Crikey 007. When will your new identity be known?
Honestly, the rumours concerning the new James Bond have been running rampant since it was first reported last year that Daniel Craig might not return as the nation's favourite secret agent. And it doesn't feel like we're getting ANY closer to discovering the truth. Frustrating to say the very least.
It's already been confirmed that Daniel Craig is officially 'done' with playing Bond, and apparently turned down a staggering £68m deal to appear in another two films, plus Skyfall director Sam Mendes has also made it quite clear that he also won't be returning to the franchise.
Speaking at the Hay festival earlier in the year however, Mendes hinted that the new 007 would be someone that the public wouldn't expect...
SO many names (from the plausible to the downright ludicrous) have been bandied about who will succeed Mr Craig, that all of a sudden anything Bond related just seems like one massive Chinese whisper and well - we want this addressed once and for all. Who will play the next James Bond, powers that be?
Bookies faves? Take a look at the below...
Idris Elba certainly has an impressive back catalogue of work to warrant him becoming the next Bond, and support for the The Wire actor has been rife over social media for what seems like yonks - so much so that Idris (despite being humbled by the support) has reportedly said that he feels like 'the most famous Bond actor in the world' without ever having played the part.
Speaking recently to Esquire Idris repeatedly down the suggestion that he's taking over from Daniel Craig, stating:
'What could you possibly write differently about that? It’s the most covered rumour in the world.'
And once again, despite feeling championed by the general public, Idris is quick to point out the fundamentals.
'Every single Bond has never been chosen by that [public opinion] and, in fact, the ones that I think are most obvious are probably less likely to get chosen.'
Ok, we're SERIOUSLY excited about this one. Aidan Turner cemented himself as the official piece of Sunday night crumpet following his award winning stint in BBC's lavish remake of Poldark, and now it seems that the Irish-born actor may be in 'preliminary talks' to play the next James Bond. While nothing has been confirmed (obvs), Karen Thrussell who produces Poldark did little to quash the rumours when she accepted a Breakthrough Award on Aidan's behalf at the Broadcasting Press Guild awards in London earlier in the year. Her explanation for his absence?
'I am sure it is nothing to do with James Bond, but we will see...'
The plot thickens...
Tom Hiddleston up until recently was the bona fide bookie's Bond favourite, following THAT rather racy scene in the BBC drama The Night Manager - the sexy snippet managed to send Twitter into meltdown - but the British actor has actually been part of the Bond rumour mill for a while. While he hasn't confirmed or denied the suggestion, he did tell the Sunday Times that he was already a huge fan of the franchise, and that to be offered the part of Bond would be an 'extraordinary opportunity'.
However, Tom's sudden (rather odd) relationship with Taylor Swift has put a bit of a dampener on the whole Bond thang, with many now ruling him out of the race completely. Why? Now, Tom is just too darn mainstream to play the UK's most famous spy.
Another British actor that is setting our Bond flames alight is the magnificent Tom Hardy. The Mad Max: Fury Road star has long been a outside runner for the role, and has been very vocal about how much he'd love to play the 7th incarnation of Bond. The 38-year-old actor told the Standard last year:
'I would love to do it. Who wouldn’t? If I did get the chance, I would smash it out the park.'
Grrr, go Tom.
One of the first actors to enter the James Bond debate as a serious contender was Homeland's Damian Lewis, and even though he's topped the Bond bookie polls week after week, the British actor has managed to keep us all guessing about whether or not he's actually signed on to the franchise. He's famously remained pretty tight-lipped about the whole thing, although one slip came during an interview with CBS News when he casually stated:
‘Would I like to be James Bond? That’s the multi-million-dollar question.'
A complete late entry into the Bond race, Londoner Jack Huston (nephew of the legendary Angelica Huston) might be the dark horse to lay some serious odds on. Dashing, dark and gorgeous, Jack is already known to Bond producer Barbara Broccoli as she co-produced Strangers on a Train - his West End debut. Could we be looking at our new 007? Only time will tell...
Who gets your vote?