Next James Bond: Race to succeed Daniel Craig down to final two as bookmakers slash odds - 'Ticks all the right boxes'

Next James Bond announcement 2023

The successor to Daniel Craig as James Bond is set to be announced in the next few months

Eon Films
Richard Jeffries

By Richard Jeffries

Published: 08/04/2023

- 15:37

Updated: 09/04/2023

- 10:42

New 007 set to be announced within months as 26th Bond movie finally enters development stage

The race to be the next James Bond is now down to just two names, according to bookmakers.

The next film in the franchise - codenamed Bond 26 - is entering development at EON Productions with speculation mounting producers are planning to make a decision on Daniel Craig's successor soon.

And with Idris Elba, 50, ruling himself out of playing the iconic role for being "too old", the field appears to have cleared for an epic battle between two younger British actors.

Superman star Henry Cavill, 39, is now joint 5-2 favourite to get the nod alongside fellow superhero Aaron Taylor-Johnson, 32, who played Pietro Maximoff, aka Quicksilver, in Marvel's Avengers: Age of Ultron.

It seems the next Bond will be one of the two, with bookies now lengthening their odds on Happy Valley star James Norton, 37, and Peaky Blinders favourite Tom Hardy, 45, both of whom had been previously tipped to play the legendary spy.

Coral's John Hill said: “Henry Cavill and Aaron Taylor-Johnson continue to be heavily linked to being the next James Bond.

“The two men tick all the right boxes for the role, so it is no surprise they are both attracting strong support in our betting.”

Craig decided to quit as Bond in 2019 after five Bond successful movies, culminating in No Time to Die, which was released two years later after a delay because of the Covid pandemic.

Barbara Broccoli and Michael G Wilson, the executives behind the Bond films, have revealed they want the seventh actor to play 007 to be in his 30s, because committing to the exhausting role can mean taking a decade or more away from other work.

Wilson also ruled out anyone younger, such as Spiderman star Tom Holland, because of Bond's complex character and extensive life experience.

He said: "We’ve tried looking at younger people in the past. But trying to visualise it doesn’t work. Remember, Bond’s already a veteran. He’s had some experience.

"He’s a person who has been through the wars, so to speak. He’s probably been in the SAS or something. He isn’t some kid out of high school that you can bring in and start off.

"That’s why it works for a thirty-something.”

Aaron Taylor-Johnson James Bond

Marvel Star Aaron Taylor-Johnson is on the brink of landing the role as 007


Broccoli added that Bond is a constantly evolving character, so the right lead man will inevitably change over time.

She added: "It will have to be reimagined, in the way each actor has reimagined the role.

"That’s what is so exciting and fun about this franchise; the character evolves. Eventually, we’ll find the right person."

Industry insider Matthew Belloni, who wrote for The Puck, appeared to confirm the bookmakers' latest view.

He said recently: "The Aaron Taylor-Johnson rumours are true — he sat with producer Barbara Broccoli, and the meeting went well, per sources.

"But while Taylor-Johnson fits the bill — great actor, British, fits the younger direction the Broccolis want to go, accomplished but not particularly famous — he’s about to be a much bigger star."

Henry Cavill announcement next James Bond

Henry Cavill is joint favourite to be named the next James Bond


Taylor-Johnson played the superhero Dave Lizewski in the Kick-Ass films and had a role in The King’s Man - a spin-off of spy franchise The Kingsman.

He will shortly be seen in Kraven the Hunter, another superhero epic.

Cavill is due to appear in a spy franchise of his own - Argylle - which is expected to debut on Apple TV+ later this year.

The secret project is directed by Layer Cake director Matthew Vaughn and is set to co-star Sam Rockwell, Bryce Dallas Howard, Samuel L Jackson and Dua Lipa.

It is thought to be the first in a trilogy.

Bridgerton star Rege-Jean Page is 8-1 to be next James Bond while Billy Elliot star Jamie Bell is a 40-1 outsider.

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