James Bond author reveals that any actor tipped to play 007 ‘has already been rejected’

Virgin Radio

5 May 2023, 12:50

(L-R) Charlie Higson, Daniel Craig as James Bond

Credit: Getty / MGM

James Bond author Charlie Higson has dashed the dreams of fans hoping to see Jamie Dornan or Tom Hardy playing 007 on the big screen.

Charlie is known for his Young Bond book series, and was recently commissioned by the Ian Fleming Publication to write a new story to celebrate the King’s coronation. 

During an interview with the Press Association, the writer gave away quite a big behind-the-scenes glimpse of how the next Bond actor is chosen, and said if their name is even rumoured to be in the running, then it’s unlikely that star is actually being considered any more. 

Charlie said: “As soon as the papers say, ‘So and so is being considered as the next James Bond’, you know that they’re not going to be the next James Bond, you know that they’ve been rejected.

“Eon (Productions) who make the films play their cards very close to the chest and a lot of times they really surprise people… in particular, Daniel Craig, nobody had any idea at all that he might be Bond."

He continued: "So they’re pretty clever on that front and they will inevitably wait to make the announcement at the right time to get the maximum amount of publicity.”

Charlie’s pick for Bond would be Happy Valley star James Norton because he’s “tough as well as sensitive.” 

The author’s latest release, On His Majesty’s Secret Service, is set two days before the King’s coronation, and will tell the story of Bond being tasked with thwarting a last-minute attempt to disrupt the ceremony by a new villain, the eccentric Athelstan of Wessex.

This new Bond tome comes 60 years after Ian Fleming’s 10th novel, On Her Majesty's Secret Service, which was published in 1963.

Fleming's first novel, Casino Royale, was published in 1953, the year of the late Queen's coronation, and the royal family have continued to be associated with Bond, often attending 007 film premieres.

While names like Donan, Hardy, Rege-Jean Page and Henry Cavill keep finding their way into the Bond rumour mill, the casting director, Debbie McWilliams, recently hinted that no one under the age of 30 would be in with a chance of playing 007 either. 

McWilliams explained to Radio Times when they started casting for Casino Royale, which was set earlier in Bond’s career at MI6, that “it was a slightly different feel”. 

Many well-known actors have been linked to the franchise since Daniel Craig’s last feature in 2021’s No Time to Die. These have included Bridgerton's Regé-Jean Page, Aaron Taylor-Johnson, Idris Elba, Slow Horses star Jack Lowden, Tom Hardy, and James Norton.