“I don’t think that announcement is coming,” Hiddleston told a rowdy audience at the Wizard World Comic Con in Philadelphia last weekend. “I am very gratified to hear the enthusiasm. Your guess is as good as mine, to be honest.”
Hiddleston was first linked with the role after his appearance in The Night Manager, the BBC spy drama based on the novel by John le Carré. The show, in which the actor played an MI5 operative who wears a tux and orders martinis, was directed by In a Better World’s Susanne Bier. She is one a handful of directors rumoured to be taking over from Sam Mendes on the 25th Bond film.
While Craig has not officially left the franchise, he told Time Out magazine he would “rather slash my wrists” than play Bond again. Other actors linked to the role include Idris Elba, Tom Hardy and Damian Lewis.
Hiddleston, while expressing enthusiasm about the prospect, has repeatedly shot down rumours that he has signed on to play the spy. ‘The thing is, the position isn’t vacant, as far as I am aware. No one has talked to me about it,” he told Graham Norton in May.
“I think the rumours have all come about because in the Night Manager I play a spy and people have made the link.”
Mendes, who directed Skyfall and Spectre, both box-office successes, has said that the next Bond will not be someone the audience expects. “It’s not a democracy,” he said at the Hay literary festival last month, after announcing his retirement from the franchise. “It’s not The X Factor, it’s not the EU referendum, it’s not a public vote. [Producer] Barbara Broccoli chooses who’s going to be the next Bond. End of story.”
This article was written by Henry Barnes and agencies, for theguardian.com on Tuesday 7th June 2016 16.22 Europe/Londonguardian.co.uk © Guardian News and Media Limited 2010