The race to become the next James Bond has raged on since Daniel Craig stepped down from the role back in 2021.
After filming No Time To Die – his fifth and final 007 movie – he confirmed he would be leaving the role, ready for a bright young actor to take his place.
Since then, the Bond odds have continued to theorise that the likes of Aaron Taylor-Johnson, Regé-Jean Page, Henry Cavill and even Tom Hardy will be donning the tuxedo in his stead.
But there have also been rumours that a woman could instead take Craig’s spot as 007 – but one former James Bond star doesn’t believe fans are ready for that kind of major switch-up.
John Rhys-Davies starred in the 1978 Bond movie The Living Daylights as General Leonid Pushkin opposite Timothy Dalton, and he recently told Express.co.uk that the character should remain male.
Rhys-Davies said: “I think Bond changes with the climate. And I think the climate… I don’t think we’re ready for a female James Bond – yet.
“Because the whole concept of Bond is really male and chauvinist.”
Despite this, the Lord of the Rings star went on to defend the opinion of those who believe a Jane Bond would be a great next step for the franchise.
He said: “Yes there are – I’m sure – there are very tough female agents in the world, but we need a Bond. We are in such a dangerous time at this moment. I just hope MI5 and MI6 are really up to it.”
When pressed on who he might want to play the next James Bond, he confirmed he had “no” ideas who would be a good actor for the role. But he reiterated: “I want Bond, James Bond.”
Rhys-Davies considered himself a massive fan of the franchise, and loved working on the series back in the 1970s. In particular, he loved working with the family who look after the series – the Broccoli family.
“I love Bond,” he gushed. “I love Barbara and I loved [her late father and former Bond boss] Cubby. The whole Bond thing is one of the great experiences in filmmaking. And Cubby himself was a prince, a great Italian prince.
At the time of writing, Ladbrokes have given meagre 12/1 odds on the next 007 being a woman.
Lashana Lynch obviously took up the mantle in No Time To Die, but she likely won’t return. Instead, fans like the look of Jodie Comer, Lily James, Gal Gadot and even Cate Blanchett.
Alex Apati of Ladbrokes said: “Plenty of men have headed the Bond betting over the years and while there have been just a few whispers of a potential female shake-up to the iconic role, the latest odds suggest it’s not something we’re completely ruling out.”