In this day and age it's difficult to find somebody who hasn’t heard of James Bond.
The smooth-talking secret agent has had a profound impact on filmmaking since his big-screen debut in Dr. No in 1962. Over the years he has become a British cultural icon synonymous with suaveness and mystery.
James Bond has been played by six different high-profile actors since the first film which naturally makes his next portrayer a hot-button topic in pop culture media. In recent months fans have been hard at work trying to guess who the next 007 Agent will be after Daniel Craig's tenure comes to an end in 2020.
Big names have been thrown about and some bookmakers even suspended the betting on Idris Elba - but now it is all about Outlander hunk Sam Heughan, after an incredible revelation that he once auditioned for the role and was deemed too young.
That, coupled with rumours that he has been asked to audition AGAIN, make the 39-year-old Scot a firm front-runner to be the next James Bond, although he's not actually the current favourite, which can be revealed at the base of this article!
However, there are no murmurs from the actual decision makers. Everyone in the Bond camp is very tight-lipped ahead of 2020's No Time To Die release. So, let's hone in on the big question - who will be the next James Bond?
71 candidates are listed below from least likely to most likely to get the part (according to the bookies). We've also included advice on each potential 007 to help inform your choice if you decide to place a wager at one of the top specials bookmakers.
Next Bond odds correct at time of posting and provided by Betfair unless specified.
This one shouldn't be too difficult to eliminate from our shortlist. Will Smith is an absolute titan of the entertainment industry but nothing about him screams English secret agent. At 500/1 in the next James Bond odds, we can't argue with the bookies on the Fresh Prince's slim chances.
Everett infamously went on record in 2004 saying that he would never try to land the part of Bond because he's openly gay - a controversial remark at the time. Unless you think he's due a dramatic turnaround we'd recommend staying away from this option.
Sewell acted as the reader for eleven of Ian Fleming's James Bond books on 36 CDs for Collins. His 500/1 is a fun nudge but unlikely to ever come in as a winner.
Some of the longer shots in the next James Bond odds are a novelty to say the least! P Diddy, media and music mogul, has had a successful career in the entertainment industry for over two decades. He's got enough money to keep himself entertained and will likely stay away from the next Bond fray.
A fascinating Vogue article back in 2017 mused as to who would play a 'Bond boy' if the next James Bond ended up being female. O T Fagbenle made that list. That may have had an effect on his 500/1 listing in the next James Bond odds, although it's most likely just Betfair poking fun at his Soaps career in the mid-2000s. He recently played a part in The Handmaid's Tale so these odds may yet change!
The bookies are certainly exhaustive with their list. Walliams is a well-known actor in the UK and Ireland - perhaps mostly for his roles on Little Britain and as a judge on Britain's Got Talent. He's good at playing goofy or camp characters, pretty much the parallel opposite to Mr Bond, hence his lengthy odds in this market.
Beckham's a sharp dresser and was an excellent footballer back in the day.. but big screen acting experience? While we'd love to hear the infamous "The name's Bond.... James Bond," line said in Beckham's voice we think we'll sit this one out.
While most will chuckle at the idea of Danny Dyer becoming James Bond but we rather fancy it. It's about time his cockney accent was given a fair crack at mainstream movies that aren't to do with regional football hooliganism.
Alan Carr is a respected comedian and much-loved late night presence in the UK. The host of Alan Carr's Chatty Man is well known for his self-deprecating humour - another thing you'd never expect of 007.
Back in 2005 Sam Worthington made the final list of three to replace Pierce Brosnan as James Bond. After that he insisted that he would never go for the role again. His monumental success in James Cameron's Avatar intrigued Worthington with the prospect of 'starting [his] own franchise'. He's also played secret agents in other films, diluting the likelihood of him being a winner in this market.
Penry-Jones has all of the personality traits that Bond would have. Charming, intellectual, slickly spoken. The issue, once again, is age. He's 48 years old. For reference, Daniel Craig is 50 and is nearing the end of his Bond gig. This makes it unlikely that Penry-Jones would make the cut - but not impossible.
The chances are that Philip Winchester simply doesn't have enough pull-power to become the next Bond. The actor has held some decent starring roles but there are better wagering options for the coveted role.
