Debate over who could - or should - be the next actor to portray James Bond on the big screen has raged ever since Daniel Craig made it clear 2021’s No Time To Die would be his last.
Would Bond yet again be portrayed by a white male? Is it time to introduce some diversity to the part? Could James Bond even be female? All questions that film fans have seemingly been debating for years,
Now, a new name has entered the race, with bookies pinning them as the odds on favourite to take over the role. But who are they, and how likely is it they’ll be ordering a drink “shaken, not stirred” on the big screen?
Here is everything you need to know.
Who could be play James Bond next?
To this point, James Bond has only even been played by one Scot, the late Sean Connery. His performances across seven Bond movies between 1962 and 1983 amount to - in the eyes of many fans - the best portrayal of the character ever committed to film.
In fact, there is a suggestion that author Ian Fleming decided to write a new back-story that his super-spy was half-Scottish precisely because of Sean Connery’s success in the film role. Despite that, to date Connery remains the only Scot to play the part.
However, it now appears Leith-based actor Jack Lowden is in the running for the role, alongside Gerard Butler, Richard Madden, Sam Heughan and many, many others.
One bookmaker reckoned that Lowden could be a “good fit for 007 thanks to his Scottish connection, which could see him pick up where Sean Connery left off”.
With Bond producers claiming they are looking for ‘something different’ for the next Bond, could it be another Edinburgh actor who lands the part of the iconic superspy.
Lowden certainly has some Bond-like credentials having portrayed FBI agent Crawford in the Al Capone biopic Capone in 2020 - in that film he starred alongside fellow Bond contender, Tom Hardy, who is currently priced at 5-1.
A William Hill spokesperson, said: “Although he may be lesser-known than some of the other names in the market, Jack Lowden is a good fit for 007 thanks to his Scottish connection.
“And with producers confirming that they’re heading in a slightly different direction for the next casting, actors that see market shifts like Lowden could be a sign of where things are going.”
Who else is in the running?
Lowden sits between Henry Golding and previous favourite Lydia West (33-1) in the odds to become the next 007 with Madden and Heughan currently 8-1 and 16-1 respectively.
Others in the running are Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson (25-1) and T’Nia Miller (25-1). The current frontrunner, however, is heart throb Rege-Jean Page (9-4), followed by Idris Elba (9-2) and long-time favourite Man of Steel, Henry Cavill (5-1).
Page recently starred in Netflix’s popular hit period drama Bridgerton, which saw the British actor shoot to fame thanks to his performance as the Duke of Hastings.
However, the actor recently revealed that he will not be returning to the show for season 2, which sparked rumours that he could be the next 007.
Page is currently odds on favourite to take over from Daniel Craig; Betfair have given odds of 6/5 for Page to take the lead role in the British spy franchise.
However, according to the betting service, members of the public became so convinced the actor would take over the role that they halted taking on bets.
The Bridgerton star has said he’s “flattered” to be tipped as the next James Bond.
Speaking to the Mirror, he said: “Ah, the B word. I think that if you are British and you do anything of note, that other people take notice of, then people will start talking about that.”
The 31-year-old actor added: “I think that’s fairly normal and I’m flattered to be in the category of Brits that people have noticed. Nothing more – or less – than that.”
“I think the concept of having plans at this moment in history is mildly hilarious. So I’ve given up on making them.”