It is always the way. The moment a young British star bursts onto the scene in a breakout role then the tabloid press immediately start to speculate that they could be a potential James Bond. These articles, nothing more than column fillers, filed by a tabloid hack after a long, liquid lunch are then breathlessly reported on by internet sites. Then they get picked up by gossip writers and eventually, with some critical mass behind what was nothing more than a standard rumor, so-called serious publications such as the trades pick up on them.

The circle is complete.

This is what happened to Tom Hiddleston after The Night Manager, to Sam Heughan after Outlander, Richard Madden after Bodyguard, Idris Elba after Luther, Aiden Turner after Poldark. The list is endless.

No matter how many times it keeps happening, so it seems the internet, the gossip writers and even the trades cannot, or will not, learn. So it was a refreshing change to see the latest talent, tipped by this rumor mill, to take it in their stride and call it exactly what it really is.

This time last month, Regé-Jean Page was almost a complete unknown, however Netflix’s latest hit Bridgerton has pushed him into the big time. Inevitably the James Bond rumors started in exactly the same way described above. He is was very clear on how this works:

“If you’re a Brit and you do something of any regard that people renown well, people are going to start saying the B word. I’m very glad to have the badge, I’m very glad to be in the company of such people who have the badge, but it’s just a badge.”

It is looking highly likely that No Time To Die, Daniel Craig’s final outing as 007, will be delayed again as by April nobody expects widespread theater openings to be be on the agenda or for audience numbers to have recovered.

In the background though, initial casting discussion and research, concept creations and outline drafts for a new 007 adventure will have been carrying on during the pandemic. It may be that a future Bond arrives quicker than normal, after Craig’s exit from the role.