After playing the iconic role for over a decade now, British actor Daniel Craig is reported to be stepping down after his next Bond film. But with “Bond 25” now rumored to be released in April 2020, it’s still over a year before Craig is going to walk away.

As early as now though, several names have been thrown in the picture and even the bookmakers have already installed their favorites.

The Faces Of James Bond

The Ian Fleming created character James Bond first appeared on the silver screen in 1962 when British actor Sean Connery played the role in the movie Dr. No. Connery did four more James Bond movies before George Lazenby took over for Her Majesty’s service. Lazenby’s stint would be the shortest of any Bond as Connery re-claimed the role in 1971 in Diamonds Are Forever, which would turn out to be Connery’s swansong performance as 007.

Roger Moore was installed as 007 in 1973, debuting in Live and Let Die. Moore would do six more Bond films in 12 years before he was replaced by Timothy Dalton who did just two: The Living Daylights in 1987 and License To Kill in 1989. Irish actor Pierce Brosnan debuted as 007 in Goldeneye in 1995. Brosnan would do a total of four films before the current and longest serving James Bond took over.

Daniel Craig rebooted the series with Casino Royale in 2006 and he’s done four Bond movies so far. Craig is expected to reprise his 007 role one more time for the movie entitled Bond 25. Production is expected to begin in April with a target release date of April 2020. With Craig’s departure imminent, the movie world now asks who will be the next James Bond?

The Favorites

Tom Hiddleston tops the list at 2/1. The rumor to make Thor’s brother Loki as the next 007 began a couple of years ago when he reportedly met with James Bond producer Barbara Broccoli. Then when “The Night Manager” TV series director Susanne Bier was rumored as the next James Bond director, Hiddleston’s name came on top of the list. However, Hiddleston dispelled rumors when he told an audience at a Wizard Comic Con in Philadelphia that “ I don’t think that announcement is coming.”

Cillian Murphy is next on the oddsboard at 3/1. The Peaky Blinders actor is the latest name to be added to the growing list of the next 007. Murphy’s name surfaced on the list after it was reported that Danny Boyle would direct the next James Bond film. Boyle and Murphy worked together in 28 Days Later and Sunshine. Additionally, Murphy’s portrayal of Tommy Shelby proves that he can play a cold-blooded, methodical, charming and violent character, very much Bond-like.

Ever since landing his breakout role as Robb Stark in HBO’s Game of Thrones, Richard Madden has captured the hearts of the nation and the Bond faithful. And after his Golden Globe winning performance in the BBC series Bodyguard, he has been thrust in the James Bond conversation. The success of Bodyguard in the U.S. market only added to his chances and at 3/1, he does have a solid chance to land the role.

James Norton denied the rumors last December but with McMafia ramping up and Norton upping his game, some are saying he is looking every bit the Bond-in-waiting. Meanwhile, Idris Elba spiced up the rumors when he was seated next to Daniel Craig at the recent Golden Globes. He even took a photo of them and posted it to his Instagram page with a caption that read: “Not to add to the fire but…be nice guys”. Elba has also been long rumored to take over from Craig but he also said once that he didn’t want to take on a role that would “define him.”

Here are the odds to be the next James Bond. Odds taken from William Hill as of 3/18/19:

Actors Odds
Tom Hiddleston 2/1
Cillian Murphy 3/1
Richard Madden 3/1
James Norton 4/1
Idris Elba 5/1
Tom Hardy 6/1
Rami Malek 8/1
Aidan Turner 12/1
Damian Lewis 20/1
Henry Cavill 25/1
Michael Fassbender 33/1
Tom Hopper 33/1
Jack Huston 40/1
Ben Barnes 50/1
Ewan McGregor 50/1
Jack Lowden 50/1
Johnny Flynn 50/1

The Next James Bond?

The next James Bond really is as good as your guess. Heck, there are even rumors linking Gillian Anderson of the X-Files fame has been pushed to be the next Bond- Jane Bond. Not a shabby idea either and while she isn’t on the oddsboard, she may have an equal chance as the boys. What do you think?

Picking the next Bond is going to be a wild guess, really. But with the success and reception of the Black Panther movie ($1.3B as of May 2018) and after seeing Halle Berry play Jinx, the first heroic African-American Bond girl, in Die Another Day, I think it’s about time that the iconic James Bond breaks tradition. So yeah, It’s Idris Elba for me.

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