At the end of 2015, our big screens were graced with even more action-packed 007 shenanigans, alongside the usual explosions of Aston Martins, an array of mind-blowing locations, and tragically beautiful ladies. For the twenty-fourth time, James Bond raised the roof in Spectre:
Yet, amidst all of the excitement, there was strong speculation that actor Daniel Craig would not be returning to reprise his role as the infamous British spy. This rumor was greatly ignited by negative comments made by the actor himself, heavily implying that he was well and truly through with Bond – back in October, he said:
"I’d rather break this glass and slash my wrists.[...] I’m over it at the moment. We’re done. All I want to do is move on."
It seemed that Craig was so reluctant to be a further part of the movies that he revealed he doesn't give a damn about who succeeded him in the role, putting it quite bluntly:
"Look, I don’t give a f--k."
Despite Craig's harsh words though, he's remained tight-lipped on whether he would be officially returning to reprise his role. However, his good friend and Grimsby actor Mark Strong has practically confirmed that he will not be wriggling into that shiny tux again, even though he is reportedly signed on for two more movies.
Speaking to ShortList, Strong was asked whether he would be up to play a 007 villain, giving the following reply:
“Do you know what, I’d have loved to have played the villain in a Bond movie while Daniel was doing it because he’s a pal and that would have been great. But I think he’s come to the end of his Bond time and so it’s probably never going to happen, but that would have always been great."
Strong then added that Craig is likely to be looking for a change of scenery, saying:
"I think he feels like he’s mined it. He’s done what he wants with it. He has been [wonderful] and he’s loved it."
While all of this may be true, an official statement hasn't been issued yet so we can hold off weeping into our martini glasses for the moment. Instead, as we wait impatiently for more information, let's consider a slew of wonderful men who may be gearing up to fill Craig's iconic role:
1. James Norton
Following his acclaimed turn in British series Happy Valley and the TV adaptation of War & Peace, actor James Norton has crept into the limelight as a potential 007.
2. Idris Elba
Considering it's 2016, it's probably high time we had a magnificent black actor like Idris Elba take a turn in that Aston Martin. Also, who can say no to that handsome face?
3. Tom Hardy
It seems that there is no limit to Tom Hardy's influence these days, with the actor's presence dominating the award season. Plus, he's totally proven his worth in Mad Max: Fury Road, where he races monster vehicles and looks pretty phenomenal doing it. I certainly wouldn't mind spending a couple of hours watching him do his thing as the next Bond, however there are rumors that his name has been suspended from the contender list...
4. Damian Lewis
Homeland's Damian Lewis has already had a shot at being a spy for the political drama, so he would feel right at home blowing things up as James Bond. He's definitely high up on that list of potentials.
Who do you think should be the next James Bond?