Few things were more anticipated for me as a kid growing up in the 1970s and 1980s than the arrival of the next James Bond movie in the local cinema. Unfortunately, I came of age during the Roger Moore era of the franchise, who was the eventual successor to the original (and some might say only) personification of the Ian Fleming literary hero portrayed by Sean Connery in the first five Bond films (1962 – 1967).
While in retrospect Roger Moore (looking much older and plumper with each successive film) was probably the least believable James Bond, the last four films starring Daniel Craig are among the very best in the series. Mr. Craig has skillfully played the role of a Royal Navy trained, MI-6 “spy” working for Her Majesty’s government with equal parts sophistication and sexiness. His final appearance as the mythic secret agent is in the upcoming “No Time To Die” which will at along last appear in movie theaters worldwide this autumn.
So who is going to replace Daniel Craig? Can he even be replaced since he has so perfectly incarnated the role the past 15 years? There is much speculation, so I am including the various rumored contenders, along with a few of my own personal consideration as to their likelihood.
The Top Ten (in no particular order):
Mr. Elba already has the distinction of being awarded an Officer in the Order of the British Empire (OBE), and has a significant fan base not only within his native United Kingdom from his roles on the BBC, but around the world.
Pros: Rugged good looks, a long history in action films, and in the age of BLM and Meghan, the Duchess of Sussex, why not a person of color?
Cons: At 48 years old, it may be a bit of stretch, although Denzel Washington and Liam Neeson are still at it in their 60s.
“Fifty Shades” of Dornan, Jamie Dornan, is admittedly a private fantasy for yours truly. This mega-thirst trap first came to my attention when he was cast for Abercrombie & Fitch back in the day, and his Dior Homme and Calvin Klein ads are still a wonder to behold. If you haven’t seen him as the sexy strangler in “The Fall,” check him out (he plays a convincing killer. Sexily.).
Pros: Certifiable thirst trap and is believable as a stone-cold killer.
Cons: At 38 years old, he is already older than Daniel Craig was when he first appeared as Bond in “Casino Royale” at age 35. Sigh.
He stole our hearts in “Billy Elliott: The Musical” on London’s West End, and then used his spidey powers as the new “Spiderman” to trap us with his adorableness. This native Londoner is already at the head of the line as our favorite twink, but can he transform into a cold-hearted assassin? We’re ready to give him a shot.
Pros: Has convincingly played action roles, and is ridiculously charming.
Cons: Only 24 years old, and as my husband says, “a bit short” at only 5′ 7″.
The sexy actor’s profile is on the rise since he dominated the screen in Netlfix’s “Bridgerton” in 2020. Now everyone is speculating that the Zimbabwean born actor, who showed equal confidence in regal palaces and in taking the bloomers off of demur virgins, could be the logical next generation of 007.
Pros: He has the look, the accent, the cocky confidence, and is the right age.
Cons: Difficult to find any, but if one had to quibble, does he really want it? He’s playing it cool… just like a martini, shaken, not stirred.
A veritable lad’s lad, Hardy is a fighter in both real life and on the screen. He, too, is a recipient of royal distinction as a member of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire (yes, such a thing actually exists). And while he is always mentioned as a possible successor, having posted the above photo himself, at the age of 43 he is already a bit past the shelf-life for an extended commitment similar to Craig’s run.
Pros: As a British bad boy, he has street cred.
Cons: Pulling off the air of the aristocratic British secret agent might be a harder sell.
Ah, which brings us to Henry Cavill. Like my personal favorite, Jamie Dornan, Cavill first caught my attention with his advertisements for the luxury brand Dunhill. As the inimitable @TheGingerMinj would say, “he about flooded my basement” as Superman. Additionally it was widely reported that he was the other finalist when the franchise cast Daniel Craig for the role in 2005. AND… at age 38 he is still very, very, very much in his prime. Mmmm-kay?
Pros: I mean come on, look at that photo. The prosecution rests.
Cons: Does he really want it? After being the proverbial brides-maid the last go round, I don’t know.
This Irishman has a huge fan base from his great portrayals in “Peaky Blinders” and the many films he has starred in over the past twenty years. He is undeniably sexy and has that fighter’s core that comes through in every role he plays.
Pros: He’s the right age, has the right look, and has a built-in fan base.
Cons: He’s Irish. Sorry, but no self-respecting Irishman (I’ve been told by the Irish) would play a secret agent for Her Majesty’s Secret Service.
It's directed by double-BAFTA winner Bong Joon Ho and includes BAFTA winners Octavia Spencer, Tilda Swinton, Jamie Bell and John Hurt in the stellar cast too! pic.twitter.com/H74JEDicKq
— BAFTA (@BAFTA) May 24, 2020
Did someone say twink alert? Yes! I do love the twinks, and it seems hard to believe that it has been almost twenty years since he played “Billy Elliott” on the screen. So here we are. He has played many action roles over his career, and this English born actor also dresses up nice in a tuxedo.
Pros: He’s adorable, the right age, the right nationality… but
Cons: He’ll always be a twink to me. He would be perfect as the side-kick to James Bond, or as his cute gay “right hand man.”
— Taron Egerton Online (@TaronEgertonCom) March 14, 2021
His role in the “Kingsmen” series as a British bad boy who becomes a secret agent can be viewed as a successful audition for inheriting the role of James Bond now that he is 31 years old. Would I love to see Taron team up with Jamie Bell again following their collaboration in “Rocketman”? You bet. But as James Bond, Taron is a logical choice.
Pros: Like so many of the other candidates, he has proven himself in a variety of roles. And at 31 years old is the perfect age to begin a long run as James Bond. Lights, camera, sexy Action.
Cons: Maybe too much of a pretty boy?
Yassss kween! We at Instinct Magazine can’t get enough of this openly gay Welsh actor. So while we are obviously saving the best for last, he is number one in our hearts. Because I know that y’all are some thirsty bitches, here’s a final look at our candidate for James Bond… Mr. Luke Evans. Oh, and for the record, it is all “pros” and no “cons.”
What do you think? Who is your choice to play the next James Bond? Let us know!