Cookies help us deliver our Services. By using our Services, you agree to our use of cookies. Learn More.

Actors Who Fans Most Want To See As The New James Bond

All good things come to an end eventually, and so it goes with Daniel Craig's time as James Bond. Although the Golden Globe-nominated actor received a great deal of fan backlash when he landed the iconic role back in 2005, Craig's Bond films have all been mega-hits at the box office. In fact, Forbes reports that of the 26 total movies in the franchise, the top four highest-grossing all feature Craig's 007.

With that kind of high bar established, whoever takes over as Ian Fleming's infamous spy obviously has enormous oxfords to fill. But who could realistically do it? Aside from ruling out that Bond could be a woman, franchise co-manager Barbara Broccoli hasn't really given any clues as to who the heir apparent could be. Radio Times recently polled nearly 80,000 fans, offering up a slew of actors who could foreseeably step into the role. The poll nominated a lot of great choices, but at this point, it's still anyone's guess. Here are some of the actors fans most want to see play James Bond in the next chapter of the beloved British franchise.

Sam Heughan would be another Scottish Bond

The clear-cut winner of Radio Times' poll concerning who fans want as the next Bond was Sam Heughan, the Scottish stud who plays Jamie Fraser on the wildly popular Starz series, Outlander. He claimed a whopping 30 percent of the votes, which is 16 percent more than the second-most popular actor. While polls can often be misleading based on biases and demographics, you can't deny that there are clearly a lot of people who would love to see Heughan become 007.

While he may not be the biggest name in the pool of potential replacements, the Bloodshot star would undoubtedly make a solid choice for Bond. Not only does he have the look, accent, and acting chops to nail the role, he also really wants the gig. In an interview with The Daily Telegraph, Heughan was asked point-blank if he would want to play Bond. "Obviously, yes –- it would be a big yes. Of course any actor would want it." Should Heughan indeed get cast, he'd be the first Scotsman to play Bond since the legendary Sean Connery.

Fans love Tom Hardy in just about anything

Doesn't it just feel like Tom Hardy is unanimously adored by all? The Oscar-nominated actor has risen to become one of the biggest names in Hollywood. But, interestingly enough, it feels like all of his most well-known roles are as secondary characters in super popular films and TV shows. Whether it's as gang leader Alfie Solomons in Netflix's Peaky Blinders, dream-stealing forger Eames in Inception, or brutal Batman baddie Bane in The Dark Knight Rises, Hardy has a knack for stealing the show as a supporting character.

Although the surprise success of 2018's Venom has finally provided the English actor with his own successful franchise to headline, there's actually another massive brand that fans are drooling to see Hardy take the reins of: James Bond. You could certainly argue that Hardy's filmography offers copious examples as to why he'd be a perfect fit to play the sleek British spy, and casting an A-lister like him is almost guaranteeing that future Bond films wouldn't skip a beat at the box office.

In September 2020, The Vulcan Reporter announced that Hardy was not only considered for the role, but had actually already landed it. Although Broccoli would later refute the report, denying that the producers had found Daniel Craig's successor, fans are still extremely hopeful that the Mad Max star will sip his martinis shaken, not stirred, in a future Bond film.

Tom Hiddleston could be a sophisticated super-spy

Don't let his villainous portrayal of Loki, the shifty god of mischief, in the Marvel Cinematic Universe fool you – Tom Hiddleston is a true gentleman. The sophisticated manner with which the Golden Globe-winning actor carries himself is a large reason why many fans believe he's a perfect match for what Ian Fleming had in mind while dreaming up James Bond.

As Loki, Hiddleston has showcased his scene-stealing charisma throughout multiple films. His role in 2017's Kong: Skull Island further proved that he can carry an action flick. Many fans also look to his performance as Jonathan Pine, a different British spy, in the AMC mini-series The Night Manager as a glowing endorsement of his Bond appeal.

Although a Loki-Bond hybrid isn't too crazy to conceptualize, Hiddleston isn't sold on his odds: "I don't know honestly if I have a shot, but it's flattering that some people think I do." Either way, the Crimson Peak star isn't hurting for work, with his own Loki streaming series heading to Disney+ later this year.

Idris Elba is box office gold

The Marvel Cinematic Universe. The Fast & the FuriousStar Trek. What do all of these movie franchises have in common? They have each grossed over $2 billion at the box office. What else? Idris Elba has contributed to all of them. At this point, he's basically box office gold.

