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10 Actors Who Could Be the Next James Bond

Updated on June 3, 2016
Who Will be the Next James Bond?
Who Will be the Next James Bond? | Source

Who Will Be the Next James Bond?

Who will be the next James Bond? This is the question that is riddling James Bond fans with both excitement and concerns.

Excitement: The possibility for a new face to bring a fresh appeal to the character which has entertained audiences for more than half a century. Daniel Craig, in my opinion, has done the part justice and without a trace of doubt has brought the James Bond character into the 21st Century, making the character real for the first time, having been the most convincing portrayal of what the character could be as the top MI6 agent.

Concerns: What if the new actor who takes the helm as the new James Bond is unsuited to the role and brings the level that Daniel Craig brought to the series down a notch, or, perhaps even brings to question over the series overall survival as a Hollywood blockbuster.

Well, despite the potential fears over a miscast and the empty feeling that comes when thinking of no more Daniel Craig portrayals as Bond in further movies, here is a look at 10 great potentials to take over the role as the iconic James Bond character.

The order starts at the best and most suited, down to the least but still viable actor who could quite easily step into the shoes of 007.

Henry Cavill - credentials - played Superman
Henry Cavill - credentials - played Superman | Source

No.1 - Henry Cavill

Henry Cavill was originally one of the final contenders to take up the role as James Bond back in 2006 in Casino Royale, but the role eventually went to Daniel Craig, ruling out Cavill due to him being said by the studio as being to young for the role. An argument few could have disagreed with.

However, Cavill is a decade older, more experienced in the Hollywood world of acting, and has a hit role to prove it as his portrayal as 'the man of steel', Superman.

Cavill has the looks, the impenetrable charms of Bond, and to be quite frank it is easy to imagine him chasing down bad guys without any question over the realism of this happening for the actor.

It is also a point worth making that the voice is a huge deal when it comes to Bond, as although he is not always talking, it is those few lines that makes all the difference when it comes to the raw being that is 007. Another area Cavill would have little difficulty in pulling off a few great, memorable lines that would carry as reminders of the movies worth as an entertaining, but memorable Bond movie.

Cavill may not have a hundred movies to his name, nor is he at that solid middle age region like Daniel Craig was when he first became Bond, but Cavill ticks all of the right boxes where the character preferences are concerned, and he can without a doubt carry a franchise role without any difficulties. The only question really is whether there would be any contractual problems given that he is currently heavy into his Superman role, or, the obvious being over whether or not he would agree to doing the role.

Christian Bale - credentials - played Batman
Christian Bale - credentials - played Batman | Source

No.2 - Christian Bale

Not what you were expecting. Christian Bale is an actor of raw talent, and where James Bond is concerned this is must if the next actor is going to pick off where Daniel Craig has left off and still please the wider, more higher expectations crowd of fans which makes the franchise its money.

Christian Bale is at a suitable age to take on the role, he has proven that he can handle a frontrunner role in a franchise, and most of all he is one of the most versatile actors in Hollywood today.

What would also make Bale a suitable candidate for the role as Bond is that he would be something entirely different to Daniel Craig, yet still an able actor who could make the role his own and please audiences around the world without a level of doubt for the franchise to remain a success without too much risk.

Most people would probably just prefer to see Bale as Batman and leave that as it is, but where acting is concerned an actor as talented and as versatile as Bale they are always looking to turn the audiences eyes away from their pst successes and roles and to see them as someone new and still warm to them in that role. It is my belief that Bale could do this as Bond.

Plus, as shown in Batman, Bale does look rather good in an expensive suit.

Michael Fassbender - credentials - played Magneto
Michael Fassbender - credentials - played Magneto | Source

No.3 - Michael Fassbender

Michael Fassbender is a British actor on a role, having starred in some of the most successful movies in Hollywood, among the favourites being the X-Men franchise (going back in time) playing Magneto, 300 playing Stelios, and 12 Years a Slave.

Michael Fassbender may not be the first actor that comes to mind when thinking of Hollywood, but then again neither was Daniel Craig when he first entered into the role as James Bond. Fassbender is charming, good looking, looks smooth in a suit, and has the acting skills to make Bond his own.

Fassbender has come a long way in Hollywood starring in not only commercially successful movies but also the critically acclaimed. Fassbender has become a fan favourite for the role, but when it comes down to the eligibility criteria he is a foot in for becoming 007.

