The full length trailer for Spectre is here, and it’s got everything we’ve come to love about Daniel Craig’s world-weary James Bond: guns, explosions, angst, heavy drinking, unzipping ladies’ dresses and an underlying sexual tension with the cardiganned Q (Ben Whishaw). But Craig’s days in the secret service are numbered: after Spectre, he will only return once more. But who should be the seventh man to wear the tux? Here’s our top five contenders.
5. Richard Armitage
He’s best known for wandering around Middle Earth with a frown, a big beard and Martin Freeman, looking like Father Christmas after he discovered heavy metal, but Richard Armitage has played a spy before. As the double-crossing Lucas North in hit BBC drama Spooks, he was moody, explosive and terrifying, bringing a bit of excitement to Sunday nights before the gloriously shirtless Poldark came along.
Verdict: He’s got the mum vote, but this isn’t Strictly Come Dancing.
4. Henry Cavill
He played the all-American Superman in one of the grimmest superhero movies to date (the storyline, the colour grading, Russell Crowe on a pterosaur…) but the Man of Steel is actually a Brit. He’s got Bond’s clean-cut look, but he’s just a bit bland – and at 31, he’s a bit young, too. He’d look great on a Hollister bag, but can he pull off a sophisticated thriller? After Daniel Craig’s ragged Bond, we might need someone more exciting.
Verdict: Are they making another Magic Mike movie? Send him that way.
3. Tom Hiddleston
He’s famous for playing the villainous God Loki in about twenty Marvel movies, but could he become a Great British hero? His best endorsement for the role is the Jaguar advert he was in – but it is a good advert. Hiddleston himself said he’d “like to bring a certain British charm to the part”, and well he could – but is he just too British? You can’t exactly imagine him blowing up secret agents with a rocket launcher. Queuing politely at Waitrose is more his scene.
Verdict: A great candidate for the first middle class Bond.
2. Tom Hardy
Teenage girls (read: me) fell in love with the bad boy way back when he played Heathcliff in ITV’s 2009 version of Wuthering Heights, but it was his role as the gun-toting Englishman Eames in Inception that really got everyone’s attention. Gambling, drinking, running, shooting, and flirting shamelessly (albeit with Joseph Gordon-Levitt); we’ve seen him do it all. And big roles in The Dark Knight Rises and Mad Max have definitely given him action hero credentials.
Verdict: A safe choice, but a good one.
1. Idris Elba
What can we say about Idris Elba? He’s perfect. For James Bond and in general. As ruthless drug runner Stringer Bell in cult US series The Wire, audiences (perhaps slightly oddly) loved him – and his stint as the shouty, tortured Luther in the Emmy-winning BBC series was fantastic. He’s 6ft 3, he’s got an incredible stage presence – and he looks good in a suit. Some people say they don’t want a ‘black Bond’, because as much as James Bond is a part of British culture, so is gentle racism. But really, isn’t it time?
Verdict: Even Pierce Brosnan and Daniel Craig fancy him as 007. What more do you want?
Orlando Bloom, Dan Stevens, Benedict Cumberbatch, Colin Firth, and, bafflingly, David Walliams, have all been suggested for the role, but whoever it is won’t star in a movie until at least 2019. Shaken, stirred, or terribly camp – it’s anyone’s guess what the next Bond will be like. At least we can rely on this one.