Daniel Craig’s future as James Bond has been uncertain for a while now, but his recent quotes make it clear that he intends the upcoming (and still untitled) 25th film to be his last.

“I think I’ve done enough,” he told Entertainment Tonight. “People are going to get sick of the sight of me and someone else should have a go.”

Inevitably, the next question to ask is, ‘Who will replace him?’ Believe us, it’s been asked a lot already.

Idris Elba remains a favourite despite saying time and time again that he isn’t interested in playing 007. Other names that get thrown around are Tom Hiddleston, Tom Hardy, and whoever starred in the latest vaguely Bond-adjacent TV show (hi Richard Madden and Riz Ahmed!).

Tom Hiddleston, BAFTAS

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Related: Should we be worried about James Bond 25?

There are lots of candidates and we’re still a long way off finding out the final choice. But, looking at the Bonds who have come before, we can safely rule out some actors who have been considered the top choice for becoming the next 007.

Let’s look at the data. George Lazenby was the youngest actor to play Bond, having turned 30 the year that On Her Majesty’s Secret Service came out in 1969 (with Sean Connery following at the age of 32). The oldest was Roger Moore, at 46 a full four years ahead of the second oldest, 42-year-old Pierce Brosnan.

The average age of an actor making his Bond debut is 38. Assuming the 26th movie comes out in 2024 (which is likely its earliest year of release), five years down the line the filmmakers will probably be looking at someone currently in their early-to-mid 30s.

Sean Connery, Roger Moore, George Lazenby, Timothy Dalton, Pierce Brosnan, James Bond, Actor quit


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So where does that leave our favourites?

At 46, Elba is already the same age as Moore and would be 51 by the time the movie is out, so he’ll be way above the average and an unlikely pick even if he wanted to be considered. Hiddleston (38), Hardy (41) and Luke Evans (40) are also getting a bit long in the tooth (sorry guys).

35 year olds Aidan Turner and Henry Cavill – who just lost out on the role to Craig for Casino Royale – are near the upper limit, while Richard Madden (32), James Norton (33) and Henry Golding (32) are right in that sweet spot.

Henry Golding, 91st Annual Academy Awards

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If they want to go with someone a bit younger, Nicholas Hoult (29), Jack Lowden (28) and, er, Harry Styles (25) are all names we’ve heard knocking around.

Interestingly, Cavill was 23 when he originally lost out on the role as the producers decided that they wanted an older Bond. They chose Craig instead. How old was he? 38 – the optimum age!

Of course, this is all speculation and extrapolation. There’s nothing to stop them going with a geriatric Bond or a teen 007 – although we can’t see the die-hard fans welcoming that last one.


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