However, he has just starred as the 'Assassin' in the new film release of the video game adaptation of Assassins Creed. Not to mention he currently tied to his role as Magneto, and given that Assassins Creed could see a sequel, it would bring to question whether Fassbender already has too much on his plate to handle another franchise.

But, when it comes down to the all possibility of him becoming the next Bond, it would be a welcomed surprise to myself, and I would imagine a heck of a lot of the current Bond fans waiting patiently for the public announcement for the next Bond.

James McAvoy - credentials - played Xavier
James McAvoy - credentials - played Xavier | Source

No.4 - James McAvoy

Another tied actor to the X-Men franchise (going back in time) is James McAvoy, an inspiring British actor in my opinion, as he has gone from pretty much a nobody in Hollywood to a seriously recognised name among the British acting world.

McAvoy was exceptional in the action flick, Wanted, playing the lead as Wesley. His raw acting talent certainly showed as he was starring alongside Angelina Jolie, on of Hollywoods brightest actresses, and the main attention had to be on McAvoy the entire time.

McAvoy has also shown exceptional acting abilities and versatility in his roles as Xavier in X-Men ('First Class', 'Days of Future Past', and 'Apocalypse'), Robbie Turner in Atonement, and Victor Frankenstein in 'Victor Frankenstein'.

McAvoy may not be waining in the middle age region white yet as the previous Bonds have been, but even with his younger age he is an immensely talented actor who meets all of the other Bond criteria- handsome, charming, British, looks good in a suit, and would quite easily handle the position of an action legend with the skills to kill and escape in any given situation.

McAvoy is a personal favourite for myself when it comes to who the next Bond will be, but with all of the criteria bar one being met, it is hard to imagine his name not coming into the mix when the studio comes to deciding just who to cast for the role.

But McAvoy looks and is nothing like Daniel Craig you say. Well, the point of Bond is changing him entirely every time, fashioning a new face to the Bond name, and McAvoy would be different, but then again that is what makes Bond such an intriguing franchise, as there is no end to the entertainment that can come from the movies continuation, as the face is never always the same.

Tom Hiddleston - credentials - played Loki
Tom Hiddleston - credentials - played Loki | Source

No.5 - Tom Hiddleston

Not a name that would have even entered into my mind when thinking of him in his first Hollywood movie as Loki in Thor. But since, he as altered my opinion slightly, with his gripping performance as Jonathan Pine in the TV series, 'The Night Manager'. He has shown more ability to have depth as an actor rather than simply playing an empty shell with little emotion and personality.

Bond has become a more complex character due to the astounding performance that Daniel Craig brought to the character. Craig has made the Bond character more dark and mysterious, with a backstory that has opened up new channels for the Bond films to work from thanks to Craig's performance in the role. Daniel Craig can never be replaced, but another actor can take over Bond and make it their own, wielding a new kind of character that is Bond, but still entirely different.

Hiddleston is a talented British actor, not yet been given the chance to shine in a hit movie franchise of his own, and he could offer a more traditional approach to the Bond role, taking the franchise into a new direction, but still holding onto the darkness and mysterious being that has now turned Bond into one of Hollywood's most exciting characters to watch out for.

Hiddleston has got the fans backing, but when it comes down to the reality of who the next Bond will likely be, Hiddleston may not be the front runner, but he is still a candidate, and a candidate that I personally feel may do justice for the Bond character in all of its Hollywood worth.

Tom Hardy - credentials - played 'Mad Max'
Tom Hardy - credentials - played 'Mad Max' | Source

No.6 - Tom Hardy

Tom Hardy has to now be one of Britain's favourite actors, and year in year out he is proving to be a talented actor with a lot of potential. With every new Hardy film release more potential is showing, and a few roles which have been glorifying this are his roles as Bane in The Dark knight Rises, Ivan Locke in 'Locke', and Max Rockatansky in Mad Max: Fury Road.

Hardy is not the most versatile of actors, but he does suit the action genre like none else, and with the right acting approach he could play James Bond. There is no knowing how the next Bond film would turn out, no matter who plays Bond, but Hardy is a strong British acting contender with a lot of acting talent with so much more to offer.

Bond could be the perfect position for Hardy, an actor well liked by the public, a fan favourite for the next Bond, and also has the abilities that could make his portrayal viable for the Bond character.

