Pierce Brosnan delivers verdict on Cillian Murphy rumours for James Bond

Film franchise has been on the search for its next 007 since Daniel Craig retired from the role in 2021

Inga Parkel
Saturday 09 March 2024 08:06 GMT
Cillian Murphy thanks 'Oppenhomies' in Baftas 2024 winning speech

Pierce Brosnan has backed Cillian Murphy to take on the iconic role of James Bond.

The 70-year-old Irish actor, who portrayed the international spy across four films from 1995 to 2002, was asked who he thought should take over from Daniel Craig who retired from the part in 2021.

“Cillian would do a magnificent job as James Bond on His Majesty’s Secret Service,” Brosnan told the BBC on Thursday (7 March) at the Oscar Wilde Awards in Los Angeles.

However, according to Murphy, 47, “that ship has sailed”. “I’m a bit old for that,” the Oscar nominee told Variety when asked about Brosnan’s recommendation.

Ever since the now-56-year-old Craig hung up his tux after 2021’s No Time to Die, the rumour mill has been rife with speculation about who might succeed him in the forthcoming 26th Bond film.

Idris Elba, Tom Hardy, Regé-Jean Page and Paul Mescal have all been touted as supposed frontrunners, while Greta Gerwig suggested Barbie and Bob Marley: One Love star Kingsley Ben-Adir would be perfect for the role. Last year it was even rumoured that two actors could be chosen, with Bond 26 starring “two 007s – one younger and one older”.

Nothing has been confirmed, and the film has yet to receive a release date.

Pierce Brosnan and Cillian Murphy (Getty Images)

Whoever is next to take on the role will join a strong legacy of actors: the big screen’s first James Bond star was Sean Connery, followed by David Niven in the 1967 spoof Casino Royale.

Since Connery, the official Bond franchise has starred George Lazenby, Roger Moore, Timothy Dalton, Brosnan and Craig.

Brosnan first entered the world of James Bond in 1995’s GoldenEye. He reprised the role three more times in 1997’s Tomorrow Never Dies, 1999’s The World is Not Enough and 2002’s Die Another Day.

Craig picked up the role shortly afterwards, making his James Bond debut in 2006’s Casino Royale, followed by 2008’s Quantum of Solace, 2012’s Sky Fall, 2015’s Spectre and 2021’s No Time to Die.

Murphy, meanwhile, is at an all-time career high. He’s currently favourite to win the Best Actor Oscar at Sunday’s ceremony for his title role in Christoper Nolan’s Oppenheimer, for which he’s already landed a Bafta, Golden Globe and SAG award.

Nolan’s atomic bomb epic also leads the 96th Oscars with a whopping 13 nominations, including Best Picture and Best Director.

Follow all The Independent’s coverage of the 2024 Oscars here.

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