"I just want to go out on a high note" - Daniel Craig is back as James Bond, but who’s next?

Bond is back. And so is Daniel Craig. The British actor has decided to put on his tuxedo and un-holster his gun for a fifth and, almost certainly, final time for 2019’s Bond 25. But who might replace 007? Let’s take a look at who’s in the frame to take over from Craig and his gallery of gadgets.

First things first, Daniel Craig made an appearance on the Stephen Colbert Show (via THR) to reveal that he’ll be reprising the role of the world’s most famous secret agent, giving an unequivocal “Yes” when asked if he’s returning, before elaborating further, "We've been discussing it, we've just been trying to figure things out. I always wanted to, I needed a break."

Craig, though, is almost definitely calling it quits after his fifth Bond outing, which will put him out in third as the most prolific Bond behind the late Roger Moore and the original silver-screen Bond Sean Connery. In fact, Craig says that he wants to “go out on a high note.”

That means who will play Bond next is going to be the subject of much debate – let’s look at who might be MI6’s next great spy. Remember, this is for your eyes only.

Idris Elba

Not only has Elba proved his action chops in Luther and the upcoming Thor: Ragnarok, he oozes charisma. It’s not hard to see Elba slipping into the role like a comfy pair of sociopathic spy slippers. Elba, himself, has addressed the rumours that even though “everywhere I go people want that to happen” there’s been no concrete talks. Never say never…

Tom Hardy

Fresh off a spin in a Spitfire in Dunkirk, Tom Hardy seems custom-made to step into the shoes of Bond. Suave, debonair, and with the ability to seemingly change his body type at will, he’d be the most physical Bond and someone who would add real box-office value to the semi-flagging franchise.

Tom Hiddleston

Hiddleston’s turn in the Night Manager felt like a pseudo-audition for Bond. His globetrotting exploits, womanising and, crucially, looking mighty dapper in a suit, would surely have raised eyebrows at Bond HQ, even if they allegedly think he’s ‘too smug’ for the role. I’d think he’d be even better as a villain, though…

Gillian Anderson

Hopefully this won’t leave too many shaken and stirred. The best way to mix things up after Bond’s 25th outing is to leave it to the ladies, Gillian Anderson to be precise. Doctor Who has done it, and we might be long overdue for a female Bond. Picture this: Gillian Anderson sipping a Martini and scowling across the room before delivering an hilariously-terrible one-liner. I’m sold.

Jack Huston

Another with annoying good looks and an action CV that any potential Bond worth his salt needs before he’s thrown in the mix. Having starred as Richard Harrow in Boardwalk Empire, Huston went on to appear in Ben-Hur, so we know he’s good for a car (or chariot) chase should the need arise…

If this has whet your appetite for even more Bond suggestions, we’ve got more here...

Image: MGM

Bradley Russell

I'm the Senior Entertainment Writer here at GamesRadar+, focusing on news, features, and interviews with some of the biggest names in film and TV. On-site, you'll find me marveling at Marvel and providing analysis and room temperature takes on the newest films, Star Wars and, of course, anime. Outside of GR, I love getting lost in a good 100-hour JRPG, Warzone, and kicking back on the (virtual) field with Football Manager. My work has also been featured in OPM, FourFourTwo, and Game Revolution.