So why shouldn't People Magazine's 2018 pick for "Sexiest Man Alive" be trusted to bring in the big bucks as James Bond? Elba has been fan-cast as 007 for years, something he addressed back in a 2015 interview with Variety. "If human beings want to know if there's any connectivity between all of us, the one thing I've heard around the world universally is that, 'You'll be great at James Bond!'" Even George Clooney gave the British actor a thumbs-up, claiming that he would cast Elba as Bond were it up to him. 

It must be mentioned that if the Luther star does indeed land the role, he will be the first Black actor to don the James Bond mantle. For most people, this is a wonderful prospect, showing progressive growth in Hollywood. Still, there are those who are opposed on that basis alone, a sad topic Elba touched upon in Vanity Fair. "You just get disheartened when you get people from a generational point of view going, 'It can't be.' And it really turns out to be the color of my skin." Regardless, Elba would undoubtedly make a great James Bond.

Charlie Hunnam looks devilishly handsome in a suit

Unless you've been living under a rock for the past 20 years, you've undoubtedly heard of Sons of Anarchy, FX's award-winning drama about a ruthlessly violent California motorcycle club. The story follows biker bad-boy Jax Teller, played by British actor Charlie Hunnam, as he struggles to balance outlaw life with doing what's right by his family. 

Since his final SoA ride in 2014, Hunnam has starred in a number of projects, including action flicks like King Arthur: Legend of the Sword and The Gentlemen. As his stardom continues to grow, some fans have been pitching him as the new 007. There are plenty of arguments to be made both in favor and opposed to the idea, but you can't deny two things: He's English, and he looks "devilishly handsome in a suit."

In a recent interview with People Magazine, the Pacific Rim star noted that although he probably isn't at the top of the Bond casting list, perhaps the fans could change that. "As much as people want to talk about me playing James Bond, please continue ... Maybe fan chatter leads to industry people actually talking about it in a more serious way." Whether or not producers actually do consider him a serious option, Hunnam has proven that he can carry a successful television franchise. Could he do the same with the Bond legacy?

The man with Henry Golding's gun

Although he might not have as extensive a filmography compared to other potential Bond candidates, Henry Golding has seemingly done far more with less. His big break came in 2018's crazy successful Crazy Rich Asians, where he stole hearts as the insanely charming Nick Young. While the British-Malaysian star has primarily appeared in quirky flicks like A Simple Favor and Last Christmas, he recently dipped his toes into the world of action movies with Guy Ritchie's The Gentlemen.

With an action credit finally under his belt, is Golding ready to carry the multi-billion dollar James Bond franchise? For some fans, the answer to that question is a resounding yes. From what he's showcased on camera so far, he's certainly got enough charm, swagger, and sex appeal to make a believable 007. Plus, at the young age of 33, he'd presumably have a lot of sequel potential. The real question is whether or not Broccoli and the other producers would sign off on such a young, unproven actor, regardless of his obvious talent.

Michael Fassbender still has pretty good odds of landing the role

Another incredibly popular 007 fan-cast is two-time Oscar-nominee Michael Fassbender. The Assassin's Creed star has had his name in the Bond hat dating back to 2015, put there by the large number of fans hoping he gets a chance to play the role. Unfortunately for those fans, Fassbender seemingly took himself out of the running when speaking to GQ in 2016, insinuating that he is too old for the part. "I think the franchise needs something new ... Bond should be someone in their early 20s."

Despite his apparent disinterest in the role, fans believe the X-Men actor is still being considered to take over after Daniel Craig bows out. In fact, British betting company Ladbrokes Coral (per The Sun) listed him as a top-five pick with 8/1 odds in 2020. Should he be crowned as Craig's successor, hopefully Fassbender's Bond is more successful undercover than the British spy he played in 2009's Inglourious Basterds. Just remember to use the proper hand signals when you order those martinis, man!

Henry Cavill would make one super spy

What a decade it's been for British beefcake Henry Cavill. Since playing Theseus in 2011's Immortals, Cavill has exploded into one of this generation's biggest names in action movies, largely due to his portrayal of Superman in the DC Extended Universe. He's also enjoyed success as the star of fan-favorite Netflix series The Witcher, and even got to play Sherlock Holmes in 2020's critically-acclaimed Enola Holmes.

If the fans had their way, Sherlock wouldn't be the only iconic British role Cavill would slip into. Cavill's supporters have envisioned him as the new Bond for some time now, and have made it known in a plethora of ways, including Instagram comments and high-quality custom fan art. Although Bond expert Dr. Ian Kinane doubts that the Man of Steel actor will ever get the chance to play 007, Cavill told GQ that he would jump at the opportunity, should it arise. "We'll see what happens. But yes, I would love to play Bond, it would be very, very exciting." It's certainly not hard to imagine Superman as a super spy.

