James Bond 007: Who Will Replace Daniel Craig?

James Bond 007 logo. Courtesy of EON.

The million dollar question heading into the release is who will be replacing Daniel Craig after No Time to Die in the role of James Bond.

While I believe that actors like Tom Hardy, Tom Hiddleston, or Henry Cavill would do a good job in the role, there’s a question of if they are too old for the role. With Cavill, he put his foot in his mouth a few years ago when it came to comments about dating. Could this take him out of the equation even though he also apologized following a backlash? We’ll see. Mind you, both Roger Moore, Timothy Dalton, and Pierce Brosnan took the role in their early 40s. The thing with Moore is that he was already older than Sean Connery when he replaced him in 1973 and was almost 60 upon his last film in 1985. Whoever replaces Daniel Craig will probably be committing 15 years of their life to join the exclusive club.

Here’s what we know from previous Bond actors and movies:

  • Sean Connery (1962-67, 1971), 32-41 years old, 6 films (Not counting Never Say Never Again).
  • George Lazenby (1969), 30 years old, 1 film.
  • Roger Moore (1973-85), 45-57 years old, 7 films.
  • Timothy Dalton (1987-89), 41-43 years old, 2 films.
  • Pierce Brosnan (1995-2002), 42-49 years old, 4 films.
  • Daniel Craig (2006-2021), 38-53 years old, 5 films.

It goes without saying that whoever follows Bond will be scrutinized. There was a lot of criticism about Craig when he was cast in the role. One of the factors had to do with his being a blond. However, he won audiences over and is arguably the best Bond since both Connery and Moore. Craig’s five films is the most since Moore appeared in seven of them. Had it not been for Brosnan being unable to get out of his TV series contract and the legal dispute threating the Eon films, he could have appeared in more films.

Producing a globetrotting action movie of this caliber during a pandemic will be no easy feat. One would assume that a film might not get off the ground until maybe next year at the earliest.

Potential replacements:

  • Tom Hardy, 43 years old
  • Sam Heughan, 41 years old
  • Tom Hiddleston, 40 years old
  • Henry Cavill, 38 years old
  • James Norton, 36 years old
  • Robert Pattinson, 35 years old
  • Regé-Jean Page, 31 years old
  • John Boyega, 29 years old
  • Tom Holland, 25 years old

Should Eon stick with what we generally know about Bond’s character and want someone that can star as James Bond for a 15-year stretch, Henry Cavill might just have a leg up on the competition. I like Tom Hardy but I feel like he’s already too old for the role–the same goes for Outlander‘s Sam Heughan. But then again, it’s a question of what Eon is looking for. Are they looking for a Daniel Craig or Roger Moore type that can star in multiple films beyond a decade? Or do they want someone to bridge the gap so to speak? The fact that Hardy is already older than Pierce Brosnan leads me to think they’ll go with someone else. Don’t forget how long it’s going to take to get the next film up and running.

Robert Pattinson also fits the bill for being the right age. Moreover, he’s been in Tenet, which is Christopher Nolan‘s own memory of a James Bond movie. Next up is The Batman although he’s hard to tell if this will be a franchise or one-off appearance. The man has his detractors due to Twilight but he can definitely act. Similarly, James Norton also fits what producers might be looking for.

If they go young and against what we know about Bond, John Boyega or Regé-Jean Page might be the next Bond. Boyega is no stranger to studio tentpoles following the Star Wars films. Bridgerton is Page’s biggest claim to fame right now so we’ll see what happens.

Perhaps they might go even younger than usual with someone like Tom Holland. I like Holland and he’s proven he can lead a big-budget action film. Although to be fair, Marvel has brought in a few big co-stars for all three Spider-Man films. There’s no telling how much longer he’ll be leading the Spider-Man films but I doubt he would be doing two big franchises at the same time. Sony will only share Spider-Man with the MCU for so many years and we know the relationship has soured before.

It’s quite possible that the next James Bond comes from the world of TV and is an unknown. however, Bond could evolve with the times and this shouldn’t be discounted either. It will be an adjustment, sure, but there’s always going to be an adjustment period for audiences to get used to the new Bond. One thing we know for a fact is that Bond producer Barbara Broccoli is unlikely to make Bond a woman. This is why No Time to Die star Lashana Lynch will not be the next James Bond.

While there have been fan campaigns for the likes of Idris Elba and Dev Patel, I’m ruling them out. Elba, when you look at previous Bond actors, is too old for the role. Meanwhile, Patel’s comments regarding studio vehicles following Avatar: The Last Airbender takes him out of the running. I think Patel would do a fine job if given the chance but his previous comments make him unlikely to consider the role.

Time will tell before we know who the next James Bond will be but audiences should at least give the actor a chance.

MGM will release No Time to Die in theaters on October 8, 2021.

Danielle Solzman

Danielle Solzman is native of Louisville, KY, and holds a BA in Public Relations from Northern Kentucky University and a MA in Media Communications from Webster University. She roots for her beloved Kentucky Wildcats, St. Louis Cardinals, Indianapolis Colts, and Boston Celtics. Living less than a mile away from Wrigley Field in Chicago, she is an active reader (sports/entertainment/history/biographies/select fiction) and involved with the Chicago improv scene. She also sees many movies and reviews them. She has previously written for Redbird Rants, Wildcat Blue Nation, and Hidden Remote/Flicksided. From April 2016 through May 2017, her film reviews can be found on Creators.