I’ve heard the usual names thrown around: Tom Hardy, Idris Elba, Henry Cavill, and as much as I am a fan of those actors, I feel they are far too famous to take on such a role. No previous Bond was a household name before they became 007. Many of them cut their teeth in television first, like Roger Moore in The Saint and Pierce Brosnan in Remington Steele - others had only supporting roles in films. Daniel Craig had arguably the most experience going into Casino Royale (2006), as the lead in Matthew Vaughn’s fantastic 2004 crime thriller Layer Cake.
With this in mind, we can construct some criteria to help us determine who should be the next Bond. They need to be an experienced actor, capable of both the necessary stunt choreography and some dramatic heavy lifting; but not an especially well-known one. I believe an actor’s celebrity shouldn’t overshadow the character of Bond - at least not initially. And perhaps most importantly, they need to look good in a tuxedo; this is essential.
For a more traditional Bond, I think Game of Thrones (2011) and Bodyguard (2018) star Richard Madden is a great choice. He has the charisma and the dramatic capabilities; however, with his upcoming starring role in Marvel’s Eternals, he may become a little too famous to be the next Bond.
Bridgerton (2020) star Regé-Jean Page has become a strong contender for the role following his breakout success in the aforementioned Netflix series. Despite never watching the show myself, he comes across as very charming in interviews; although looking through his IMDB has me worried that his action chops are a little underdeveloped.
Finally, we come down to my personal choice for the next James Bond, Henry Golding. Rising to prominence after a leading role in Crazy Rich Asians (2018), his more recent filmography has been a bit of a mixed bag. With it looking like his eponymous role in Snake Eyes isn’t going anywhere following disappointing box office returns, stepping into Bond’s tuxedo would be both the right move for Golding’s career and the long-running series, in my opinion.
Before I conclude, I would like to throw one more name into the hat, Riz Ahmed (Venom). An undoubtedly brilliant actor, Ahmed could offer something we’ve never seen from Bond, in a similar vein to what Craig has done with the character.
While I don't think we'll be seeing Bond return to the big screen any time soon, I, like many others, am curious to see what direction the franchise will go in next, and which lucky actor gets to man the helm in a role like no other in cinema.