Regé-Jean Page is a Bridgerton breakout ready to play Bond

Netflix's Bridgerton, a drama series set in London's Regency era, has been a major success for the streaming conglomerate. In January 2021, the show, which EW dubbed a "horny historical romance", was crowned Netflix's fifth-largest original series of all time, and has been reportedly seen by over 63 million households.  The show's success has also thrust one of its stars, Regé-Jean Page, who plays the smoldering Duke of Hastings, directly into the "next James Bond" casting race.

Many fans would love to see Page in a tux holstering a Walther. He's charming, good-looking, and ... oh right, British. On a recent appearance on The Tonight Show, the Mortal Engines actor addressed the Bond rumors, positing his belief that telling a British actor he'd make a good Bond (or, as he puts it, the "B-word") is just a common way to compliment them. "It's like a merit badge, like the 'B-word' merit badge ... I'm very, very glad to have the badge. I'm glad to be in such wonderful company of people who have the badge ... but it's a badge." 

Regardless of whether or not he believes he could actually play 007, Page apparently enjoys fueling the fan-casting fire. He tweeted a video of himself captioned: "Regency, royalty ... Shaken and stirred" in December 2020. Could he actually mean shaken, not stirred? Only time will tell.

Karl Urban could be a Billy Butcher Bond

Apparently, artificial intelligence is coming to Hollywood. As reported by IBC, some studios have partnered with tech firms, hoping that their AI platforms can help producers make better business decisions. One of these AI platforms, Largo.ai, recently made headlines when it predicted that Kiwi actor Karl Urban would actually be a 96.7 percent match to play James Bond in future films.

This news obviously excited fans of Amazon Prime's gritty superhero drama The Boys, in which Urban plays Billy Butcher, the brutal leader of a ragtag group devoted to bringing down the immoral superheroes society idolizes. However, this actually isn't the first time Urban has been at the center of 007 casting, as he reportedly met with Barbara Broccoli and other producers back before Daniel Craig got cast. He couldn't do a final screen test due to a scheduling conflict.

Urban has been a staple in action films for decades now, starring in blockbusters like The Bourne SupremacyStar TrekThor: Ragnarok, and the Lord of the Rings trilogy. He's definitely got the experience to carry a major action franchise. However, he's also a name commonly tossed around as potentially becoming the new Wolverine once he inevitably appears in the MCU. Whether it's Bond or Wolvie, one thing's for sure: Karl Urban won't be crying over missing roles.

Richard Madden sure looks the part

It wouldn't be a speculative casting list without a Game of Thrones actor, right? For Bond rumors, the relevant Thrones alum is Richard Madden, who played Robb Stark. Since his character was killed at the infamous Red Wedding in 2013, the handsome actor has enjoyed a successful career, even winning a Golden Globe for his work on BBC One's The Bodyguard. He also starred in two Oscar-winning 2019 films, Rocketman and 1917. Madden shows no signs of slowing down, either: He's set to join the MCU as Ikaris, star of Eternals.

Although Madden waved off 007 speculation as "just rumors," he's received a ringing endorsement from his Thrones' co-star and former Bond villain, Sean Bean. In an interview with The Sun, Bean, who portrayed Robb's father, Ned Stark, on Thrones, recently explained why the Cinderella star is the best choice to suit up after Craig's Bond retires. "He's got everything that's required of the role. He's strong, he's masculine and he's also got a soft underbelly, he's vulnerable, good looking — Scottish! I can't see why he wouldn't get the part." Bean is certainly not alone in his reasoning.

Dev Patel may not want to play Bond, but fans want him to

Sometimes actors are so admired that their fans pitch them for roles they aren't even interested in. Such is the case with Dev Patel and James Bond. The London-born actor has come a long way since starring as Jamal in 2008's unforgettable Slumdog MillionaireMillionaire swept the Oscars that year, and Patel would find his way to the red carpet yet again in 2017 for his heart-wrenching performance as Saroo in Lion. As the man has tackled roles as varied as David Copperfield and a major figure from Arthurian legend in recent years, he'll likely be back up at the awards podium soon.

Perhaps that has a lot to do with why he is so often brought up when the topic of 007 arises. There are a lot of fans out there who would argue that the Chappie star is the obvious choice to take on the next chapter of the British spy series. However, in an interview with Indie Wire, Patel worried that some fans might want him as Bond "because of the tokenistic nature" of the choice, and that he doesn't just want to be "gifted a role." He also laughed off the idea of seeing himself as a super-spy. "I mean, you don't want me blasting through a door with a Walther PPK to try to save you." Crazy as it may seem to you, Dev, that's precisely what some fans want!