The motocross-racer-turned-actor is unlikely to see his next James Bond odds change. He's 51 while the character of James Bond is said to be in his mid-30s - a pretty simple reason for him not getting the part, similar to Penry-Jones.
Liam Hemsworth has had a very successful career to date. He played Gale Hawthorne in The Hunger Games and has lived in the spotlight since. The 28 year old is married to Miley Cyrus and is the younger brother of Thor himself Chris Hemsworth. But, like Harry Styles, he's a wee bit fresh-faced. This could affect his chances.
Hugh Grant is well known for the parts he's played in some of the biggest feature films over the years. He may have entered the minds and hearts of many as a versatile on-screen presence but it's difficult to see the Love Actually star playing Bond for a number of different reasons.
Roth has enjoyed a career in both TV and Television playing a wide variety of different characters. His acting style doesn't really seem to suit Bond though, giving credence to his 500/1.
Rumour has it that Riley was set to be the next 007 but he bailed at the last moment because he didn't want to end up a 'cash cow' actor. He was tipped in 2005 so it's easy to see why he's been listed by the bookies again (albeit at lengthy odds).
It's difficult to see Colin Farrell playing James Bond. Some (not us!) will argue he's past his prime, while his Irish accent may not be the sort of charm producers are looking for. The 500/1 shot looks about right here.
Born and raised in Liverpool, Sloane would certainly prove an interesting James Bond. He became famous playing Aiden Mathis in Revenge and says he's proud to fly the flag for Scousers in California.
Seems like they're quite the jokesters over at Coral! Corbyn's probably a bit busy. Y'know - striving for a utopian democratic-socialist society and stuff.
O'Loughlin screen-tested for the movie role of James Bond in 2005 and was unsuccessful. Could he turn around his fortunes ten years on? 500/1 says he could.
Jamie Foxx is another big screen hitter and would prove a fascinating Bond if he bagged the role. We think he'll probably be passed over for somebody else though - Foxx has never acted as a character reminiscent of Bond so he'll be difficult to picture in the role for producers.
The Gladiator superstar has been going through financial troubles as of late, so he could probably do with a cash injection from a big screen franchise deal. Russell Crowe's name always pops up during Bond-selection rumours and he's seen a broad swathe of support online for the role.
The issue is that every time a new Bond is being selected Crowe hasn't gotten anywhere close to the role - what's going to be the difference this time around? 500/1 makes perfect sense for Crowe at Betfair if you're planning a flutter.
As long as an actor hasn't categorically denied being interested in the Bond role the bookies will list them. Schreiber is no different in this regard. There hasn't been anything to suggest that he would get the role as of yet but we think he'd be a great casting. Even with incredible length in the odds, 500/1 isn't to be ignored here. If there's a very dark sheep on this list Schreiber might be it!
Would DiCaprio be a good Bond? Possibly. Is he involved in lots of other high-profile time-consuming projects? Yes. Would he consider going for the role? Probably not!
Renner has seen his fame bolstered with appearances as Hawkeye in some of the mega-budget Marvel Cinematic Universe films. Hawkeye is a special agent so Renner would probably stay away from a Bond role in order to not be typecast. He is also quite similar looking to Daniel Craig which may put off producers looking for fresh visuals.
Best known for playing Mark Antony on the HBO series Rome there was been little speculation around Purefoy becoming the next James Bond this time around. Previously he was considered twice.
Purefoy competed and lost against Pierce Brosnan and, after Die Another Day finished, he lost out again to Daniel Craig. He's struggled with being 'almost James Bond' for a while so it's unlikely he'll go for the role again, even if producers offer an audition.
It's well-known that Hugh Jackman turned down a Bond role audition before it was given to Daniel Craig. He felt the scripts were unrealistic and that they needed to be 'grittier and real'. Bond films have only gotten wilder since these comments were made so it's unlikely Jackman will have a change of heart this time around.
Guy Pearce has played some pretty varied roles throughout his career. Adding Bond to his portfolio certainly wouldn't hurt. His 500/1 in the next Bond odds should be of interest to anybody who fancies a flutter.
It's highly unlikely that Daniel Radcliffe would want, let alone get the Bond role. He's will forever be known as Harry Potter and foraying into a new major franchise probably wouldn't work well.
