After his successful portrayal of Jonathan Pine in BBC One's critically acclaimed adaptation of the John le Carré novel, The Night Manager; Tom Hiddleston has become the latest in a long line of actors to be suggested as a potential choice for replacing Daniel Craig in the coveted role of James Bond, 007.
Hiddleston himself has fuelled the speculation in an interview with the Sunday Times after he said that he was a huge fan of the Bond films. He went on to say that if he was given the chance to take over as 007 he “would not take on the role lightly" and that it would be an "extraordinary opportunity if it ever came knocking". And it seems that the fans and bookmakers are pleased with his nomination too, as he currently has the odds of 10/1 to be given the role. This puts him in sixth place behind actors such as Tom Hardy, Idris Elba, Damian Lewis, Aidan Turner and Henry Cavill.
In fact, as Daniel Craig gets ready to hang up his 007 crown, there's a list of around 100 actors being suggested for the role, including Angelina Jolie! Could we have the first female 007 on our hands? Unlikely - not because a woman couldn't do everything James Bond does, because Jolie herself already proved that such a movie would work and that she could carry it off in Salt - but because James Bond is a man's name, and to create a "Jamie Bond" just sounds like parody to me.
Hiddleston would be an interesting choice for Bond. He certainly seems more of a Le Carré / thinking man's spy, than the blunt instrument of Fleming's novels, so ably portrayed by Daniel Craig, but his role as Loki in Marvel's Avengers movies proves he is no stranger to blowing stuff up. All of which also makes me think Hiddleston would make a fantastic Bond Villain if the title role doesn't pan out for him. Unlike Waltz's Blofeld with his Daddy issues, you could really believe Hiddleston could out-think James Bond, be one step ahead of him all the way, and get away clean at the end, even after Bond somehow foiled his plan.
My personal preference for the next James Bond is Henry Cavill. When Martin Campbell was casting for Casino Royale in 2005, Cavill came very close to landing the role, but at just 22 he was, at the time a little too young. If they hadn't been making Casino Royale, but rather the kind of origin story that would have put Bond back in the Navy, being recruited and trained by MI6 - an idea tossed around after Roger Moore retired - that could have been an awesome movie too. I think rebooting Bond again so soon might be a mistake, but whether they choose to continue or to reboot, Cavill, now in his 30s, is even more devastatingly handsome than Pierce Brosnan in Goldeneye, and I think he would make a fine James Bond if his current role as Superman doesn't take him out of the running.
According to one Euro Palace casino blog post, which looks at the highest grossing Bond films, each successive Bond film continues to attract larger and larger audiences. The most recent release in the Bond series, Spectre, earned more than £41 million in its first week alone. Should Tom Hiddleston or Henry Cavill be appointed as the new Bond, there's no doubt that their loyal fan base from the Marvel/DC films will be eager to follow their hero. Therefore, it's highly likely that if either of them is appointed the successor to Daniel Craig, he may be part of the highest grossing Bond film of all time.
Whether Craig returns or Eon has to recast the role for Bond 25, there are two things we can be sure of: 1) James Bond will return and 2) We can trust Eon to find him. When they cast Daniel Craig, everybody hated the idea, but he turned out to be a great James Bond. Eon knows James Bond, and they will find the right man for the job. I just hope that they also find some new writers. James Bond rampaging around the world on his own vendettas and unsanctioned missions (as Craig has done in all four of his films) is getting old. Here's an idea, why not have him called into M's office to be given an actual mission for Her Majesty's government?
1973 Parade Magazine - The New James Bond