daniel craig as james bond 007
(Sony Pictures)

Fresh Criteria and New Names for the Next James Bond Actor Surface Online

James Bond has been delighting fans ever since 1953, when Ian Fleming first debuted the iconic character in his novel Casino Royale. The British Secret Service agent would go on to be featured in 12 novels by Fleming and 2 short-story collections, before the iconic film franchise began in 1962, starting with Dr. No, which saw Sean Connery as Bond. Since then, 25 James Bond films have been released. This makes the James Bond film series the longest running film series ever, as well as the highest grossing film series of all time.

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Seven actors, in total, have portrayed Bond over the years. Once one actor outgrows or departs from the role, the role is simply recast, and the film series lives on. All the actors who have played Bond are Connery, David Niven, George Lazenby, Roger Moore, Timothy Dalton, Pierce Brosnan, and Daniel Craig. All of them fit Fleming’s physical description of Bond: slimmer build, grey-blue eyes, black hair, and a serious mouth. They also embody his personality well, portraying him as smooth, charming, cunning, and very intelligent.

Craig was the most recent actor to portray Bond. He starred in a total of 5 films as Bond, holding the role from 2006 all the way through 2021. His 2021 film No Time to Die marked his last film as the character. With Craig bowing out, the role of Bond is open once more. Ever since he first announced that No Time to Die would mark his last Bond film, fans have been speculating about who the next actor to portray Bond will be.

Aaron Taylor-Johnson is reportedly a frontrunner for Bond

The latest development in the search for the next Bond is that Aaron Taylor-Johnson has reportedly been tapped as a frontrunner. Taylor-Johnson has been gaining momentum in recent months as he starred in blockbuster films like Tenet, The King’s Man, and Bullet Train. He was also recently tapped to play Kraven the Hunter in Sony’s Spider-Man Universe (SSU) after previously appearing in the MCU as Pietro Maximoff. However, if the reports are true, he could be gearing up to land his biggest role yet.

Insiders have alleged since November that Taylor-Johnson had a secret audition with James Bond producer Barbara Broccoli. The audition reportedly went well, and Taylor-Johnson met all of the standards Broccoli is looking for. However, given his busy slate of upcoming films, it is questionable if he’d be able to commit to the role of Bond. Despite the rumors, no official casting decision has been made yet.

Who will be the next Bond?

As of now, the search for the next Bond is still ongoing. The producer of the next James Bond film, Broccoli, last indicated in July that there wasn’t anyone in the running for the role. This is because the franchise is looking to reinvent Bond wholly. The role has seen little diversity, with Bond remaining relatively the same over the years. Hence, a reimagining is long overdue and means that the next James Bond film is still a ways away. Broccoli states that filming likely won’t start for 2 years, so the new Bond will likely be cast closer to that date.

However, we can still speculate about the new Bond. Over the years, the one actor who has consistently risen as a fan-favorite to be Bond is Idris Elba, though he himself hasn’t indicated much interest in it. However, he already seems to boast Bond’s signature personality and would give the role the reimagining it needs. Still, though, the casting of Bond can go in any direction, with numerous actors who fit the bill being considered or cast by fans.

Among the top choices for the role are Elba, Lucien Laviscount, Tom Hardy, Henry Cavill, Regé-Jean Page, Henry Golding, ‎Chiwetel Ejiofor, and Richard Madden. However, we don’t even know for sure yet whether Bond will even be cast as a man next time around. After all, we already know Lashana Lynch makes an excellent agent 007, and she is also one of the top names in the running for Bond. Only time will tell who will take on the coveted role of Bond next.

James Bond producer says next 007 will be “thirty-something”

No frontrunners have emerged in the search for the next Bond, but on October 1, 2022, No Time To Die producer Michael G. Wilson did list a certain qualification for the next potential Bond actor/actress while speaking with Deadline. Wilson stated the role is not going to go to any Gen Z actors/actresses. He reports that they’ve considered younger actors in the past, but that Bond is an experienced veteran. A kid just coming out of high school, or even college, simply doesn’t fit who Bond is. Check out Wilson’s statement below:

We’ve tried looking at younger people in the past. But trying to visualize it doesn’t work. Remember, Bond’s already a veteran. He’s had some experience. He’s a person who has been through the wars, so to speak. He’s probably been in the SAS or something. He isn’t some kid out of high school that you can bring in and start off. That’s why it works for a thirty-something.

It’s unclear if Wilson is confirming that the next actor to portray Bond will be thirty-something, or if thirty-something and older is what they’re looking for and he’s just specifying the minimum age. If it’s the former, than things certainly look good for the likes of Taylor-Johnson, Golding, Madden, Lynch, and Page, but not so good for Elba, Hardy, Ejiofor, or Cavill. If they’re looking for 30-something and older, then that means the vast majority of fan choices for Bond are still fair game. Not many actors under 30 were being speculated seriously about for Bond, though some media did mention Tom Holland or Jacob Elordi for the role.

(featured image: MGM)

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Rachel Ulatowski
Rachel Ulatowski is a Staff Writer for The Mary Sue, who frequently covers DC, Marvel, Star Wars, literature, and celebrity news. She has over three years of experience in the digital media and entertainment industry, and her works can also be found on Screen Rant, JustWatch, and Tell-Tale TV. She enjoys running, reading, snarking on YouTube personalities, and working on her future novel when she's not writing professionally. You can find more of her writing on Twitter at @RachelUlatowski.