Who is the next James Bond? All the rumours on who could replace Daniel Craig as 007

From Idris Elba to Cillian Murphy and Benedict Cumberbatch, read on for the latest rumoured replacements for 007 as Daniel Craig films Bond 25, his last outing

Daniel Craig and Idris Elba

Daniel Craig will be downing his shaken Martini and bidding farewell to the iconic role of James Bond next year.


His final curtain call won’t be until Bond 25 in 2020, but rumours are already circulating over who might step into his shoes and replace him as 007.

Here’s everything you need to know about the latest Bond rumours.

Benedict Cumberbatch

Benedict Cumberbatch (Getty, EH)
Benedict Cumberbatch (Getty, EH)

The Sherlock star could be jumping from one iconic spy to another if the bookies are anything to go by after Cumberbatch’s odds were slashed from 100/1 to 10/1. Cumberbatch previously spoke about taking over the baton from Craig, saying he doesn’t think he has what it takes. Speaking to the Guardian he said: “I can wear a suit, and I can fight! I can raise my eyebrow, but that’s not what it takes to play Bond. They might want to go in very different directions, who knows? It would be fun though!”

Sam Heughan

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Scottish actor Sean Connery is still arguably the franchise’s most iconic Bond — and it seems that Outlander’s Sam Heughan is keen to bring the role of the martini-slurping 007 back to its roots…

Asked whether she’s consider the role, Heughan said in an interview with STV News: “I think any actor who says they wouldn’t would be lying, and I think it’s time we has a Scottish Bond again.”

Tom Hiddleston


Idris Elba’s Thor co-star Tom Hiddleston was rumoured to be lined up as the next Bond a couple of years ago, particularly after a reported meeting with Bond producer Barbara Broccoli — and it also seemed fate was smiling after Night Manager director Susanne Bier was tipped as the next James Bond director.

However, back in 2016 he told fans that “your guess is as good as mine, to be honest”.

“I’m sorry to disappoint you everybody,” he said at Wizard Comic Con in Philadelphia. “I don’t think that announcement is coming.”

…that hasn’t stopped the odds favouring the star though, so watch this space.

Rupert Friend


Best known for playing CIA hitman Quinn in Homeland and for various film roles including The Death of Stalin and Pride and Prejudice, Rupert Friend was actually asked to screen test for the role of Bond at the age of 22, after Pierce Brosnin left the franchise — but Friend said no.

“I just thought, ‘I’m too young for this. I need to have some life experience. James Bond needs to have lived’,” Friend said in an interview with The Times. “I love Bond films. I don’t want to be the guy who messes it up because he hasn’t got miles on the clock.”

Of course, now that he’s had the requisite life experience, it begs the question: would Friend say yes this time around?

Cillian Murphy


The Peaky Blinders actor is the latest star to be tipped for the role, after his odds of becoming the next Bond were slashed in March 2019.

The acclaimed actor would be the second Irish star to play Bond, following in the footsteps of Pierce Brosnan. Although maybe the rumours have more to do with his return to Peaky Blinders later this year?

Idris Elba

Idris Elba

Luther star Idris Elba has long been tipped to replace Daniel Craig — and the Golden Globes added fuel to the fire when they decided to have a little fun and sit Craig right next to his long-rumoured successor

However, Elba has previously attempted to quash the rumours, stating that he wouldn’t want to take on a role that would “define” him.

“Bond is one of the biggest franchises in the world, and for that reason, whoever ends up playing it, lives it,” he told Event magazine.

“You’re THAT character, and known as that character for many, many years. I’m creating characters now that can still live alongside Idris. Not ones that take over me and solely define me.”

Elba also addressed the reaction to the rumours he could be sipping a martini very soon saying he was “disheartened”.

Speaking to Esquire he said: “When you get people from a generational point of view going, ‘It can’t be.’ And it really turns out to be the color of my skin. And then if I get it and it didn’t work, or it did work, would it be because of the color of my skin? That’s a difficult position to put myself into when I don’t need to.”

Richard Madden

Richard Madden

Ever since Game of Thrones’ Richard Madden broke TV records — and the nation’s hearts —in his Golden Globe-winning Bodyguard role, he’s been widely rumoured to be waiting in the wings for Craig’s Bond role.

The actor has previously responded to rumours he was up for the Bond job, adding that he didn’t want to “curse anything” by going into too much detail about the rumours.

“I’m more than flattered to be mentioned, for people to consider putting me in that role. I’m very flattered and thankful. It’s a really brilliant thing to be in,” he said in an interview in GQ magazine.

“I don’t want to curse anything by saying anything. I think that’s the curse of that. If you talk about anything, you’ll curse it.”

His Bodyguard co-star Keeley Hawes however, who played Home Secretary Julia Montague in the drama, has thrown her support behind Madden.

“I said to Richard while we were shooting, ‘This is like James Bond!’” Hawes said at the Radio Times Covers Party.

“I would love to see Richard playing James Bond; I would love that,” she added. “I think he would be phenomenal.”

Aidan Turner

Aidan Turner

Poldark star Aidan Turner has the requisite brooding stare needed for the role, but he’s previously refused to entertain the possibility of becoming the next 007 — or at least until Daniel Craig steps down…

Asked about the rumours by the i newspaper, Turner said: “There’s someone else playing the role – I always feel weird talking about it. It’s come up a lot in recent times.”

But he added: “When it’s free, I’ll have a look at it. But it’s not free now.”

Gillian Anderson

Gillian Anderson (Getty)
Gillian Anderson (Getty)

‘The name’s Bond. Jane Bond.’

X-Files and Sex Education’s Gillian Anderson was delighted when Twitter started a campaign to cast Anderson as the next Bond.

The James Bond novelist Anthony Horowitz has previously boosted the campaign to cast a woman as 007 by insisting that “anyone” could take the coveted role.

“I could imagine anyone as Bond,” Horowitz said when asked whether he could imagine a woman in the role.