The future of James Bond, one of the world's most popular franchises has been shaken, not stirred, by the loss of its leading man, Daniel Craig, who turned down millions of dollars to return, stating that he'd rather slash his wrists than return to the series.
All right, Craig. Spectre wasn't that bad.
Craig's departure came as a blow to fans who felt that his performances had reinvigorated the franchise over the years, leaving Bond bosses with the unenviable task of selecting a new actor to fill those smartly polished shoes.
A variety of casting rumors have since flooded the internet, ranging from top candidates like Idris Elba and Tom Hiddleston to left-field choices like James McAvoy, but why does every candidate need to be a man?
There are many fans out there who feel that Bond should never change, that he should always remain a white, heterosexual man and there is something to be said for staying faithful to a character's origins.
However, there was a time when fans were even outraged at Craig's casting, simply because he has blond hair and it took a stellar performance in Casino Royale to prove the detractors wrong.
M was played by a man before Judi Dench successfully took over the role. Maybe it's time for one of these seven actresses to replace Daniel Craig as Jane Bond.
1. Gillian Anderson
Most actors are hesitant to publicly campaign for a role before casting has been confirmed, but Gillian Anderson isn't like most actors.
When the tag #NextBond first began to trend on Twitter, Anderson's name was regularly put forward by fans who felt that her work on The X-Files and The Fall qualified her as the perfect candidate for the role.
Anderson seemed to agree, tweeting a fan-made poster of herself as Bond with the caption;
“It’s Bond. Jane Bond.”
The 47-year-old star may not be British, but the poise and elegance that she brings to her roles makes her a perfect match for Bond's persona and we know for a fact that Scully knows her way around a pistol.
2. Emily Blunt
Emily Blunt is one of the most successful British actresses working today and much of this is down to her versatility as a performer.
Whether she's fighting off alien forces in Edge of Tomorrow, ruling a country in Queen Victoria or just making us laugh in The Five Year Engagement, Blunt has proven time and time again that she's more than capable of taking on roles of this magnitude.
It's hard to imagine many other actresses out there who could match Craig's onscreen intensity, but Blunt would certainly be one of our top choices.
3. Priyanka Chopra
Like Anderson, the up and coming star Priyanka Chopra has also campaigned for the role of Bond, rejecting people's suggestion that she could be a Bond girl with the immortal words:
...F**k that — I wanna be Bond."
There's something to be admired about the Quantico actress's frankness. Why should women only be cast as love interests in one of the world's biggest franchises?
Chopra has already nabbed one role originally intended for a man, playing the villain in the upcoming Baywatch remake, so why can't she do the same here?
4. Emilia Clarke
Emilia Clarke is best known for playing general badass Sarah Connor in Terminator Genisys and Daenerys Targaryen, a queen who commands dragons in HBO's Game of Thrones. Basically, she is not one to be messed with, so it comes as no surprise that she too would love to play Bond, telling the Daily Star that:
“I have a lot of unrealized dreams. I would love to play Jane Bond."
Flipping the idea of a Bond girl around on its head, Clarke went on to choose a new Bond "boy," explaining that:
"My ultimate leading man would be Leonardo DiCaprio. No doubt about it.”
Now that's a movie I think we would all pay to see.
5. Rosamund Pike
Former Bond girl Rosamund Pike has built up quite a resume since her appearance in Die Another Day, starring in a number of action films including Doom, Jack Reacher and Wrath of the Titans, but it's her recent role in Gone Girl that earns her a spot on this list.
The character of Amy Elliott Dunne is unsettling to say the least, but her unflinching conviction in Gone Girl could be channelled brilliantly into the role of 007, who always completes the task at hand, no matter what the cost.
There's also something rather gratifying about the idea of a Bond girl stepping up to earn her very own license to kill.
6. Naomie Harris
Naomie Harris proved herself to be a capable agent in the role of Miss Moneypenny throughout both Skyfall and Spectre, so why not promote her to 007 status?
Rather than cast an actress entirely new to the franchise, it might make more sense to utilize someone already working within the films, so that the transition can logically make sense without the need for extensive exposition.
If you need any more evidence of how badass she is, check out Harris's breakout role as a post-apocalyptic survivor in Danny Boyle's zombie classic, 28 Days Later.
If she can take on raging zombies, Harris can certainly hold her own against criminal masterminds.
7. Hayley Atwell
Whether she's starring in Marvel movies or her very own TV show, Agent Carter, Hayley Atwell is the ultimate female spy, kicking ass and taking names while remaining seductively beautiful throughout.
Now that Agent Carter has been unfortunately cancelled, this would be the perfect time to hire Atwell for the role of Bond. Sure, she's just been cast as the lead for a new show called Conviction, where she'll play a tough-as-nails lawyer, but imagine how great Atwell could be as Bond, playing a modern-day version of Agent Carter.
The petition starts here folks.