Rise of the Footsoldier is Fairbrass' best known film series. He's regularly cast in similarly gruff gangster-style roles and had a stint on Eastenders back in the day. Fairbrass has also done plenty of voicework for video games, most notably in the Call of Duty franchise. 500/1 says he'll add James Bond to his portfolio.
Enjoying success across both movies and TV isn't an easy feat for any actor. The Sherlock, The Office and The Hobbit star has been very busy as of late and we're not sure whether the Bond role would be on his radar, let alone whether he'd be a suitable candidate.
Butler's a top notch actor but he's struggled with taming his Scottish accent for previous roles - a possible red flag for the Bond gig.
This.. is.. UNLIKEEEELLLLLY!
Dougray Scott's tumultuous relationship with the James Bond franchise extends as far back as 2002. At that point the actor was in talks about taking over as 007 after Brosnan announced he had finished playing the character.
In a surprise twist, Brosnan then decided to play Bond for one last film - edging Scott out of the picture. In 2005 he was then passed over for Daniel Craig. Talk about an unlucky streak!
Redmayne's success has been meteoric since 2014. The 36-year-old won an academy award for best actor that year for his portrayal of Stephen Hawking in The Theory of Everything following it up with a nomination for his role in The Danish Girl a year later.
He is certainly versatile enough to play Bond, but one would think that other high profile gigs like Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them could conflict with 007 shooting schedules. We have to be honest - this isn't the worst 200/1 wager you could make.
Matt Damon is another household name. But be warned - he plays a character quite similar to James Bond in his Jason Bourne series of films which makes him an unlikely choice for the role.
Firth is an incredible dramatic actor, perhaps best known for his role as a stuttering king in The King's Speech. Unfortunately we need to slap him onto our 'Hollywood is ageist and won't pick you because you're close to 60' list. Sorry Colin.
The pick for a new James Bond is normally well known already, but not necessarily a megastar. Ryan Gosling is definitely in the latter category. He's got a pretty busy work schedule but, if you think he'd drop it all for Mi6, back him in the next James Bond odds at 200/1 with Betfair now.
Statham is well known for portraying tough characters. But perhaps a little too tough for Bond? Who knows? We sure don't! Please don't hurt us Jason.
You have to have that special something to be James Bond. There's a secret ingredient that's very difficult to put your finger on.
James McAvoy, star of Filth, has achieved incredible success already and is a truly unique actor. He'd shake up the Bond series and may be the sort of actor producers are looking for. 200/1 looks a decent price in the context of this list.
Adrian Lester is a terrific classically trained actor. He's slick and well-spoken - crucial ingredients for any James Bond. We like the idea of a lower stakes flutter on him if you choose to bet.
Perhaps best known for playing Charles Robinson, the fiction MI6 aide and Deputy Chief of Staff who appears in Bond films, Colin Salmon would be an incredible departure from a normal Bond pick.
As he's already played somebody in the series we see his candidacy as particularly futile. It's likely producers would not want to blur the lines and confuse hardcore James Bond fans. The 150/1 at Coral in the next James Bond odds doesn't look long enough for us.
Richard Armitage's role in The Hobbit saw him showered with praise. A recent role in Ocean's 8 furthered his international marketability, making the 125/1 available in the next James Bond odds look pretty appealing.
You may know Hoult best as Tony Stonem in the popular drama series Skins. He's had other high profile roles and ticks pretty much every box needed for a James Bond. Betfair lists him at 100/1 for the honour.
Game of Thrones megastar Kit Harington hasn't left the limelight since the show debuted. Could he be the next James Bond? Betfair has 100/1 that the answer is yes.
We like Charlie Hunnam for James Bond. He's been closely interlinked with the role in the past and has only fallen out of favour with the rumour-mill on account of being out of the spotlight over the past year.
Pirates of the Caribbean superstar Orlando Bloom has been very public about the fact that he would love to play 007. In May 2017 he told the BBC 'I grew up loving those films. Who didn't?'.
Emily Blunt is the bookies' favourite female for the role of James Bond at 50/1. The A Quiet Place star has been openly expressive of her willingness to do the role. Like any of the other females on this list, Blunt's casting in the role of James Bond would catch many by surprise.
Fans of British television will known McClure as Lol from the critically acclaimed film-turned-series This is England.
