(Credit: Gage Skidmore)

Tom Hardy ‘cast as the new James Bond, replacing Daniel Craig’

With the excitement growing for the 25th instalment of the 50-year franchise that is James Bond, the rumour mill is churning out yet more speculation around the impending replacement of current lead actor Daniel Craig.

Craig, whose final appearance in the suit of James Bond will arrive in the forthcoming new film No Time To Die, is stepping down after his fifth and final outing as the uncompromising MI6 agent. The debate about the next James Bond has been speculated for months, many well-known names playing devil’s advocate in a bid to break up the routine with different suggestions for the role. Now, however, it has been alleged that producers have found their actor.

According to multiple reports, Mad Max and Venom actor Tom Hardy has agreed on a deal with producer Barbara Broccoli to step up to the plate and carry on the now-iconic film franchise. It is speculated that the final contracts were signed and Hardy was due to be announced as new Bond in November. However, due to the current health crisis and the impact it has had on the release date of No Time To Die, the news is likely to be pushed back to early 2021.

The 43-year-old actor, who has enjoyed a meteoric rise to Hollywood stardom, has been the bookmakers favourite for a number of months and now it appears he has edged out competition from the likes of Idris Elba, Tom Hiddleston, Sam Heughan, Richard Madden and many more.

If Hardy is indeed due to take up the role after Craig, he will become the eighth actor to portray 007 in its long history, joining an illustrious list of names such as Sean Connery, David Niven, Roger Moore, Timothy Dalton, Pierce Brosnan and, of course, Daniel Craig.

The debate around the next James Bond has been rumbling on for years, ever since Daniel Craig suggested that he was ready allow his contract to wind down and look in search for new opportunities. Since then, discussions around the new direction has rumbled on.

Cillian Murphy, Tom Hardy’s Peaky Blinders castmate, was also suggested for the position but, in a bid to ruffle some feathers, he instead considered the theory that perhaps the next step for the film series was to have a female take on the lead role as Her Majesty’s most dangerous weapon.

While the idea certainly sparked a mass debate, Barbara Broccoli, who owns the rights ot the films along with her half-brother Michael G. Wilson, confirmed that Bond, “can be of any colour, but he is male.”

The duo inherited the cinematic rights to the iconic series from her father and legendary producer Albert “Cubby” Broccoli. He presided over the start of the longest-running franchise in cinematic history and now his family seem intent to keep alive his original vision. “For better or worse, we are the custodians of this character,” she said.

Broccoli and Wilson have complete creative control over the films and act as executive producers ensuring that this character is unlikely to be gender fluid for the time being. Broccoli was quick to round out her point, “I believe we should be creating new characters for women — strong female characters. I’m not particularly interested in taking a male character and having a woman play it. I think women are far more interesting than that.”

Wilson added, that they will be broadening their casting call, “You think of [Bond] as being from Britain or the Commonwealth, but Britain is a very diverse place.”

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