Yes, that title is spoiler-y. Get over it. No Time To Die came out months ago. Those who haven’t seen Daniel Craig’s swang song by now likely don’t give a damn whether their drinks are shaken or stirred. Those who have seen James Bond go out with a (literal) bang are now asking that exhausting and futile question: who will be the next 007? Now, everyone and their mother is throwing their hat into the ring…
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Except your mother won’t be playing Bond. Producer Barbara Broccoli, who controls the Bond franchise with Michael G. Wilson, So, this list comprises 10 British actors we think would make a great James Bond (most of which are already rumored to inherit the license to kill). has debunked the idea of a female portraying Bond, arguing that new characters should be written for women rather than reworking male ones. That sentiment was then echoed by Craig. Annnnddd it’s your prerogative to feel every which way about that.
Disclaimer: No, Harry Styles is not on this list. He’s Harry Styles not James Bond.
Cover Photo: Universal Pictures
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James Bond Choices 2021
10. Daniel Kaluuya
Audiences have witnessed his rise via Black Mirror , Get Out , and Black Panther . After his Oscar-winning performance in Judas and the Black Messiah , Kaluuya is now one of the most in-demand and commanding actors to hail from the UK. James Bond movies don’t always recruit actors as multi-faceted as Kaluuya (or well known), there’s no telling what he could do as 007, and we’d be there for it.
9. Dev Patel
Why not an Asian Bond? Like Kaluuya, Patel is young enough to have an entire career ahead of him to play James Bond. Like Kaluuya (and numerous others on this list), he doesn’t necessarily need a license to kill. The 31-year-old actor has already amassed an impressive filmography, breaking through in 2009’s Slumdog Millionaire and, more recently, chopping the Jolly Green Giant’s head off in The Green Knight . And for those demanding a stockier appearance, we’re sure Patel would stock up on the whey protein, chicken, chocolate milk, and so pushups all the live-long day.
8. James Norton
From Kaluuya and Patel to Hardy and Cavill, many of the actors in the conversation are already too famous to play James Bond. That being said, Norton, who you may not know (and that’s the point), has been in the Bond, and Doctor Who, conversation for quite some time. With or without Bond, Norton will likely be an A-lister at some point. Right now, his age, build, and profile basically resembles that of Craig back in 2006.
7. Henry Golding
In 2018, Golding broke out with Crazy Rich Asians and A Simple Favor . Then, he starred in Last Christmas (2019), The Gentlemen (2019), and Snake Eyes (2021). A couple of those films weren’t very good, but Guy Ritchie’s action-comedy more than showed off his swagger and Snake Eyes made it clear Golding can be both silent and deadly. The actor’s entire resume makes a good argument for him to portray new and refreshing sides to Bond while embracing the familiar.
6. Damson Idris
A sleeper pick, but a justified one. Idris’ profile has been rising ever since playing Franklin Saint on Fx’s Snowfall and roles in Outside The Wire and The Commuter have proven he can do action. It won’t be long before everyone stateside knows who this man is and he’s made it clear in interviews he loves wearing a three-piece suit.
5. Tom Hardy
Hardy’s name keeps coming up here—everyone wants to see him at the helm of the next James Bond film. His roles in Bronson, Warrior , The Dark Knight Rises , Legend , Mad Max: Fury Road , etc. have proven him one of the most versatile and intimidating actors around thanks to an occasionally mean mug and impressive physical transformations. The one thing that counts against Hardy is his age (44), especially if the Bond producers are (and they are) thinking long term.
4. Richard Madden
You’ll recognize the stoic, ever-honorable Madden as Game of Thrones ’ once King in the North and, now, Eternals ’ Icarus. Others will remember his Golden Globe-winning role in Netflix/BBC’s Bodyguard , where he said “ma’am” a lot. At this point in his career—being recognizable but not a huge name—Madden could be poised to say “ma’am” a whole lot more. On top of that, he’s young enough to headline the Bond franchise for at least a decade.
3. Rege-Jean Page
Pretty much the day after Bridgerton dropped on Netflix, Page became the Internet's new James Bond. Following his decision not to return for the show’s second season, the actor has lined up several high-profile gigs including a reboot of The Saint and the upcoming Dungeons & Dragons film. Sink or swim, he’s got the looks, charisma, and has already mastered the pull-out method—which every 007 needs to utilize until their swan song (see No Time to Die ).
2. Henry Cavill
Fun fact: when Cavill was 23-years-old, he made it down to the final two candidates to play James Bond alongside Craig. They told him he was too fat. Since then, he lost the weight and played Superman, and now stars as Geralt of Rivia in The Witcher . Cavill does not need Bond. However, like some sort of Moore, Brosnan, Dalton, and Connery hybrid, he’s exactly what everyone pictures when they think of what Bond should look like—tall, dark, handsome, and British. Despite his busy schedule, Cavill has said he’s open to discussing the role with the powers that be.
1. Idris Elba
Elba has always given off big Bond energy. From roles in The Wire , Beasts of No Nation , Luther , Thor , The Suicide Squad , and many more, he’s proven to have an inimitable presence as one of the coolest actors working today. Did you see that slow-mo scene in this year’s The Harder They Fall ? He really is the perfect choice. Or, at least he would’ve been years ago. Now, Elba is staring 50 in the face and the opportunity to play 007 has likely passed him by (couldn’t they just do a one-off?). Still, producer Broccoli has said that they want Elba to be a part of the franchise even if it’s as a villain.