She recently laughed off speculation:
"A Nottingham girl playing Bond is never going to happen in a million years. But it would be genius if it did, wouldn’t it?"
Well, Vicky. William Hill are putting you ahead of plenty of other contenders. So who knows!?
Dornan's odds for this role have drifted extensively throughout 2019, moving from shortest odds of 14/1 to 100/1 in recent weeks.
The 50 Shades of Grey star hasn't registered any public interest in the role which may have contributed to this.
100/1 for John Boyega in the next James Bond odds looks like real value if you fancy the Star Wars success to take on a new and exciting franchise role.
Since first being listed for in the next James Bond odds back in 2016 the actor's odds have fluctuated between the 100/1 and 40/1 mark.
Another Skins alum that's made our list, O'Connell has seen moderate success in mainstream films. He's around the right age for Bond but his pick would be risky as he's not as well known as others on this list - something that could pay off dividends or become a nightmare for producers in the long run.
Would The Queen of Dragons like things Shaken, not Stirred? Most bookies have Emilia Clarke at lengthy odds for the Bond role, with Ladbrokes and Coral providing 100/1.
She would definitely be a progressive departure from the traditional James Bond (as would any female lead) which is why this option has been the subject of much media speculation.
The best approach to casting a new James Bond may be to go for an actor who is very much Daniel Craig's opposite. Craig was a rugged Bond and a departure from Brosnan's slightly slicker 007 portrayal.
If producers were to cast Dan Stevens it would be a 'coming full circle' sort of situation. He's seen great success in Legion and Beauty and the Beast in recent years and is well on his way to becoming a leading man. He looks a decent wager at 100/1.
Later seasons of The Walking Dead have been absolutely brutalised by critics for lacking the same dramatic 'va-va voom' earlier seasons had. This could prompt Lincoln to ditch his TV appearances for a bit and look for a strong return to film (he hasn't appeared in one since 2010).
As he's the recipient of two Academy Award nominations it's fair to say Jude Law knows how act. Now begs the question - would he make a good James Bond? 66/1 says yes.
Friend isn't as intruiging an option as others on this list. He's got a solid background though, having reportedly been among the select few to screen test for Bond in Casino Royale. He lost out to Craig, though it turns out he actually said no, not them. The 66/1 about him in the next Bond odds looks terrible value.
Sturgess already played a classy British spy making it unlikely he'd go for the Bond role. He also told Questia "I'm too scruffy to play Bond".
Cumberbatch's odds have fluctuated at the bookies for this role over the past couple of years. Betfair had him listed as short as 28/1 back in 2014 as he broke through the mainstream.
Rumours last year suggested that Cumberbatch would play a different role in Daniel Craig's final Bond movie, No Time To Die, which would surely oust him from the running for the main gig in the near future. But now that we know a lot more about the cast for Bond 25, and Cumberbatch isn't yet on the list, his odds have absolutely collapsed. You will not get better than Unibet's 50/1.
Bell has been outspoken on James Bond and inherent misogyny in the series in the past. When asked about accepting the role if it was offered in December 2017 he told Bustle:
"I would certainly give it some serious consideration. There are a lot of scenes in those movies with a lot of nurturing and sensitivity and tenderness. But they're gonna have to address all of that stuff. They have to.
The Billions actor has been touted to play James Bond for years now. In an interview with TODAY back in June 2016, Lewis said 'Who wouldn't like to play James Bond?' which saw his odds drop to as low as 3/1.
Before that he was even shorter again, when he dropped to 2/1 in November 2015 due to an unprecedented swathe of bets being placed on him. Things have since quietened down on Lewis, so if still you fancy him for the next Bond you can't go wrong with his current price of 33/1 at Scandi firm Unibet.
Cavill told Yahoo Movies that being in Mission: Impossible Fallout has adequately prepared him to be the next James Bond:
“I think Bond would be a really fun role. It’s British, it’s cool. I think now that I have my Mission: Impossible badge we can do real stunts and really amp it up as well.”
The Superman star has seen his odds fluctuate at the bookies. At one point he was as short as 6/1, so the 25/1 currently listed is an excellent price if you think he'll become the next 007.
