There’s been a lot of talk lately about who will take on the iconic movie mantle of James Bond.
With Daniel Craig completing his run as the titular British spy in 2021 with “No Time to Die,” fans have been clamoring for any news regarding his replacement.
As rumors have continued to circulate into 2023, we’ve put together a list of seven actors we think would be perfect for the role.
The name that is most often uttered when James Bond casting rumors arise is Henry Golding. Having made his mark as a heartthrob in “Crazy Rich Asians” and proven that he has the action chops to match with “Snake Eyes,” Golding is a clear contender for the 007 mantle.
Although the 36-year-old British and Malaysian actor recently shut down rumors that James Bond producer Barbara Broccoli had spoken to him about auditioning for the role, he expressed a desire to still be a part of the Bond universe — if it were up to us, it would be in the lead role.
John Cho is another actor who frequently appears in online fan casts for Bond, including the popular 2016 hashtag #StarringJohnCho, which saw netizens reimagining the actor as the lead in various films. The 50-year-old Korean American actor even expressed interest in the role in response to an image of himself photoshopped in Daniel Craig’s place on the poster for “Spectre.”
When asked which of the roles featured in the fan-made posters interested him the most, Cho responded, “They all seem good to me — maybe the James Bond one? I mean, James Bond is a pretty good gig: you’re dressed in fine suits, driving around in an Aston Martin. Seems like a good one.”
Although Dev Patel said back in 2020 that he isn’t interested in the role, we’re holding out hope that the “Lion” actor will change his mind. The 33-year-old British actor has proven to be an incredibly versatile actor with a variety of acting credits since his breakout role in the 2008 film “Slumdog Millionaire,” including action thrillers “Hotel Mumbai,” “Chappie” and “The Wedding Guest.” Not to mention, the guy is a real-life hero, having broken up a knife fight in Australia last year.
Don’t agree with us? Then you probably haven’t seen A24’s 2021 film “The Green Knight,” starring Patel as Sir Gawain — a mistake you absolutely should correct. According to our most recent Bond, Agent 007 could stand to be more chivalrous. And what’s more chivalrous than a Knight of the Round Table?
Lewis Tan is a certified ass-kicker, with numerous action roles like AMC’s “Into the Badlands,” “Wu Assassins” and “Mortal Kombat” to back up his skills.
The 36-year-old British martial artist has also recently made waves in more dramatic roles, namely Amazon Prime Video’s “About Fate,” which topped the streaming service’s Top 10 Movies list less than a week
after its premiere. Although Tan
played a supporting role in the film, fans flocked to social media to share their excitement about his performance, with some expressing an interest in seeing him take on more romantic projects as a lead. Action star plus romantic lead — starting to get the picture?
From his breakout performance in “Four Lions” to his Emmy-winning turn in “The Night Of,” Riz Ahmed has proven himself to be a very competent actor who can handle complex characters. The 40-year-old Brit also won his first Oscar for the short film “The Long Goodbye,” which he co-wrote and starred in.
With his smoldering good looks and charisma, he could definitely pull off a suave spy role — there’s even an online petition for him to be cast as the next 007.
Harry Shum Jr.
Best known for his roles in “Crazy Rich Asians,” “Glee,” “
Shadowhunters” and his appearances in the “Step Up” franchise, Harry Shum Jr., 41, is a talented actor with undeniable charisma. We believe his dashing good looks, sophisticated air and worldly background could definitely give James Bond a run for his money. The Costa Rican-born American actor’s ability to blend action and romance could be just what the Bond franchise needs.
Best known for his role as Wong in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Benedict Wong, 51, is a versatile actor with a commanding presence. The Brit’s effortless charm and ability to balance humor and gravitas could add a layer of complexity and nuance to Bond that we haven’t seen before. Aside from his take as the Sorcerer Supreme, he also had memorable performances in Ridley Scott’s “The Martian” (2015) and Danny Boyle’s “Sunshine” (2007).
In addition to his acting chops, Wong is also a skilled martial artist, which could come in handy in the high-stakes action sequences that are a hallmark of the James Bond franchise.
Special mention: Gemma Chan
Why not a female version of 007? Gemma Chan is the definition of beauty and elegance, as proven by her role as Astrid in Jon M. Chu
‘s 2018 film “Crazy Rich Asians
.” The 41-year-old British actor has also proven to be quite the badass in her own right in films like Marvel’s “Eternals” and “Captain Marvel,” as well as “Transformers: The Last Knight.”
We’d like to see Chan
, the special mention of our list, expand her action chops by dropping the superpowers in favor of 007’s signature Walther handgun. We’ve seen that she is capable of espionage in Amazon’s “Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit,” so there’s really no excuse to exclude her from the conversation when she checks all the essential boxes of what makes the iconic British spy so captivating.