The mystery over who might play the next James Bond after Daniel Craig has evolved into something of a real-life spy thriller. Now that Craig is confirmed for the next Bond film, there has been plenty of speculation about who will take over once he finally retires from playing 007. Rumors are flying again, with names like Game of Thrones star Richard Madden, Avengers star Tom Hiddleston, Hobbs & Shaw villain Idris Elba, and Venom star Tom Hardy as the frontrunners.
Many thought that Craig was done after Spectre—his own words did the job on that one when he said he was exhausted from donning the famous tuxedo—but with the date set and the 25th installment of the franchise coming in 2020, Craig is officially back.
But what happens after that installment? With the film being the 25th Bond movie and Craig’s fifth turn as the iconic character (Casino Royale, Quantum of Solace, Skyfall, Spectre), it would be the perfect sendoff. So who takes over 007 afterwards? The question could be answered once No Time to Die comes out in 2020 and hits theaters.
Early rumors had Sony reportedly offering Craig an astonishing $150 million to not only reprise 007 for the fifth movie in Craig’s contract, but also add a sixth movie to the slate, a Sony source told RadarOnline. To put that number in context: Even if Craig signed a deal for half the money and only one movie, he’d make $75 million—more than Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, the highest-paid actor in the world, made in an entire year. (Cash: the ultimate workout recovery tool!)
Of course, no amount of cash can stop the speculation. “The greatest thing about this entertainment industry is that whether there’s a movie out or not, people can find some entertainment from it,” Cavill remarked about the ongoing Bond rumor mill.
Here’s a not-too-scientific look at who the bookies are favoring—and who Hollywood might have in the wings just in case Craig finally decides he’s hanging up the bowtie for good.
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