Another day and another hot young British actor has entered the race to become the next James Bond after Daniel Craig. Netflix's Bridgerton star Regé-Jean Page recently kicked the rumors into overdrive when he posted a photo of himself from the sets of his show with the caption, "Regency, royalty. Shaken and stirred."
Many saw the line as confirmation that the actor had been offered the role of Bond, and the betting odds on his casting as the iconic spy rose dramatically in the actor's favor as a result. In an interview with Jimmy Fallon, Page addressed the rumors and admitted they are largely unsubstantiated at this point.
"If you're a Brit and you do something of any regard that people renown well, people are going to start saying the 'B word'. I'm very glad to have the badge, I'm very glad to be in the company of such people who have the badge, but it's just a badge."
Page's casting would be in line with the James Bond franchise's recent kick to add more diversity in front of and behind the camera. This included adding Fleabag writer and star Phoebe Waller-Bridge as a script doctor for No Time to Die to make the scenes involving female characters stronger, and casting Lashana Lynch as Nomi, the young black operative who has replaced Craig's Bond as the new 007.
The casting of Regé-Jean Page, who is of mixed race descent, would be in line with such attempts by the franchise to open up its world to diverse voices and experiences. Page is also not the first non-white actor to be a popular candidate for the role of Bond, with Idris Elba long being seen as a natural shoo-in for the role. Last year, longtime Bond producer Barbara Broccoli had confirmed that the casting for the next Bond is going to be color-blind, but the character will remain male.
"He can be of any color, but he is male. I believe we should be creating new characters for women - strong female characters. I'm not particularly interested in taking a male character and having a woman play it. I think women are far more interesting than that."
Whether or not Page gets the job, for now, Bond fans have Daniel Craig's final outing as the suave spy to look forward to in No Time to Die. The film will see Craig's character come out of retirement to face the villainous Safin, played by Rami Malek, who not only poses a threat to world peace but also to the people that Bond cares the most for personally. Hopefully, the movie will allow Craig to end his run as Bond on a high note.
Directed and co-written by Cary Fukunaga, No Time to Die stars Daniel Craig, Ralph Fiennes, Naomie Harris, Rory Kinnear, Léa Seydoux, Ben Whishaw, Jeffrey Wright, Ana de Armas, Dali Benssalah, David Dencik, Lashana Lynch, Billy Magnussen, and Rami Malek.