Speculation about who might take on the iconic role of James Bond has been rife since Daniel Craig’s last outing as the complicated British secret agent in No Time to Die, with more and more names being seemingly linked with each passing month. But a star-studded ensemble in the Centre Court crowd at the weekend has added more fuel to the fire, and could just hint at the direction the Bond franchise could be taking.
As the Wimbledon 2023 Men’s Singles final was coming to a dramatic close in South London, the crowd couldn’t believe what they were witnessing between the two best players in the game. No more true than for actor Daniel Craig, spotted alongside his wife Rachel Weisz, who was cheering on as Carlos Alcaraz usurped Novak Djokovic’s Wimbledon throne in SW19.
Next to the starry couple sat one of the reported candidates for the Bond role, James Norton, who has been a frequent visitor to Wimbledon over the last few years. Norton attended with his partner Imogen Poots, and the pair enjoyed an afternoon speaking with Craig and Weisz as Wimbledon concluded for another year.
Although Norton has previously distanced himself recently from rumours that he’s in the running to play one of cinema’s most revered characters, fans have been turning the rumour mill into overdrive, excited by the prospect of Norton’s portrayal of Bond.
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Also rumoured to be in the conversation for 007 is Aaron Taylor-Johnson – who is a 6/4 favourite to get behind the wheel of Bond’s Aston Martin after he reportedly did a screen test in London. Henry Cavill sits at 5/2 to replace Craig, with James Norton, Rege-Jean Page and Tom Hardy rounding out the reported shortlist.
Idris Elba, who was a rumoured frontrunner to take on the role of Bond following his celebrated portrayal of Detective Chief Inspector John Luther, was also in attendance at Centre Court. Elba has since said he’s no longer interested following the disgusting racist backlash he endured as the rumour mill started to turn.
Whatever direction the Bond series takes after Craig ended his 15-year relationship with Britain’s most legal spy, it’s clear that there will be an apparent shift away from the dark, grittier depiction that Craig did so well; instead opting for a younger profile to play the role, seemingly with a view to the future.