Next James Bond: Could a Major Change Be Coming to the Bond Franchise?

Bond actor hints at interesting possibilities

Next James Bond Daniel Craig

Daniel Craig has some strong words to say on the subject of his most famous role as James Bond.

The 47 year old actor has told reporters that he’d ‘rather break this glass and slit [his] wrists’ than ever play the superspy in another movie.

In interviews promoting Spectre, the latest movie in the Bond series, Craig has been quick to point out the character’s flaws, including, primarily, that ‘he’s actually a misogynist’.

While movie producers have been quick to attempt damage control over Craig’s comments, it’s fairly clear that the search is on for the next James Bond.

What’s interesting for the series, which has only portrayed the world’s most famous spy as a white male, is the number of unconventional voices that various fans and professionals are calling for.

While this is all just speculation at this point, here are a few of the less traditional Bond options that are getting speculators excited.

Idris Elba

Next James Bond Idris Elba

Yes, good old Idris Elba. The star of popular dramas including The Wire and Luther has been championed by many as one of the best choices for the next James Bond. He’s Michael Caine’s choice – something which Elba has taken as something of an honor – and former Bond alum Piers Brosnan has also thrown his support behind Elba (albeit while also suggesting that a black Bond is unlikely at the moment).

The issue of race is a big one here, unfortunately. Elba has spoken out on the subject, saying that he doesn’t want to be seen as ‘the black James Bond’ any more than Sean Connery is considered the Scottish James Bond.

Racism is an unfortunate subject that Elba has had to deal with a lot. When he was first cast as the Norse god Heimdall in Marvel’s Thor movie, racists were vocal in their opposition. Elba pointed out, quite rightly, that any complaints about his race were ‘ridiculous’:

‘We have a man who has a flying hammer and wears horns on his head. And yet me being an actor of African descent playing a Norse god is unbelievable? I mean, Cleopatra was played by Elizabeth Taylor, and Gandhi was played by Ben Kingsley.’

Adrian Lester

Next James Bond Adrian Lester

When asked about whether Idris Elba would make a good Bond, current 007 writer Anthony Horrowitz rejected the idea. Elba, said Horrowitz, is ‘too street’.

Many people took Horrowitz’ words as a guarded racial slur, leading to an apology from the writer, who’s since tried to keep his nose out of movie casting debates.

In the interview where Horrowitz rejected Elba, though, he made another suggestion: Adrian Lester, who Horrowitz considers to be a more ‘suave’ alternative.

Lester’s not as well known as Elba, but he’s been celebrated for performances in several key roles, including the TV drama Hustle and the climate change disaster movie The Day After Tomorrow.

Lester certainly has the credentials, so it’s not impossible that he’d be considered for the role of Bond – especially if Anthony Horrowitz’ opinions hold any sway in Hollywood (spoiler: they probably don’t).

Emily Blunt

Next James Bond Emily Blunt

Does the next James Bond have to be a man?

Some say yes. Be warned, though: if you reject the idea of a female Bond, then Emily Blunt has a few choice words for you.

Speaking about being the hero of a film rather than the hapless female love interest, Blunt said ‘I would love to do a comic-book movie or a science-fiction film that would scare the bejesus out of me. Maybe I need to be James Bond!’

She’s got a few fans out there too, no doubt won from her stellar action performance in Edge of Tomorrow. Several celebrities think she’d make a great Bond, and bookies in the UK are taking 25/1 odds on Blunt taking up the mantle next – although that’s a long way below the 4/1 odds they’re offering on Tom Hardy.

Damien Lewis

Next James Bond Damien Lewis

A ginger Bond? Could it happen?

Obviously, a persona of color or a woman would be shocking, but is a ginger Bond actually believable? After all, the character’s meant to be good at seducing women.

Joking aside (gingers are cool), Damien Lewis, the star of shows such as Homeland, is a strong contender for the position. He’s not quite as unorthodox as some of the other names on this list, but he’s no more suited to the ‘traditional’ James Bond mold than Daniel Craig was.

Craig was considered by many to be a strange choice, and reflected a grittier, Bourne-inspired take on the character. It’d be interesting to see the different direction that Damien Lewis would bring to the role.

Tim Curry

Next James Bond Tim Curry

Nobody has asked for this, but a Rocky Horror Show alum for the Next James Bond would probably break Hollywood forever.

Maybe it’s worth it just for that.

Who’s your choice for the next James Bond? Are you after someone unorthodox, or a more traditional actor? Let us know in the comments below.