Is James Norton From ‘Little Women’ The Next James Bond?

Is James Norton The Next James Bond?
Entertainment And News

Audiences are hot on actor James Norton right now. He’s been famous across the pond for years due to his turns in British TV series like Happy Valley, Grantchester, War & Peace and McMafia.

Now, Americans are catching on after seeing him as Emma Watson’s financially strapped love interest in Greta Gerwig’s Little Women, although some had spotted him as early as his 2016 appearance in the popular Black Mirror episode "Nosedive," featuring a personal-ratings-obsessed Bryce Dallas Howard.

They’ll be raving all over again when he co-stars with Amanda Seyfried in the horror thriller Things Heard and Seen, coming to Netflix later this year. So with his star rising, and Hollywood talking, is James Norton the new James Bond? 

1. Is James Norton the next James Bond? He’s the odds-on favorite right now.

Speculation started a few years ago, even before Little Women, that Norton was one of the frontrunners to take over the iconic role. Rumors resurfaced again right when the actor was reported to have been out celebrating with friends on New Year’s Eve and someone "close" to him saying that with one of his pals wasn't holding back on his excitement, loudly telling other partiers that Norton was definitely going to be be taking over as Bond.

These same rumors also claim that Norton has had several secret meetings with Barbara Broccoli, who’s been producing James Bond movies ever since 1995’s Golden Eye starring Pierce Brosnan.

2. Daniel Craig is definitely done with the role.

And this time he means it. The internet went crazy when he said after making Spectre, “I’d rather break this glass and slash my wrists” when asked if he’d do another Bond movie, but the Knives Out star later clarified that he said that two days after wrapping up a grueling shoot, and didn’t mean it the way it came out.

But this time he’s spelled out, loud and clear, that No Time To Die, which lands in theaters this April, marks his last appearance as the famous suave spy. He’s not giving up detective work entirely — he had a great time playing Benoit Blanc in Rian Johnson’s Knives Out and will star in the sequel, which focuses on his character instead of the crazy Thrombey family.

3. Norton says he'd love to take on the role.

As would any other hottie in Hollywood! Other actors who’ve been talked about include Outlander’s Sam Heugan, Crazy Rich Asians’ Henry Golding and Idris Elba.

Like the others, Norton gets asked about it frequently, and has admitted that it would be something of a dream gig, especially with the way Bond is evolving with the times. “I love the franchise,” Norton says, “and hope Barbara Broccoli continues to make it relevant. Going into the heart of Bond’s private world, as opposed to one-liners, is already progress.”

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4. He’s sexy, smart, and looks great in a dinner jacket.

A team of expert stuntment can make any actor look good when they’re jumping out of airplanes (Quantum of Solace), leaping between construction cranes (Casino Royale), or motorcycling off rooftops (Tomorrow Never Dies). But the other side of the famous detective is his charm and elgance, and James Norton seems to have that one down already.

He’s physically fit — understatement! — and knows how to look good on magazine covers and red carpets. And, most important, in a dinner jacket.

Diane Keaton, who played his mother in last year’s Hampstead, has already given her enthusiastic thumbs up. “Don’t you think he’s going to be the next James Bond?” she said. “We were all talking about it on the set of Hampstead. He ticks every box — he’s beautiful, he’s a man, he’s very sexy, he is smart and he even went to Cambridge.”

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Proof positive that she’s right about the actor’s charm, he responded in kind. “...if it ever comes to pass that there in the future even the remotest conversation about Bond, there will be only one condition as far as I am concerned, which would be to have Diane Keaton as a Bond girl.”

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5. A decision should be made soon.  

With talk raging for years about who’s going to step into the role after Daniel Craig, the time for an official announcement is finally on the horizon. Craig's final outing as the tuxedoed martini lover, No Time To Die, is scheduled to come out this spring. It seems like the perfect time for some sort of official announcement once everybody will be talking about James Bond again.

With their leading man leaving, they’ll need something to keep the excitement flowing about the next installment in the franchise, right?

6. But don't get too excited, because Norton says it’s still just a rumor.

So is he really going to be James Norton? The self-effacing star won’t confirm any of the rumors.

“It’s crazy. It’s not real. It’s speculative,” he said in a new interview. “There is no truth behind it. Unless journalists know something more than I do. It’s bizarre and quite flattering to be even considered in that world, but beyond it? Pure speculation.”

He’s getting more careful in how he responds when he’s asked about it, seeing how the press pounces whenever the topic comes up, even when it’s just a simple question about how fans might respond to him being cast in the role.

“It’s really hard, as whatever I say can become a story. I don’t know how to answer.”

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Laurie Ulster is a writer, TV producer, and Star Trek nerd.

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