Naomi Harris, who starred in Spectre as Miss Moneypenny with Daniel Craig thinks Cillian Murphy, well known for his high-profile film roles, and his gig as Tommy Shelby in Peaky Blinders, would make an excellent Bond. When asked about the prospect by JOE.ie she said:
"I could totally see him [Murphy] as James Bond. Totally buying that, 100%."
However, Murphy himself, though "flattered" by the thought, told GQ: "I think it should be a woman next." Hence, he's out to 14/1 in the betting, from as short as 5/1.
The idea that James Bond could be played by a female has been met with plenty of controversy. Many feel that by casting a female the producers would be being dishonest to Fleming's original depiction of the secret agent.
On the flipside, a female lead may well inject new life into a franchise that has been male-lead for over 45 years. A 12/1 bet at Coral looks excellent value here.
Paddy Power suspended the betting on Idris Elba becoming the next James Bond. Interestingly, Elba came out in August 2018 to denounce the rumours, saying that he will never play the role. That hasn't stopped the bookies though. His best price of 11/1 at Betfair is still short enough for serious consideration - and those odds are also once again available at Paddy Power, FYI.
Apparently Pierce Brosnan is in favour of Tom Hardy snagging the role when Daniel Craig is finished. He said:
“I’d be happy to see him [Tom] do it. You need an actor who can put a bit of wiggle into it – that’s what makes Bond.”
Michael Fassbender has publicly stated that he has absolutely no interest in playing the next James Bond, but, as we've seen time and time again, that doesn't mean much.
If he's made the right offer perhaps he would commit, and across the summer of 2019 - when you would imagine deals were being done for the next Bond casting, his odds crashed from 33/1 into as low as 5/1!
How many Scottish actors can you fit on one James Bond betting list? Honestly? It doesn't matter, because the one they all want right now seems to be Sam Heughan, best-known for being all rugged and animalistic as Jamie Fraser in period drama Outlander.
The sensational news that he not only audition for Bond at the same time as Daniel Craig, but that he also turned down the job because he felt at that time that he was too young, has made him the latest favourite to earn a License To Kill.
There are odds as short as 17/10 about the now 39-year-old star landing the part, but will they agree to his terms of getting 007 in a kilt?
Tom Hiddleston reportedly met with EON Productions about the James Bond role back in 2016. This fuelled intense speculation that he would be the next 007, but he's kept his lips sealed since. Hiddleston is still the shortest in the odds with the majority of bookies, but the 5/1 at Coral looks a solid price for anybody who fancies him to get the part.
Bodyguard star Richard Madden was a complete unknown before breaking records in Line Of Duty creator Jed Mercurio's new BBC drama. The debonair Scot ticks a lot of boxes, if the Bond casters are still looking for the traditional handsome, brooding action-man 007 tends to be.
Starring in war epic 1917, nominated for the Oscars Best Picture in February, Madden has been coy when asked about being Bond. The main thing is, he knows who Barbara Broccoli is.
As speculation increases around James Norton being the next Bond, the 34-year-old has constantly added fuel to the fire by declaring his interest.
Mostl notably, Norton recently spoke with Gentleman's Journal, telling them he'd be interested whilst admitting he's flattered by the rumours.
"I would love to play a Bond villain. I love Daniel Craig and I’d love him to do more films."
He continued to address speculation:
"Bond’s such an icon and means so much to so many, so there’s an inevitable amount of speculation. But that’s as much as it is — speculation. Very flattering, very humbling speculation."
The odds in the next James Bond market are particularly volatile because there's very little concrete information for us to go on. Much of the current odds are based on guesswork. Producers of the James Bond film series are extremely quiet, and they're unquestionably tied to some legal documents preventing them from spilling the beans.
It's difficult to narrow down such a broad field, but Tom Hardy, who you can bet on at 11/1 with Betfair, is our favourite.
Hardy has ridden a wave of unparalleled success in both British and American films over the past couple of years. This makes him the perfect candidate for appealing to an international audience - something that's crucial for the Bond series.
His roles in Mad Max, Bronson, The Dark Knight Rises, Warrior, Lawless, The Revenant and Inception speak to his incredible versatility as a character actor who can play just about any type of person. One of Hardy's most recent efforts, Venom, didn't receive much warmth from critics, boosting the likelihood that the actor will seek a comeback with a strong, recognisable role.
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