With Daniel Craig (Layer Cake, Quantum of Solace) sadly stepping down from the role, speculation continues to circle the web as to who is going to replace him as the world’s most famous spy. Although MGM had reportedly offered Craig £68 million for a further two films, plus shares, inside reports have stated that Craig is simply done with the role, and is moving on. And so now must producers Barbara Broccoli (GoldenEye, The World is Not Enough) and Michael G. Wilson (For Your Eyes Only, License to Kill), along with the heads at MGM, decide on a new actor to further the franchise. The favored choice, at least according to all the rumors, is Avengers and High-Rise actor Tom Hiddleston, who has thus far denied all of the rumors, but who, I’m sure, is not completely against the idea. Another name that has come up is Aiden Turner (The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug, Poldark), but according to a more recent report from the Daily Mail, Billy Eliot and Nymphomaniac star Jamie Bell is in actual talks with the producers to take over the role.
Bond producer Barbara Broccoli is behind Bell’s upcoming 2017 release Film Stars Don’t Die in Liverpool with Julie Walters (Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1, Brave) and Annette Bening (American Beauty, Danny Collins), and has supposedly been a fan of Bell’s for some time. This is, of course, all speculation, but considering the already existing link between Broccoli and Bell, it’s fairly reasonable to assume that this is a possibility. I think the main concern that fans of the franchise will have is not what face is portraying Bond (Bell, or whoever it is will be the 7th actor), but in what direction the character will be taken. Craig’s Bond took the character right back to square one and readapted him for post 9/11 audiences. But having brought the character back full circle at the conclusion of Skyfall, and further stepping into territory familiar in Ian Fleming‘s original novels with Spectre, will the next actor simply be expected to carry on in the way Craig has been going, or will audiences, once again, have to watch a completely new actor develop an entirely new character? Only time will tell.