Idris Elba is among the names that have made the final list of potential new James Bond candidates.
The 43-year-old actor has been announced as one of the names on the official shortlist of actors who MGM bosses are eyeing to be the next incantation of the suave spy if Daniel Craig continues with his threat to quit the franchise.
A source at the company told The Sun newspaper: “To get anyone to take over from Daniel will be a tough job.
“There will be a lot of trepidation about a new Bond, but Idris’ talent and proven appeal gives executives a lot of heart.
“Idris may be a little older than the other candidates but he looks like he is still in his 30s.
“MGM are confident that they are in a pretty strong place with a raft of talent available.”
Other names that made the shortlist include ‘Poldark’ star Aidan Turner, ‘Fast and Furious’ actor Luke Evans, and ‘Thor’s Tom Hiddleston.
Rounding off the MGM list are Michael Fassbender and Charlie Hunnam.
However, it’s EON Productions boss Barbara Broccoli who makes the “ultimate decision” on the role, and she has her eye on two actors who didn’t make MGM’s list.
‘Happy Valley’ star James Norton and ‘Billy Elliot’ actor Jamie Bell are both meeting with the producer, with the hopes of securing that sought after 007 role.
The source said: “While the MGM executives have an idea, Barbara makes the ultimate decision on the role.
“Once Barbara decides who she wants to direct, then the audition process will be vital.”
And it has also been claimed Barbara is interested in speaking to ‘Victoria’ actor Tom Hughes about the role after he impressed her in Cold War drama ‘The Game’.
A source told the Daily Mirror newspaper: “Barbara has told those around her how impressed she was with Tom in ‘The Game’.
“She thinks he is very talented and has been looking at all his shows to see if he is up for the role.”
News of the shortlist of potential candidates comes after Daniel Craig turned down a £68 million offer to continue playing the iconic spy in two more movies.
A source at the time said: Daniel is done – pure and simple – he told top brass at MGM after ‘Spectre’. They threw huge amounts of money at him, but it just wasn’t what he wanted.
“He had told people after shooting that this would be his final outing, but the film company still felt he could come around after ‘Spectre’ if he was offered a money deal.”