Who will become the 007th Bond?

UPDATE, MAY 2018: So Daniel Craig will get the help of a namesake in bringing his tenure as Bond to dramatic close. It was canny business on the part of Bond’s real bosses to employ the services of Danny Boyle for Episode XXV. (Begbie’s already part of the 007 universe – Robert Carlyle played a former KGB villain who felt no pain.) Interesting times for everyone’s favourite secret agent sociopath…


As part of my full-page feature for the Irish Examiner on the Bond franchise, I wrote a sidebar on the top 10 actors in the running for the coveted role. To read the main feature click here.


Daniel Craig is contracted to do one more film as James Bond, to bring his tally to five outings. This will make him the third longest-serving 007 after Roger Moore (seven) and Sean Connery (six). However, after Craig confessed before the release of Spectre that he would “rather slash my wrists” than imagine filming another spy adventure, the rumour mill has been running at top speed in discussing possible replacements.

The good news is that there are two Irish actors among the favourites to become the seventh James Bond. Here, we discuss the top 10 actors who are most likely to follow in Craig’s suede brogues.

1) AIDAN TURNER bond turner

Age: 33

Nationality: Irish

You’ve seen him in… : Poldark on TV; Kili in The Hobbit trilogy.

The case for: Obviously the shirtless scene in Poldark caused a great stir, which was reminiscent of the reaction to Craig emerging from the sea in blue swimming trunks in Casino Royale.

The case against: Certainly looks the part, but does he have the acting chops to play an alcoholic assassin with family issues and carry what is now a multibillion-dollar franchise? A few more meaty roles would certainly keep Turner on the Bond radar for another 5-10 years.

Bond film when he was born: Octopussy.

2) TOM HARDY Tom Hardy arrives at ''The Revenant'' Los Angeles premiere Red carpet

Age: 39

Nationality: English

You’ve seen him in… : Peaky Blinders, Band of Brothers on TV; as Bane in The Dark Knight Rises, Inception, Mad Max: Fury Road, The Revenant.

The case for: He’s got the looks – he used to be a model – and he’s got the ability – he’s a Bafta winner and an Oscar nominee. Would be a perfect fit if Bond was given a reboot.

The case against: Hardy is more famous for his supporting roles and only takes the lead in unconventional films. Bond could be a bit restrictive for his tastes.

Bond film when he was born: The Spy Who Loved Me.

3) MICHAEL FASSBENDER Bond fassbender

Age: 40

Nationality: Irish

You’ve seen him in… : 12 Years a Slave; X-Men movies; Shame; Prometheus; Killarney, his home town.

The case for: Played a spy to great effect in Tarantino’s Inglorious Basterds and has enjoyed action roles of late. Also looks good in a suit.

The case against: His box office value took a hit with Assassin’s Creed’s meagre performance. Like Hardy he may dislike getting locked into a contract to play the same character for several years.

Bond film when he was born: The Man With the Golden Gun.

4) JAMES NORTON Bond norton

Age: 31

Nationality: English

You’ve seen him in… : Grantchester; War & Peace miniseries.

The case for: A taller, broader version of Daniel Craig who’s already been Bafta nominated.

The case against: Has never played the lead role in a film.

Bond film when he was born: A View to a Kill.

5) TOM HIDDLESTON Bond hiddleston

Age: 36

Nationality:  English

You’ve seen him in… : Thor; War Horse; The Night Manager; Kong: Skull Island.

The case for: He already has a James Bond test reel with his role in The Night Manager. It seems Hiddleston would wear a tux while popping out to buy milk. Bulked up for the Kong film.

The case against: No one would dispute that Hiddleston is suave and debonair and would know which wine to have with fish, but there’s a doubt over whether he could play a stone-cold killer.

Bond film when he was born: Moonraker.

6) IDRIS ELBA bond elba

Age: 44

Nationality: English

You’ve seen him in… : The Wire; Luther; Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom; those Sky ads.

The case for: Powerful actor with plenty of action roles under his belt. If there’s going to be black Bond, then Elba would be perfect and make lots of fans happy. Has already shot a big movie by portraying what was originally a white character – the gunslinger in Stephen King’s opus The Dark Tower.

The case against: Producers may want a younger man to begin the next tranche of Bond films. Purists can’t get past the fact that Bond is and should always be a white character.

Bond film when he was born: Diamonds Are Forever.

7) RYAN GOSLING Bond gosling

Age: 36

Nationality: Canadian

You’ve seen him in… : La La Land; The Ides of March; Drive; The Nice Guys; The Big Short.

The case for: One of the most sought after actors in Hollywood. Knows how to move, given his dancing prowess.

The case against: There may be a greater possibility of a black Bond than a North American Bond as producers have avoided casting anyone not from the British Isles.

Bond film when he was born: Moonraker.

8) JACK HUSTON bond huston

Age: 34

Nationality: English

You’ve seen him in… : Ben-Hur; American Hustle; Boardwalk Empire.

The case for: Bond producer Barbara Broccoli has admitted that she is a ‘big fan’ of Huston and has worked with him in the West End.

The case against: Not yet a household name. Bond role may come a little too early in his career.

Bond film when he was born: For Your Eyes Only.

9) ANDREW LINCOLN bond lincoln

Age: 43

Nationality: English

You’ve seen him in… : The Walking Dead; Love Actually; Teachers.

The case for: He is the lead actor in what has become the biggest broadcast television series among the Bond audience profile.

The case against: He is tied into a contract with The Walking Dead, which may hinder filming and global promotions.

Bond film when he was born: Live and Let Die.

10) DAN STEVENS bond stevens

Age: 34

Nationality: English

You’ve seen him in… : Legion; Downton Abbey; Beauty and the Beast.

The case for: One to watch, Stevens’ career is at a rare juncture – he is currently the star of the biggest film (Beauty) and most talked about TV show (Legion). Our outside bet for the role.

The case against: Locked into a second season of Legion. Stevens may need a few more big film roles to make him hard to dismiss as a future Bond.

Bond film when he was born: For Your Eyes Only.


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