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4 Actors Who Could Be the Next James Bond (and 1 Who Couldn’t)

Duh-duh, duh-duh, duh-duh, duh-duh, do-do-do-do-do-do-do-do, do-do-do-do-do-do-do-do, do-do-do-do-do-do-do-do, do-do-do-do-do-do-do-do, do-do-do-do-do-do-do-do, do-do-do-do-do-do-do-do, DUN-NAH DAH-DAH-DAH!

Like the unmistakable aroma of a Subway sandwich shop, Henry Mancini’s James Bond theme is instantly recognizable and evokes both an emotional and physical response in most people. Unlike the Subway smell, the emotional response isn’t despair and the physical response isn’t an involuntary clenching of the anus.

After the last couple Pierce Brosnan flicks saw the Bond franchise fall from glory, Daniel Craig returned the superspy – and his associated theme song – to the upper echelons of cool with a trio of subdued yet stellar performances.

But this year’s Spectre could be Craig’s last turn as JB, and producers are already rumored to be searching for a new star who can maintain the franchise’s recent success.

Rumors are running rampant about Craig’s potential replacement and, given the nature of our little website here, I’ma put some numbers on it!

Let’s take a look at the four favorites and one supreme longshot.

Odds to replace Daniel Craig as James Bond:

Idris Elba: 2/1

Known to American audiences as Stringer Bell from The Wire, Elba is actually British. He’s also cool as ****. Those are the two most important traits a James Bond hopeful could possess. The elephant in the room is race. In case you hadn’t noticed, Elba is black. Ian Fleming’s James Bond was not. But neither was Heimdall in Norse mythology (or the Marvel comics universe, for that matter) and Elba was perfect in that role. It’s high-time the Bond movies became a little more diverse and, hopefully, his skin color won’t work against him.

Damien Lewis: 5/2

Since he’s best known for portraying American war heroes (Major Richard Winters in Band of Brothers and Nicholas Brody in Homeland), Lewis is another actor that most on this side of the Atlantic are surprised to learn is actually British. He doesn’t quite rival Elba in coolness but, as the first ginger Bond, he’d also be breaking a (much less imposing) diversity barrier!

Michael Fassbender: 5/1

Remember this scene from Inglorious Basterds? Looking back, it feels like a dry run for Fassbender as Bond, and he friggin’ kills it. He’s not actually British (he was born in Germany and raised in Ireland), but that’s close enough for present purposes. (I’ll set up a special PO Box for Irish hate-mail momentarily.) The knock on Fassbender is that he’s essentially a mix of Craig and Brosnan, and wouldn’t bring anything too new or exciting to the role, unlike the frontrunners.

Tom Hardy: 5/1

Hardy has proved to have a lot of range as an actor, going from Bane to Mad Max to Eames (from Inception). Like Christian Bale (who was jacked as Batman and emaciated in The Machinist), Hardy has also been able to change his physical stature to suit his roles, meaning he could either continue the trend of Craig’s ultra-cut Bond or return to the slender Bond of old.

John Oliver: 500/1

Bond has always had a reserved wit. Zeitgeisty comedian John Oliver could sorta, kinda, maybe nail that part of the role? He also has the accent and the height to play Bond. But, unless producers want to take the next movie in a completely different direction – like, a Mel Brooks-meets-Randy Newman direction – Oliver sadly won’t be getting the call. He could up his chances with a couple Carlos Danger short films, though!

(Photo credit: Themeplus (flickr) [https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/legalcode].)

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Sascha has been a Number Cruncher, Editor, and Lead Oddsmaker for SBD for over four years, specializing in football, baseball, hockey, and basketball. He has been featured on USA Today's Draft Wire, Fansided, Chicago Tribune, Newsweek, and numerous additional local and national publications.