James Bond hopeful James Norton talks writing ‘new 007 story’ amid casting rumours

Comic Relief: Daniel Craig appears in James Bond sketch

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After Craig appears in the upcoming James Bond film No Time To Die he will step down from the role. The actor has played the hero in five films over the last 15 years. Three British actors are fighting for the top spot at booking agents to become the next version of the character. One of these actors, Norton, has now spoken out on whether the character ought to be reimagined entirely to accommodate a Black actor taking on the Bond role.

At the moment, Norton is one of the bookies’ favourites alongside Tom Hardy.

Ladbrokes gives both actors an impressive 4/1, but they were recently bested by Netflix and Bridgerton actor Regé-Jean Page.

The British-Zimbabwean star currently has staggering 4/5 odds on claiming the role.

If Page were to become Bond after Craig, he would be the first Black actor to don the tuxedo and take his martinis shaken, not stirred.

Page isn’t the only actor of colour in the running, however.

He is joined by fellow British heartthrob Idris Elba who has a respectable 8/1 on becoming 007.

On changing the race of the fictional character, Norton told GQ Hype: “Obviously, casting a Bond of colour is important if handled in a sensitive way, but there’s a bigger picture: We need to treat the cause rather than the symptom.”

He went on: “There is an argument that, rather than make Bond a person of colour, why not create a new story that is authentically representative and isn’t repurposed?”

Bridgerton’s Rege-Jean Page address James Bond rumours

Norton added: “But, then, you’re never going to create a franchise that will compete with the power of Bond from the off.

“It has to be a bit of everything, doesn’t it? I realise I’m talking in platitudes.

“Nobody thinks every iconic franchise should be transformed. But it’s about finding where that makes sense, in a sensitive way, to remedy what has been an endemic amount of whitewashing.”

Norton was also candid about his involvement in the upcoming Bond casting.

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Last year while talking to GQ Norton called the rumours of his involvement in the series “pure speculation”.

This year, the 35-year-old actor reiterated his point, saying: “Nothing’s changed.”

Despite his denial, the star is part of an exclusive club, as revealed by Ladbrokes’ Alex Apati.

The bookies agent told Express.co.uk: “Regé-Jean Page has joined an exclusive Bond betting group this week; while many names have led the way in the market, only RJP, Tom Hardy and James Norton have found themselves odds-on to replace Daniel Craig.”

Frontrunner Page recently spoke candidly about being considered as the next Bond.

Speaking to The Mirror, he said: “I think that if you are British and you do anything of note, that other people take notice of, then people will start talking about that.

“I think that’s fairly normal and I’m flattered to be in the category of Brits that people have noticed. Nothing more – or less – than that.”

James Bond No Time To Die is due for release on September 30, 2021.

Read the full feature online at GQ Hype now.

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