Who will be the next James Bond?

As Daniel Craig prepares to make his final bow as James Bond, who does the smart money think will step into his shoes? Here are our 10 hot tips …

Currently the bookies’ favourite, London-born Hardy is an award-winning actor with an Oscar nomination under his belt and a rollcall of former employers which includes Christopher Nolan. Intense and physical, he has played everyone from Heathcliff in Wuthering Heights to Mad Max, Bill Sykes and Marvel superhero Venom. James Bond shouldn’t be much of a stretch, but is it a role the 44-year-old would find fulfilling? He’d certainly make one of the darkest Bonds ever, so he’d be perfect if the producers want to move into gloomy, angst-ridden Batman Begins territory. Odds: 5/2

James Norton

The 36-year-old star of TV hits Grantchester and McMafia has been tipped as a future Bond for years so it’s no surprise to find him on the list. Like Hardy, he’s an accomplished actor: he has a BAFTA nomination to his name (for his performance as psychopathic Tommy Lee Royce in Happy Valley), regularly appears on the London stage, and has worked with directors such as Greta Gerwig, Mike Leigh and Agnieszka Holland. Oh, and he was privately educated at Ampleforth College, dubbed ‘the Catholic Eton’, and is the only James on the list, which can’t harm his chances. Odds: 3/1

Regé-Jean Page

A relative unknown (though well-known enough to be on the cover of this month’s GQ magazine) the London-born actor made his breakthrough playing Chicken George in the remake of Roots and can currently be seen as the Duke of Hastings in sassy Netflix costume drama Bridgerton (pictured below). Joint second favourite with James Norton, at 31 he’s one of the youngest actor on the list. If the Bond producers are looking for diversity and longevity, he’s their man. Odds: 3/1

HeraldScotland:

Henry Cavill

The 38-year-old actor has already played Superman and Sherlock Holmes (in Netflix drama Enola Holmes, now to be given a sequel) so why not James Bond? The bookies have him as an outsider, however, and he has already been announced as one of the leads in the upcoming Highlander reboot. Odds: 8/1

Lashana Lynch

Will the next Bond come from the distaff side? If she does then 33-year-old, London-born Lashana Lynch could be given the nod. For a start, she already is 007: in No Time To Die she plays Nomi, the agent who has inherited Bond’s famous number. Her lack of recognisability and established star appeal could tell against her though as the Bond producers seek to future-proof the franchise. Odds: 10/1

Idris Elba

Like Norton, Elba has long been tipped for the job of Bond though the odds have lengthened as the years have gone by. Now 49, Elba has an impeccable CV – from Stringer Bell in ground-breaking US TV series The Wire to a host of Marvel superhero films – and a magnetic screen presence. He’s also a pretty decent kickboxer, having competed professionally in 2017. A popular choice and a potentially money-spinning one: to date, his films have grossed over £7 billion. Odds: 8/1

Tom Hiddleston

Like Bond, Hiddleston was educated at Eton, so if the producers are looking to go posh then the 40-year-old is ahead of even James Norton. But is he too serious an actor? A Tony nominee and a winner of both an Olivier Award (for a production of Shakespeare’s Cymbeline) and a Golden Globe (for The Night Manager), Hiddleston doesn’t seem like the action movie type. Sure, there’s his role as Thor in umpteen Avengers films, but he has a magic mallet.

Sam Heughan

Born in Dumfries and Galloway but famous for playing a character from the other end of the country – dashing Highlander Jamie Fraser in historical fantasy smash Outlander – Heughan (pictured below, in SAS: Red Notice) would be a popular choice, at least in Scotland. But based on the assumption that there will be no leaks, perhaps the 41-year-old’s teasing social media ‘hints’ are just him being mischievous. Odds: 12/1

HeraldScotland:

Suranne Jones

A relatively new name for Bond watchers to conjure with, Jones recently starred in BBC drama Vigil and has previously laid down head-turning performances in Sally Wainwright’s Gentleman Jack and Lennie James’s brilliant crime drama Save Me. She was a Coronation Street regular for four years and later starred in the award-winning Doctor Foster. The 43-year-old seems an unlikely choice, but the bookies have her on the list for a reason. Odds: 9/1

Jack Lowden

The only other Scot on the list, 31-year-old Lowden is an outsider despite strong performances in high-profile films such as Christopher Nolan’s Dunkirk. Like Regé-Jean Page he has youth on his side – but would audiences accept as James Bond an actor who has also played Smiths lead singer Morrissey? Odds: 16/1

The Herald Scotland

The Herald Scotland

The Herald is a Scottish broadsheet newspaper founded in 1783. The Herald is the longest running national newspaper in the world and is the eighth oldest daily paper in the world. The title was simplified from The Glasgow Herald in 1992