For the Daniel Craig fans, there is no other British actor in Hollywood with identical looks, persona, characteristics, and Bond playing talent, but there are a lot of British actors who could quite easily make the character their own and do a damned good job in the process. Hardy is one of these actors.

Rupert Friend - credentials - played Peter Quinn in Homeland
Rupert Friend - credentials - played Peter Quinn in Homeland | Source

No.7 - Rupert Friend

Rupert Friend, like James McAvoy, lack age when it comes to the current preferences for the James Bond character, but then again he, like McAvoy, are at a mature enough age to handle the characters complexities. Friend is an actor out to prove, as he is only just now getting a real taste of Hollywood success after his role in the wildly popular U.S. TV series, Homeland, a series now into in sixth series.

Rupert Friend has not starred in countless Hollywood movies, but he has been in a couple of notable ones, the first being Pride & Prejudice, and the second being his lead role movie starring as Hitman in Hitman: Agent 47, the second film adaptation of the video game series, Hitman.

Friend's performance as Hitman in Hitman: Agent 47 was rather spectacular, and I would argue that his portrayal of the character was far more similar to that of the video games than the portrayal that Timothy Olyphant gave for the character in the first film adaptation back in 2007 called "Hitman". Olyphant's portrayal was good, but unlike Olyphant, Friend played the Hitman role with precedence on the professionalism that comes with all mannerisms and fearless gestures which I felt he did far better than Olyphant.

But, the best and most career striking role for Friend stands as his role as Peter Quinn in the TV series, Homeland, where he plays a CIA analyst/operative, in which he shows substantial entertainment in wielding a gun and taking out the bad guys. But, unlike in Hitman: Agent 47, Friend shows the ability to materialise depth in a character as he does in Homeland, a talent that would surely bode well in a committing to a role like James Bond.

Like Daniel Craig, Rupert Friend has proven that he can look good in a suit and wear a gun extremely well. Friend is like all of the candidates for this list, charming, British, good looking, at a mature (enough) age for the Bond role, and is a talented actor who would surely show a high level commitment to the franchise role.

Another reason that Friend is such an intriguing candidate for the James Bond role is that there is a level of danger that has been shown with his prior performances, but at the same time a level of innocence that makes him very likely, and an actor that is easy to warm to on-screen.

Friend may not be everyones first choice when thinking of a Bond replacement, but he would surely have the chance to prove everyone wrong, and that is what I would believe to be the case if he was lucky enough to get the Bond role. The underdog as it were.

Gerard Butler - credentials - played King Leonidas in 300
Gerard Butler - credentials - played King Leonidas in 300 | Source

No.8 - Gerard Butler

Although, Butler may have to do something about his Scottish accent for the role, Bond would be a well suited actor for the role. He most certainly has the face for it, and he has shown substantial abilities when it comes to pleasing the wider audiences as his movies, 300, P.S. I Love You and Olympus Has Fallen have shown, all raking in the big money at the box office.

Given that the studio backing James Bond may be looking for a safe replacement for Daniel Craig, Gerard Butler certainly fits the bill, with a whole line of successful roles and movies in his portfolio, there is little reasoning to suggest that Butler would do anything but better the James Bond franchise.

Butler was born for action, and the movie that has shone this the most would be the hit movie, 300, in which he played the lead role as King Leonidas, where his battle cry could be heard from a mile away. Butler not only looks good with a sword and shield, but also with a gun, a more suitable reference for the Bond role, as he was glorious in Gamer, and the more so entertaining action epic, Olympus Has Fallen.

Butler is a serious actor with the will to adapt to all kinds of roles, but in his long-stretched acting career his finest roles have come in the form of action, so it would make sense that he would be a Bond candidate for the take-over from Daniel Craig, and with Butler's current fan base he would surely offer a little security to the likely success of his Bond movies, were that to be the case.

Butler is a dedicated, talented, overly handsome, charming, well-dressed British actor who is at the perfect middle age to take on the role as James Bond, and he is not tied to any other franchises like some of the other candidates on this list. So it would be madness to say that Butler is anything but a viable candidate to play Bond in the replacement battle which is currently undergoing at the moment.


Jude Law - credentials - played Dr. John Watson in Sherlock Holmes
Jude Law - credentials - played Dr. John Watson in Sherlock Holmes | Source

No.9 - Jude Law

Jude Law is well known for being the lady killer when it comes to his Hollywood career, but Bond is much more than just having his way with women, he is more about serious spy work and tackling his own issues aside from work.

