It's fair to say by now that nobody really expects Daniel Craig to stay on as James Bond. He subtly intimated as much when he said he'd literally rather open his veins and die than do it again after Spectre finished shooting. If you didn't catch the message in that, he's not keen.
It's about time Craig moved on anyway. His personal arc ended in Spectre, and it feels like the perfect time to pass the mantle on to another Bond who won't be so focused on the ghosts of the past: they've now been exhumed, reanimated and killed off again, and it would be nice to see Bond moving on now.
According to the latest rumour, he might do so in the shape of former Billy Elliot star Jamie Bell, who is the latest actor to be linked with the role.
According to the latest rumour mill (or a story from the Daily Mail at least), Craig turned down almost $100M to reprise the role and he's looking elsewhere for roles. Deadline say that Bell has already discussed the possibility of taking over the role with Barbara Broccoli (who apparently met with Tom Hiddleston in secret not so long ago too. The producer is currently working with Bell on romance Film Stars Don't Die, where the conversations have happened (whether serious or not remains to be seen).
I am game for a Geordie Bond, but wouldn't Bell be much better as a charismatic young villain or another competitive 00 agent? 009 perhaps?
It would actually be great to see Bell as a new Trevelyan, taking over from Sean Bean. But then the villainous plot in Spectre included an insurgent agent, and it might be too close to do that again. So maybe we could see him as another agent alongside Bond looking to compete for the exalted 007 badge.
Or have him play an out and out villain: not necessarily affiliated with Spectre, or equipped with a silly plot involving sharks with laser beams or moving to a base on the moon. A one versus one governmental weapon vs governmental weapon fight, like Captain America vs Bucky. I'd watch that.
Anyway, all this speculation needs to continue for longer: as long as there's even the briefest suggestion that Bond might be recast as a woman (it won't happen, but whatever), we all get to watch the implosion of people who insist Bond's penis is the most IMPORTANT part of his arsenal.
Daniel Craig has actually also shared some advice for whoever takes over the role:
"Literally Id say two things. Firstly, its your decision. Dont listen to anybody else. Well, do listen to everybody, but you have to make the choice at the end of the day. Its your bed to lie on. And dont be sh*t! Dont be sh*t. Youve got to step up. People do not make movies like this any more. This is really rare now. So dont be sh*t. Dont be sh*t! Go for it. Embrace it. Some clichd line like that. But no, just make sure youre great. Youve got to push yourself as far as you can. Its worth it, its James Bond."
The pushing comment might explain why he felt there was no other way forward than leaving the role. He seems casual about what happens next, saying he "doesn't give a f*ck" about who plays Bond next. That doesn't sound like someone who's sticking around.
Would you like to see Jamie Bell tackle James Bond? Share your reactions below in the comments.