoli has worked on Bond films since she was 17 due to her father, producer Albert R. “Cubby” Broccoli being the previous head of Eon Productions.

More specifically, she has been the producer of every Bond film of both the Pierce Brosnan and Daniel Craig eras.

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While she isn’t technically personally involved in casting James Bonds, she has a huge amount of influence over the final choice.

In December 2017, Broccoli was asked by the Daily Mail whether a woman or a non-white actor could ever play Bond. Her response was far from definitive:

“These films tend to reflect the times so we always try to push the envelope a little bit. Anything is possible.

“Right now it’s Daniel Craig, and I’m very happy with Daniel Craig, but who knows what the future will bring?”

More than likely, that’s just savvy producer talk for ‘I haven’t made any decisions’ but it does mean that anything might be possible when it comes to casting the next Bond.

All bets are on:

It’s tempting to say ‘all bets are off’ when it comes to casting the next Bond, but that’s far from accurate. All bets are definitely still on, and bookies are offering plenty of odds on which actor may or may not play the next Bond.

The favourite is still Taboo and Mad Max: Fury Road actor Tom Hardy.

Throwback to Fury Road

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However, there have been some new additions. James Norton is in contention after his starring role in BBC One series McMafia which aired 1st January 2018. In that series, he plays the son of two Russian mafioso parents who must battle shady underworld connections.

The full list from favourite to least likely can be found below.

Who do the bookies think star in a new Bond film?

  • Tom Hardy
  • Jack Huston
  • Aidan Turner
  • James Norton
  • Idris Elba
  • Tom Hiddleston
  • Any female
  • Michael Fassbender
  • Travis Fimmel
  • Henry Cavill
  • Riz Ahmed
  • Terence Howard
  • Andrew Lincoln
  • Jamie Bell
  • Mark Wright
  • Jack Lowden
  • Jack O’Connell
  • Cillian Murphy
  • Damian Lewis
  • Dan Stevens
  • Emily Blunt
  • Gillian Anderson
  • Jamie Dornan
  • Luke Evans
  • Matthew Goode
  • Taron Egerton
  • Matthew Macfadyen
  • Ryan Gosling
  • Sam Riley
  • Tom Hughes
  • Adrian Lester
  • Charlize Theron
  • David Oyelowo
  • John Boyega
  • Martin Freeman
  • Richard Madden
  • Rupert Friend
  • Angelina Jolie
  • Barry Sloane
  • Emilia Clarke
  • Megan Fox
  • Olivia Colman
  • Tom Ellis
  • Alex O Loughlin
  • Benedict Cumberbatch
  • Charlie Hunnam
  • Chiwetel Ejiofor
  • Chris Hemsworth
  • Dominic West
  • Dougray Scott
  • Jude Law
  • Orlando Bloom
  • Phoebe Waller-Bridge
  • Tim Roth
  • Vicky McClure
  • James Purefoy
  • Kit Harington
  • Kristen Stewart
  • Liev Schreiber
  • Nicholas Hoult
  • Sam Heughan
  • Brad Pitt
  • Christian Bale
  • Clive Owen
  • Eddie Redmayne
  • Gerard Butler
  • James McAvoy
  • Richard Armitage
  • Colin Salmon
  • Ewan McGregor
  • Hugh Jackman
  • Jason Statham
  • O T Fagbenle
  • Rupert Penry-Jones
  • Sam Worthington
  • Adrian Paul Hewett
  • Craig Fairbrass
  • Danny Dyer
  • David Walliams
  • Goran Visnjic
  • Guy Pearce
  • Hugh Grant
  • Jamie Foxx
  • Jeremy Renner
  • Julian McMahon
  • Leonardo DiCaprio
  • Liam Hemsworth
  • Matthew Lewis
  • Max Ryan
  • Philip Winchester
  • Robert Pattinson
  • Rufus Sewell
  • Rupert Everett
  • Colin Farrell
  • Colin Firth
  • Daniel Radcliffe
  • Eric Bana
  • Helen Mirren
  • Jon Hamm
  • Russell Crowe
  • Tom Felton
  • Vinnie Jones
  • Will Smith
  • Danny Welbeck
  • David Beckham
  • Dele Alli
  • Jamie Vardy
  • Matt Richardson
  • P Diddy
  • Robbie Williams
  • William Hague

How likely are any of these?

Honestly, you can probably rule out the vast majority of these. One thing that becomes very apparent when researching a list like this is that the bookies will offer odds on just about anyone to become ‘the next James Bond’.

Essentially, as long as an actor hasn’t categorically denied their interest in being Bond, they stand a chance, in the bookies eyes. James Norton’s odds suggest that just about anyone who has ever worn a suit and been in any kind of gritty crime-based thriller stands a shot. Just look at the list, Tom Hardy has Inception and Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy, Jack Huston was in American Hustle, James Norton in McMafia, Idris Elba from Luther, and Tom Hiddleston had The Night Manager.

Even further out there’s Taron Egerton from the Bond parodying Kingsman films, Rupert Penry-Jones from Spooks, another BBC spy series, Olivia Coleman from Broadchurch, and both Martin Freeman and Benedict Cumberbatch from Sherlock.

It sounds sarcastic, but the barrier is really that low.

However, one thing that we probably should consider is that it’s unlikely to be any of the younger names on the list. The average age of actors cast as Bond is 37.5 years old. Of the four most recent Bonds, the average age is even higher: 41 years old.

It’s also worth considering that in the past every Bond has been a white man. As much as it’s tempting to read into Barbara Broccoli’s recent comments it seems reasonably unlikely that’ll change. Consider the controversy around Daniel Craig being the first ever blond Bond, and imagine how fans would react if there was an even bigger change. It might not necessarily be the right choice or even a mildly interesting one, but for Broccoli’s business it makes sense.