Broccoli and her half-brother Michael G Wilson are the gatekeepers of the Bond franchise, the producers who made the bold decision to hire Daniel Craig and granted his request that his incarnation of the spy should die in his final outing, ironically (?) titled No Time To Die. It is, however, now time to start looking to what comes next. Broccoli has been clear that it will not be a woman who steps into that Aston Martin, but she did say: “We want the actor to be British. (That’s) the key thing. And British, as we know, can be many, many things.” And a new report describes her delight with a young British star.
With reports that the producers are also seeking actors under 40, suddenly major favourites like Tom Hardy, Idris Elba and even Henry Cavill (who turns 40 this year) are ageing out of contention.
Craig himself was a left-field choice, not a household name like Roger Moore or Pierce Brosnan in their day. And it looks likely the franchise will do the same again.
Just before Christmas, reports had emerged that 32-year-old Marvel and Bullet Train star Aaron Taylor-Johnson had nailed a strong screen test. However, he has the high profile lead role in Marvel’s upcoming Kraven The Hunter, which hits cinemas this October.
Instead, an even younger TV star might be the new hot favourite…
Emily in Paris star Lucien Laviscount, 30, has surged out of nowhere in the UK bookies lists over the weekend. He might have lost Lily Collins’ Emily to his French rival in the Season Three climax but the show has immeasurably raised his profile internationally after finding early UK fame in Grange Hill, Waterloo Road and Coronation Street. Recent US success has included a role on Scream Queens.
On Sunday a story broke in the national press about his Bond bid: “Lucien ticks all of the boxes. He is a super-talented actor, is extremely handsome and in the past 18 months has won lots of new fans since he joined Emily in Paris. Bond bosses are already saying how you can see him in the 007 tuxedo, how dapper and fitting to the role he will look.”
In response, Laviscount’s odds tumbled overnight, thrusting him among the A-list frontrunners.
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Previously he was a rank outsider on the standard 100/1 odds. Now he has slammed past Idris Elba on Skybet and past previous leaders Cillian Murphy and Sam Heughan on Betfred after a flurry of bets.
Betfred and Skybet both have Laviscount on 12/1, with the former showing Taylor-Johnson out front on 7/4 closely followed by Cavill on 9/4. Bridgerton’s Rege-Jean Page is on 11/2, with James Norton on 7/1 and Tom Hardy on 9/1.
Betfred has the same three in the lead, with Taylor-Johnson on 2/1, Cavill on 9/4 and Page on 3/1. Norton sits at 9/2 and Tom Hardy and Dan Evans on 6/1.
Laviscount ticks many boxes for a new younger incarnation of Bond that represents a modern and increasingly multicultural UK and wider world.
Broccoli previously said: “When you change the actor you have to reimagine the direction the film’s gonna go on. When you hire an actor, you’re hoping you’re going to spend a decade at least with them and make four or five or six films with them.
“So you have to think through, ‘What is the trajectory? What is that actor going to bring? How are you going to move the series into another direction?'”