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Who might *actually* be the new James Bond?

james bond 007 gun barrel
Who might *actually* be the new Bond?Sony Pictures

Daniel Craig handed in his licence to kill back in late 2021 when No Time to Die was finally released, but we're still no closer to finding out who will be replacing him as James Bond.

Speculation has increased in recent weeks that the new 007 will be Aaron Taylor-Johnson, somebody who has been regularly linked to the role. Nothing has been officially confirmed and a production insider said there was "no truth in the rumours".

Of course, that hasn't stopped people talking about whether he would be a good Bond – or who else would be – and the inevitable names have come up.

Idris Elba remains a favourite for fans, 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 anyone who has starred in a TV show where they looked good in a suit (hi Richard Madden, Regé-Jean Page and Riz Ahmed!).

But who could really be the next James Bond?

aaron taylor johnson
Aldara Zarraoa - Getty Images

There are lots of candidates and we're (probably) 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. It's unlikely that the 26th movie will come out this year, and even next year would be a stretch.

If we say it'll be released in 2026, then the filmmakers would probably be looking at someone currently in their mid 30s.

So where does that leave our favourites?

james bond 007 gun barrel
Sony Pictures

At 51, Elba is already five years older than Moore was so he'll be way above the average and an unlikely pick even if he wanted to be considered. Hiddleston (43), Hardy (46) and Luke Evans (44) are also getting a bit long in the tooth. (Sorry guys.)

40-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 (37), James Norton (38) and Henry Golding (37) are right in that sweet spot.

Aaron Taylor-Johnson, meanwhile, is 33, so he wouldn't be the youngest to make his debut as Bond. He could be 35/36 when the new movie comes out, which makes him a good fit, purely based on history.

kyoto, japan august 23 aaron taylor johnson attends the bullet train stage greeting at toho cinemas kyoto on august 23, 2022 in kyoto, japan photo by jun satowireimage
Jun Sato - Getty Images

Other younger actors such as Nicholas Hoult (34), Jack Lowden (33) and, er, Harry Styles (30) 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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