Earlier this year the rumour mill kicked into gear about who’d be playing the next James Bond.
With Daniel Craig seemingly out of the picture producer Barbara Broccoli has been on the most intense Hollywood recruitment drive since, well, the last time she was looking for a new 007.
According to The Sun (pinch of salt at the ready), a new ‘official’ shortlist has emerged made up of a lot of names you’ve heard before in connection with the part.
“To get anyone to take over from Daniel will be a tough job,” a source is quoted as saying. “MGM are confident that they are in a pretty strong place with a raft of talent available.”
Here’s a quick rundown of these eight 007 hopefuls.
A long-time candidate, Elba probably has the biggest box office clout of the group but at 43 could he be too old for the gig? In case you were wondering, he’s a big fan of Sean Connery’s 007 portrayal, as he revealed to loaded in the video above.
Fassbender channeled classic 60s Bond playing Magneto in X-Men: First Class, but with an Oscar nomination under his belt and an already-firing career does her really need 007?
The star of Fast & Furious 6, High-Rise and The Hobbit, Evans is a good actor who’s still in search of a role to send him rocketing to the A-list. Bond would make his the first Welsh 007 since Timothy Dalton.
Another Hobbit cast member, Turner is probably more recognisable as BBC’s Poldark. He’s a bit like this group’s Pierce Brosnan, a safe-pair-of-hands TV star that looks the part but may not reinvent the role.
Like Elba, Hiddleston has been linked to this role for what seems like forever. Turns in The Night Manager and High-Rise have put him in people’s minds for the next James Bond, but has he shot himself in the foot with all that Taylor Swift tabloid frolicking?
At 30, Bell is the youngest name among the Bond contenders. A star since his role in Billy Elliot, he once worked with Daniel Craig on the World War II film Defiance.
Happy Valley and War & Peace actor Norton hasn’t done much in terms of movie work, but that’s changing thanks to a part in the remake of Flatliners. He could be the dark horse of the eight 007 hopefuls.
The star of Sons of Anarchy and the upcoming King Arthur film from Guy Ritchie, Hunnam’s star has been on the rise for a while. He famously bailed on the lead role in Fifty Shades of Grey – probably for the best.
As well as the above names mentioned, there’s also whispers about The Game star Tom Hughes being in the running.
For more star power, there’s also the option of Marvel actor Chris Hemsworth. He’s not been named in any post-Craig rumours, but his Thor stunt double (and a stand-in for Craig, too) Bobby Holland Hanton has backed him for the part.
“Chris is in a league of his own,” Hanton said. “The buzz and in my opinion is that it’s Chris Hemsworth for Bond. He would be perfect. I am not being biased in anyway.”
When will this all be over? The sooner the better… if only to put half of Britain’s male stars out of their misery.