Producers are still hoping to woo their star back to the franchise but, with no confirmation of a return as of yet, numerous others are being tipped to take his place.
Craig has commented on the rife speculation before, saying he “has the right to change his mind anytime he wants to” and will likely keep us all guessing for months or even years yet.
Here’s our pick of the strongest contenders:
Plenty of Ian Fleming fans want The Wire actor to be the first black Bond, but that could be exactly what is putting him off. “I just don't want to be the black James Bond,” he said. “Sean Connery wasn't the Scottish James Bond and Daniel Craig wasn't the blue-eyed James Bond so if I played him I don’t want to be called the black James Bond.”
That's not to say he isn’t humbled by the support, and we reckon he'd be a top choice.
Isn't 007 supposed to handsome? Glad you think I've got a shot! Happy New year people. pic.twitter.com/3g9lAl2Uo3— Idris Elba (@idriselba) December 27, 2014
Current odds: 9/2
It’s been rumoured that Homeland’s Lewis has signed up for the part. He joked in January that he “would tell you but would have to kill you”. Producers are set to start work on the next movie in Spring, so time is running out for an answer…
Current odds: 7/4
Norton’s name was thrown into the ring recently, with bookies slashing odds on him playing 007 to 18/1. Appearances in Happy Valley, Grantchester and War & Peace have upped his chances.
Current odds: 18/1
Strong performances in Poldark and And Then There Were None made Turner a household name with his Irish charm and manly good looks. A fan favourite, for sure.
Current odds: 6/1
Hardy has bucket-loads of grit and has proved he can look mean and race cars fast in Mad Max: Fury Road. He also oozes cool, which any veritable Bond simply must do. Hardy's a big hit with the public too, with 22 per cent of a 1000 Bond fans aged between 18 and 65 telling LeoVegas.com that they fancy him for the job. Vroom!
Current odds: 5/2
Casino Royale director Martin Campbell fancied Man of Steel actor Cavill for the part back in 2005 but he was eventually deemed too young for the role and it went to Craig instead. Meaning in a few years time he could be exactly what filmmakers are looking for. To repeat, the guy played Superman, so he's got the ass-kicking thing down.
Current odds: 6/1
"I'd like to bring a certain British charm to the part," Hiddleston said when asked why he should be Bond. The Thor actor would be a unique choice and he'd definitely look dapper in a suit, but whether directors will back him to bring enough 'oomph' remains to be seen.
Current odds: 20/1
Statham is known for performing his own stunts, so prepare for more knee injuries should he be offered the role.
The Furious 7 actor certainly possesses buckets of enthusiasm. “Could I do it? Abso-f**king-lutely,” he told the Guardian. “Would I do it? Abso-f**king-lutely.”
Current odds: 50/1
Fassbender is fast becoming a studio favourite and has a certain Sean Connery feel about him. He's “flattered that people are sort of making that link” but is still rambling about not planning things ever because they never work and Craig doing a great job and him being in the middle of other things...blah blah blah.
Current odds: 14/1
...and a few more 'out there' suggestions...
Firth's name began circulating after his turn as super spy Harry Hart in Kingsman: The Secret Service last year. But sadly, in his own words, “the James Bond ship has sailed”.
“I think there might be an age limit on Bond and even if I were to start now you'd have to be good for the next few,” he said. “I think Kingsman was as close as I'm going to get.” There goes our dream of seeing Mr Darcy shaken not stirred.
Current odds: 125/1
He ticks the British box arguably more than any of the other contenders but considering he can't really be arsed with acting much these days and we run the risk of hearing “Oopsy daisy!” muttered at inappropriate times a la Notting Hill, this is extremely unlikely.
“I might have been tempted ten years ago,” he told The Independent. “I do bring a natural menace to the screen so I've always been surprised that they never offered me the part.”
Current odds: 150/1
Believe it or not, the former Take That singer was thought to be a contender after posing as Bond in his “Millennium” movie video (shot at Pinewood Studios no less). Sadly the casting director quickly ruled him out as “not quite what we're looking for”. Bless.
Current odds: 250/1
- More about:
- James Bond
- Daniel Craig
- James Norton
- Damian Lewis
- Aidan Turner
- Idris Elba
- Tom Hardy