Speculation about who will be the next James Bond has run rampant since late 2015, when Daniel Craig said he'd rather “slash [his] wrists” than play 007 again. Of course, he ultimately agreed to return for his fifth, and presumably final, Bond film, set for release next year. Despite principal photography not beginning until December, talk of who will succeed Craig has reached a fever pitch.
Idris Elba, Tom Hiddleston, Aidan Turner and Tom Hardy have been mentioned, and now a thousand of fans across the United Kingdom have voted in a poll by ODEON for their pick to play Bond.
The results? Twenty-six percent voted for Idris Elba as the next man to wear the famous suit and tie, while Hardy garnered a respectable 22 percent. Hiddleston, once rumored to be the favorite among fans and producers alike, came in third with 11 percent. Aidan Turner and James Norton rounded out the top five with 5 percent each.
By no means is that list exhaustive when it comes to actors mentioned as potential contenders for the coveted role of the iconic super-spy. Henry Cavill, for one, has said he would be open to taking over as 007 now that he has some serious action-hero experience under his belt. Damian Lewis (Homeland, Wolf Hall) has also been known to joke about his Scottish heritage and red hair being a perfect fit for the role. Even Deadpool 2's Morena Baccarin has made some tongue-in-cheek remarks about wanting to step into the legendary wingtips.
The road to a new Bond has not been entirely smooth. When Elba's name first began to circulate in 2015, James Bond author Anthony Horowitz insisted the actor was "too street" to pull off a posh character. Those comments triggered immediate blowback, and Horowitz apologized.
In 2016 Craig himself made waves when he stated that he was done with the legendary role, citing boredom and concerns of being typecast as his reason for walking away from the series. Negotiations ensued and the actor was persuaded to come back for two more installments.
Finding a replacement for Craig may be a tougher job than producers anticipated. A 2017 YouGov poll ranking all favorite Bonds, past and present, showed Craig holding a strong second place, behind only the original 007, Sean Connery. Roger Moore took third place, while Pierce Brosnan and Timothy Dalton came in fourth and fifth, respectively.
Directed by Danny Boyle, Bond 25 will be released Oct. 25, 2019, in the United Kingdom, and Nov. 8, 2019, in the United States.