Battle of the Bonds: Who out of Tom Hardy, Henry Cavill and Charlie Hunnam would make the best 007?

As British actor Charlie Hunnam admits he'd be "flattered" to play superspy, James Bond, we weigh up the pros and cons of the three big stars currently being considered for the role

British actors Henry Cavill, Charlie Hunnam and Tom Hardy are all said to be in the running to play James Bond now that Daniel Craig has stepped down from the role. But who wants it the most? ANDREW COWIE / AFP PHOTO, Dave M. Benett/Getty Images, Samuel de Roman/Getty Images for Netflix    
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It seems that a number of talented British actors aren't taking the news that Peaky Blinders star Tom Hardy, 43, has the role of James Bond locked down, lying down.

After rumours swirled that Hardy was a dead cert to take over as 007 after Daniel Craig's final outing as the superspy in next year's No Time to Die, the first British star to announce he'd love the role too was Superman himself, Henry Cavill, 37.

And hot on the heels of Cavill's public declaration, comes 40-year-old Charlie Hunnam, who told People he would be "flattered" to be considered.

“It’s very flattering sort of fan dialogue,” he admitted. “Nobody’s ever, on a professional level from within the industry, brought that up to me.” Adding: “Maybe that’s the genesis of these things. Maybe fan chatter leads to industry people actually talking about it in a more serious way.”

And with three celebrated British actors all happy to take on the role, we pit them against each other in the ultimate 007-off by rating them in five categories: How much they want the part, what scares them, their on-screen spy experience, their car of choice and, most importantly, who looks best in a tuxedo.

So, who is the best man to step into Bond's tuxedo? Let battle commence…

How much do they want to be Bond?

Daniel Craig in Spectre. Courtesy Sony Pictures
How badly do Cavill, Hunnam and Hardy want to follow in Daniel Craig's footsteps? Courtesy Sony Pictures

Tom Hardy: "There's a saying amongst us in the fraternity of acting, that if you talk about it, you're automatically out of the race. So, I can't possibly comment on that one," Hardy said of stories linking him to the role in 2017.

Henry Cavill: "I would love to play Bond, it would be very, very exciting," the actor told GQ. "If Barbara [Broccoli, producer] and Mike [Michael G Wilson, producer] were interested in that, I would absolutely jump at the opportunity," he told the publication. "At this stage, it's all up in the air. We'll see what happens. But yes, I would love to play Bond, it would be very, very exciting."

Charlie Hunnam: Aside from announcing he'd be "flattered" to be considered, Hunnam also told People: "The person that I hear about in that conversation is Tom Hardy. I hear that he's really the front runner [to play James Bond next]. I think that would be sensational. I'm an enormous Tom Hardy fan, so I would love to see him as James Bond."

WINNER: Henry Cavill. It's clear he's the most enthusiastic about the role.

What shakes, stirs and scares them?

A handout photo of HENRY CAVILL as Solo in Warner Bros. Pictures' action adventure "THE MAN FROM U.N.C.L.E.," a Warner Bros. Pictures release.
Henry Cavill (pictured here as Solo in 'The Man From U.N.C.L.E') has admitted to a fear of flying. Courtesy Warner Bros.

Tom Hardy: Luckily for the actor, James Bond doesn't do much riding, because the actor has admitted to a fear of horses. "I don't like horses, they scare me," he told Variety. "I prefer dogs, they're a bit more manageable."

Henry Cavill: He might fly in the Superman films, but in real life, Cavill is afraid of flying and has been spotted at LAX airport with an emotional support dog accompanying him.

Charlie Hunnam: In what is bad news for his leading ladies, Hunnam has admitted to be scared of kissing scenes. "Everyone thinks it's great to be an actor and to get to kiss a bunch of beautiful actresses in films, but I actually hate it," he told Elle.

WINNER: Tom Hardy. Because Bond flies a lot, and he simply cannot be afraid of kissing!

Do they have spy experience?

Tom Hardy in This Means War. Courtesy 20th Century Fox
Tom Hardy has previously played a spy in 'This Means War'. Courtesy 20th Century Fox

Tom Hardy: He's played evil villains hellbent on tearing Gotham City apart as Bane in The Dark Knight Rises, and a brave RAF fighter in Dunkirk. But Hardy also has experience of playing a spy onscreen in 2012's This Means War, in which he and Chris Pine went to head-to-head over Reese Witherspoon.

Henry Cavill: Although he's most famous for playing Superman, Cavill has done double spy duty in both 2015's The Man From UNCLE, and as August Walker in 2018's Mission: Impossible – Fallout.

Charlie Hunnam: Most famous for playing Jax Teller on the small screen in Sons of Anarchy, Hunnam hasn't yet had the opportunity to flex his spy muscles on film.

WINNER: Henry Cavill. He definitely has more spy hours under his belt.

Wheels of choice

Charlie Hunnam in Sons of Anarchy. Courtesy Fox
Like his 'Sons of Anarchy' character Jax Teller, Charlie Hunnam has professed a preference for motorbikes over cars. Courtesy Fox

Tom Hardy: The Mad Max actor is a petrolhead on the big screen as well as off. And he's the proud owner of several luxury cars, including a custom-made Audi R8.

Henry Cavill: "After The Tudors, I thought: 'I haven't really treated myself'," he told Goodwood magazine about splashing out on his dream drive. "My dad was doing my finances, so he knew what I could afford, and he lingered a little too long in front of an Aston Martin DBS. I asked: 'Can I afford that?' And I got it. It's not ideal for driving in London, but it's a beautiful car."

Charlie Hunnam: As befitting his onscreen alter ego, Jax Teller, Hunnam has been spotted out and about on a Harley Dyna Super Glide motorbike, the same model as Teller rides in Sons of Anarchy. And it's clear that bikes trump cars as far as his vehicle passions go.

"I never got in a car the whole seven years," he told Cinema Blend of his time on the show. "I was only on my bike and rolling around with a bunch of real bikers and occasionally acting like a maniac."

WINNER: Henry Cavill. Bond has an Aston Martin, Cavill has an Aston Martin. No contest.

Who looks best in a tuxedo?

Who looks best in a tux - Henry Cavill, Charlie Hunnam or Tom Hardy? Antony Jones / Getty Images, Dave M. Benett / Getty Images, VALERIE MACON / AFP
Who looks best in a tux - Henry Cavill, Charlie Hunnam or Tom Hardy? Antony Jones / Getty Images, Dave M. Benett / Getty Images, VALERIE MACON / AFP

WINNER: Henry Cavill. The Superman actor looks far more comfortable in a tux than Hardy, and Hunnam has never actually worn a tuxedo on the red carpet, preferring to don a suit.


British actor Henry Cavill poses on the red carpet upon arrival to attend the annual BAFTA British Academy Film Awards at the Royal Opera House in London on February 10, 2013.  AFP PHOTO/ANDREW COWIE
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British actor Henry Cavill poses on the red carpet. ANDREW COWIE / AFP PHOTO

Cavill. It's obvious he wants the role far more than Hardy or Hunnam. He has the car, he has the looks, and he's already perfected his spy-mastery on film.