We're still left to wonder who may be our next James Bond, as Richard Madden has, more or less, taken himself out of the running. At least for now. Madden, who is best known for his work on HBO's hit fantasy series Game of Thrones, is just one of many actors whose name has been thrown out as a possible contender to take over for Daniel Craig after James Bond 25, which is being billed as his final installment. Now, Madden has weighed in on those rumors personally.
Richard Madden is currently starring in the Elton John biopic Rocketman, which recently made its debut at Cannes to very positive reviews. During a press conference, the actor was asked directly about the Bond casting rumors. Specifically, someone asked him if it was a "done deal," given how good he looked in his tux on the red carpet. Madden had this to say in response.
"It's very flattering to be involved in that conversation at all but it's all just talk and I'm sure next week it'll be someone different."
He's got a point about that one. There has been a number of different names floating around ever since the release of Spectre. Daniel Craig famously said he'd rather "slash his wrists" than do another movie in the franchise after filming had concluded on the previous installment. So, speculation started running rampant in regards to who his replacement would be. Tom Hiddleston, who plays Loki in the Marvel Cinematic Universe movies, emerged as an early favorite. However, Richard Madden's name has been one of the more recent, and seemingly plausible, additions to the mix. He actually responded to the same quetion just last month, while promoting his Netflix series Bodyguard. He also shot down the rumors then.
""That's a lovely, flattering rumor that is on the internet. And at that end, that's all it is: a lovely, flattering rumor. But no, I'm not."
Now, does Richard Madden denying these rumors mean he won't become 007 in the future? Not really. Sure, it's just talk for now, but that doesn't mean it couldn't turn into something down the line. Madden was recently cast to play one of the lead roles in Marvel's The Eternals, which could keep him rather busy in the immediate future. But James Bond 25 isn't set to arrive until April 2020. The producers would then surely want to take at least a bit of a break following Daniel Craig's swan song before officially casting his successor. That could give Madden time to clear his schedule and make time to throw on a tux, strap on a Walther PPK and report for duty at MI6.
Other names that have come up in the past include Tom Hardy and Idris Elba, who seems to be the internet's consistent favorite for the gig. Though, Elba has consistently denied any rumors and has stated he's not even interested in taking on the role at this stage in his career. We've got one more movie coming our way before we even need to seriously start having that conversation. Cary Fukunaga (Beasts of No Nation) is directing James Bond 25, which is filming as we speak. We'll be sure to keep you posted as any further details on that project, or the next potential Bond actor, come to light. This news was previously reported by The Wrap.