Law may not be a shoe in for the role as James Bond like some of the other candidates on this list, but he does fit a certain level of the Bond criteria, the most of which being his charm. The only area of worrying for Law being Bond would be his ability to take on the depth of immense emotions which lye beneath the surface of the Bond character which Daniel Craig took on so well.

However, Law has shown talent in acting, and it is not difficult to imagine Law in suit chasing down the bad guys. Another pressing issue would be getting the hardcore Bond fans on board with the idea of Law as Bond, which would probably be one of the biggest issues with the studio when coming to the conclusion of who to rule out as contenders for the role.

But, at the end of the day, Law is a more-than capable candidate for the role with a few slight characteristic flaws for the role, but still an actor with a lot that could be offered for the role, however, this might prove a little too difficult for Law to handle as a role.

Still, he grabs the no.9 spot on the list due to his outstanding performance is some great films, including Enemy at the Gates, Sherlock Holmes, and Spy.

Collin Farrell - credentials - played Mitchel in London Boulevard
Collin Farrell - credentials - played Mitchel in London Boulevard | Source

No.10 - Collin Farrell

Not the first on this list for multiple reasons, but Collin Farrell is a talented British actor, and certain prior roles has brought his name to my attention when thinking of the next possible Bond, and these roles include Jim Street in S.W.A.T., Sonny Crockett in Miami Vice, and Mitchel in London Boulevard.

Collin Farrell is undoubtedly charming, good looking, looks good in a suit, has a rough but smooth persona, and probably has the closest persona to that of Daniel Craig on this list.

However, Farrell has had a couple of slip-ups along the way in his career which may deem him as a box office risk, due to such films as London Boulevard and the remake of Total Recall which were both expected to be commercially successful but flopped hard at the box office. However, these movies were both acceptably watchable in my opinion, and his portrayal as Mitchel in London Boulevard gets me every time when I think about the movie having flopped as it was a great British movie with an outstanding performance from Collin Farrell.

Still, Collin Farrell gets the bottom slot at no.10 on the list, a placement I feel is suiting due to his characteristics and persona as an actor.

Final Thoughts

It was with a heavy heart that I had to drop Daniel-Day Lewis from this list, as he is the finest British actor that we have seen in decades and could have done a fine job at playing James Bond. But the one issue that had to have him removed was his age as he is just a tad too old to take on a single James Bond movie, let alone a series of them.

Another few that were removed from this list in its original putting together were Idris Elba and Damian Lewis.

Idris Elba was a tough one, and it is a well known fact that fans of Bond have been backing Elba from the beginning for the take-over as Bond, but looking at his characteristics as an actor, it just does not fit. Every candidate for being the next Bond needs to be imagined in the role itself, and although Elba is one of the most talented British actors in Hollywood at the moment, it is near impossible to imagine the actor playing the role as James Bond, let alone half as well as Daniel Craig has done for the past 10 years.

And then there was Damian Lewis, another clear favourite of the Bond fans, but Damian Lewis just does not fit the larger most of the criteria for Bond, being the immediate reasoning for his removal from this list. A sad truth, as Damian Lewis was brilliant in the U.S. TV series, Homeland, but where Bond is concerned there is no place for Lewis. Sorry Damian Lewis fans.

The Next Bond!

So, who do you want to be the next James Bond?

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Thanks for Reading!

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    • Craig Easom profile image
      Author

      Dreammore 14 months ago from Great England

      Thanks lions44, having heard your argument I would have to agree with you when saying that muscle may be the answer. But, it is really the quality of the acting that would leave me in hesitation when it comes to Idris. A great actor, but no matter how I envision it I just can't imagine him as Bond. Although, perhaps his performance (if he was cast as Bond) could sway my opinion.

      Again, thanks for sharing, it helps a lot.

    • lions44 profile image

      CJ Kelly 14 months ago from Auburn, WA

      Good hub. Very detailed.

      Replacing Craig is going to be a chore, especially since the franchise changed the concept of Bond from a "gentleman" to a Bourne-like figure. The guys are on the list just don't seem to measure up. Muscling up might be the only answer. Maybe Bale or Butler. But not the others. I would still go with Idris Elba. It would be a radical change, but why not? At least try one film with him. He's a great actor and has the prerequisites. Sharing everywhere.