It’ll mean swapping his Government-issue Glock pistol for 007’s Walther PPK, but Bodyguard star Richard Madden is set to be offered the chance to replace Daniel Craig as James Bond, according to industry sources.
The Mail on Sunday understands that Bond producers are on the brink of approaching Madden, 32, to take arguably the most famous role in British film.
Madden’s portrayal of a steely diplomatic protection officer in the BBC drama and his bedroom antics with Home Secretary Julia Montague, played by Keeley Hawes, made him the bookies’ favourite to be the next 007.
Richard Madden as David Budd, covered in blood in the finale of BBC One drama Bodyguard
It is understood that Barbara Broccoli, the executive producer at Eon Productions who has the final say on all Bond characters, is likely to approach Madden in the next few days.
A source said: ‘It’s seriously looking like he [Madden] is going to get the job. Not only is he on top of Barbara’s list, but she is preparing to offer the role.’
If confirmed, Madden’s selection would end a year of speculation as to who will succeed Craig. There was talk that Mrs Broccoli, 58, would choose the first black Bond or even cast a woman. For a long time, Idris Elba, 46, was the frontrunner after his impressive performance in the TV series Luther.
Madden, 32, impressed film bosses so much he could be the next 007, according to industry insiders
Another star linked to the role was Tom Hardy, 41, who has appeared in big screen hits including Mad Max: Fury Road, The Revenant and The Dark Knight Rises. Old Etonian Tom Hiddleston, 37, was another contender.
The prospect of Emily Blunt, 35, playing the first female Bond was dismissed, with Mrs Broccoli recently ruling out James Bond becoming Jane Bond. In an interview, she said: ‘Bond is male. He’s a male character. He was written as a male and I think he’ll probably stay as a male.’