Since 1962, when the former body builder turned actor Sean Connery, donned a tux and left men and women shaken and stirred by his suave portrayal of Ian Fleming’s secret MI6 Agent, James Bond, the figure has been one of aspiration, admiration and even derision. After his nine-year stint his as 007, Britain’s premier spy with a Licence to Kill (including a sabbatical where George Lazenby played Bond in On Her Majesty’s Secret Service in 1969), has been – from 1973 onwards – portrayed by four other actors on the silver screen, the latest being Daniel Craig. Craig’s tenure as Bond as been hailed as returning grittiness to what was often before seen by many as a character and brand signifying a tired brand of machismo kitsch. But now Craig has let the Sky fall on his fans by ditching the tux that usually envelopes his buff physique, turning down a rumoured £68 million for two more film roles in the series, a scramble for a worthy replacement starts here!
So for the popular movie franchise to continue, another incarnation is needed (this is getting like Doctor Who!) For some time there has been speculation around the next actor who can fill the secret agent’s shoes – and tight swimming trunks – quite so impressively. The latest odds are as follows:
Tom Hiddleston (2/5):
The BAFTA winning actor and Marvel villain/Norse God, Loki, is currently odds on favourite. Although with more Marvel movies in the offing (when isn’t there Marvel flicks waiting in the wings nowadays), Hiddleston’s ‘High Rise’ may not extend to 007.
Aidan Turner (3/1):
The once vampire in Being Human, has been turning mortal heads for more than his acting recently. After showing off his body in the BBC’s Poldark reboot, he’ll certainly get the vote of some gal and gay fans of Bond!
Idris Elba (8/1):
Once, the Eastender Elba was the favourite. The Luther and The Wire star has been vocally advocated for in order to extend the gritty, more in-your-face action witnessed during Craig’s tenure. There has also been support for Idris Elba being the first black James Bond.
Tom Hardy (8/1):
The Mad Max and Legend star has been known for blending rough around the edges and scrubbing up well, as his performance as both Kray Twins in Legend aptly demonstrates. Is this rough diamond persona enough to be sufficiently employed in Her Majesty’s Secret Service though?
Damian Lewis (10/1):
The British star hit the big time in his TV role of the soldier turned terrorist in the American drama Homeland and has shown his mettle as a powerful and versatile actor. Yet is the world ready for a ginger Bond?
Henry Cavill (20/1):
The Jersey born star has been flying high since he has become the latest caretaker of another iconic fictional character, Superman. Recent Kryptonite of crashing Box Office ratings and reviews in his last turn as the DC Comics legend in Batman Versus Superman, may be enough to sour his committment to the role, however. Yet his contractual obligations might hinder his freedom to play Bond (unless he flies around the world to reverse time!)
There are other contenders, ranging from fitting stars such as Michael Fassbender, Kit Harrington and James Norton. To some of the more outlandish celebs, like former Charlton and West Ham manager Alan Curbishley (at 1,000/1), to Breaking Bad’s Aaron Paul, Danny Dyer and even Jeremy Corbyn (also 1,000/1!) The mystery remains until the producers select their own favourite and whoever it is will no doubt bring their own unique charm to the role and will be as fitting for it in their own way as an olive in a Martini glass. Time will tell as to who gets the Licence to Kill and the keys to the swish Jaguar or Aston Martin.
Roll up! Roll up! Place your bets! Who is your favourite for 007? Place your Moneypennies down… NOW! Sean Connery is playing close attention!
Meanwhile, as the deliberation begins and continues, enjoy a pic of Rylan Clark-Neal bringing some much needed gay glamour to 007!