Naomi Harris says Tom Hardy is too established for James Bond
The candidate list for Bond 26 includes several household names and some lesser-known actors, as speculation continues to grow. So far, Tom Hardy, Henry Cavill, and Regé-Jean Page, are top names in the running, along with Tom Hopper, Aidan Turner and Richard Madden.
Idris Elba also has great odds and is a top fan pick but is rapidly ageing out of the race as he turns 50 in the next few months.
Despite the bookies naming their top picks for 007, James Bond producer Barbara Broccoli has recently stated that there will be a “reinvention of Bond” and proclaimed: “Nobody’s in the running.”
The ongoing Bond odds from Ladbrokes however, have seen two stars emerge as strong contenders for the role – Witcher star Henry Cavill and Venom lead Tom Hardy.
The two actors both have different abilities and strengths they could bring to a spy role, and both have expressed varying levels of interest in playing Bond.
So how do these two Hollywood mega stars measure up against each other? Who would look better in a tux? We’ve tallied up each actor’s credentials to see who might be the better Bond.
Tom Hardy, Henry Cavill, and Regé-Jean Page, are top names in the running
Height: 6′ 1″
Known for: Man of Steel, Justice League, The Witcher
Latest odds: 9/2
British actor Henry Cavill has been a top pick for the role and confessed it would be extremely ‘exciting’ to be cast as the next James Bond.
The 39-year-old Superman and Witcher actor has long been linked with playing 007 and last year told the Hollywood Reporter: “I think it would be very exciting to have a conversation with the producers. In an ideal world, I’d never have to turn anything down. Nothing is off the table. It’s an honour to even be part of that conversation”
Cavill also sent fans into overdrive on social media when he shared his latest ad for No 1 Botanicals.
In the advert, Cavill is seen leaving a tailor on Savile Row where parked outside is a silver Aston Martin, the car of choice for 007, and as he looks longingly at the sports car, Cavill says: “Of course, life will always have its sweet temptations, some more tempting than others.”
The 39-year-old Superman and Witcher actor has long been linked with playing 007
At the time, Ladbrokes’ Alex Apati said: “A not-so-subtle reference to 007 in his latest video has led to a flurry of bets on Henry Cavill replacing Daniel Craig. He’d be a perfect fit for the role and with Bond chiefs always on the lookout, it seems like the long-time frontrunner may well be the best man for the job.”
Empire Magazine’s Olly Gibbs also joked on Twitter: “Henry Cavill’s not so subtle Bond reference in his latest video…”
It’s not the first time Cavil has expressed an interest in Bond. Back in 2005, a 22-year-old Cavill reportedly made it to the final two in the 007 audition process. He claims he was ‘fat-shamed’ by director Martin Campbell – who favoured him for the role – during the Bond audition process.
No one could doubt his impressive physicality now though after he became ripped for Justice League and it could be one of his main strengths in the audition process. This is a man who is obviously going to look rather sensational in a suit and battling with villains.
Cavill certainly looks the part as well, with dashing good looks and a charming personality to boot, it’s easy to see how he could slip right into the role of 007. He has an almost timeless elegance and class and could pull off the suave swagger the role requires.
The original 007 character was created back in 1953 by Ian Fleming and was described as resembling Hoagy Carmichael – an American singer with rather striking features. While this is quite a specific look, the one thing all Bond actors have had in common in previous iterations is that they are handsome and look good in a suit.
James Bond’s appearance was said to be inspired by Hoagy Carmichael
Let’s not forget that Cavill has some experience with spy roles already. He is starring in the upcoming film Argylle, a new spy thriller from Kingsman director Matthew Vaughn.
On the casting of Cavill, Argylle director Matthew Vaughn said: “I needed someone who was born to play Bond – which Henry is – and then nick him before Bond did.”
Cavill also played a spy in 2015’s The Man From U.N.C.L.E reboot.
Not only did the star prove his secret sleuth talent in this role but it also gave us a glimpse of what a retro Bond played by Cavill might look like if producers decide to take the series back to the 60s as part of the “reinvention”.
Known for: Venom, Inception, The Dark Knight Rises
Latest odds: 8/1
Tom Hardy has forged an extremely successful career playing antiheroes, with box office smash Venom bring in $856million in 2019 and the 2021 sequel Let There Be Carnage, landing an impressive $502million last September at the height of the pandemic.
His obvious star appeal and high-profile roles will have no doubt caught the attention of Bond producers Barbara Broccoli and Michael G Wilson who are searching for the new 007. He was rumoured to have had an audition for the role in June 2020 and was expected to be unveiled as 007 on the release of No Time to Die but that never transpired.
Hardy has certainly become a staple in British cinema and has a very impressive range, playing antihero characters in blockbusters as well as playing deeper and more introspective characters in films such as Legend and Capone.
Hardy has certainly become a staple in British cinema
Hardy also has the advantage of having huge critical acclaim as an actor and has many awards and accolades.
The star has been nominated for the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor along with two Critics’ Choice Movie Awards and two BAFTA Awards and received the 2011 BAFTA Rising Star Award. Hardy was also appointed a CBE in the 2018 Birthday Honours for services to drama.
He would clearly have the talent and adaptability to play an international spy but is hesitant to discuss playing the next Bond.
He previously told The Daily Beast: “You know, there’s a saying amongst us in the fraternity of acting, and in the fellowship of my peer group, that if you talk about it you’re automatically out of the race. So I can’t possibly comment on that one! If I mention it, it’s gone.”
Would Hardy be a good fit for the role now there is talk of “reinvention” from producers? Standing at just 5’7, he might not have the height we might expect from Bond, nor the traditionally dark hair. He is in great physical shape though and is undeniably handsome, a staple for any Bond character.
At 44, he is still just about young enough to play Bond for several films in the franchise. Pierce Brosnan was 42 when he took on the role in 1995’s Goldeneye, and Roger Moore played the character from the age of 45 to 57.
Both actors are more than talented enough to play James Bond and they both are bankable stars with mass appeal. For me, Henry Cavill has the edge as he is closer to how I imagine 007. Cavill has already proved his ability with two spy roles in the bag and came very close to being Bond in 2005. I would love to see him as a 60s Bond with the full martini-swilling charm offensive, racing around in an Aston Martin, charming the ladies. He is the Bond for me, without a doubt!
Do you agree? Let us know in the comments below.