He kept the nation on the edge of their seats with his tense role in Jed Mercurio’s Bodyguard last month and now the rumour mill has stepped up a notch about whether Richard Madden is about the be offered the role of James Bond after Daniel Craig.
Madden, who hit stardom for his role as ill-fated Robb Stark in HBO’s Game of Thrones, went on to star as Prince Charming alongside Lily James in 2015’s Cinderella. But it was his turn as PTSD suffering bodyguard David Budd that has allegedly caught the Bond bosses’ eye.
Tasked with protecting the Home Secretary, Sergeant Budd lost his charge during a bomb explosion and then nearly his own life when he was kidnapped and attached to a suicide vest in a tense finale that saw 10.4 million viewers tune into the BBC show.
It was the BBC’s biggest new drama of the decade and Madden’s breathtaking performance attracted the attention of Bond boss Barbara Broccoli, according to The Daily Mail.
The paper claimed sources have shared that it’s “seriously looking like he [Madden] is going to get the job.”
The report went on to claim that Madden, 32, is the top of Bond boss Barbara Broccoli’s list to take on 007 after Daniel Craig steps down.
Bodyguard director Jed Mercurio has already hinted that Madden’s star is set to rise further after the show and may affect the chances of a second season of Bodyguard.
Speaking to the Radio Times, Mercurio said, “He’s the genuine article, a real leading man. And I think this role has put him very much in the spotlight for bigger things. So the practicality may be that we have to work round his availability, if we are lucky enough to get him back.”
It would mean that Madden has fended off the likes of Idris Elba, Tom Hardy, James Norton, Aiden Turner and Cillian Murphy – who have all been tipped for the role.
In August, Danny Boyle quit as director of Bond 25, after creative differences with bosses – with reports claiming that Boyle disagreed with the idea that Bond may be killed off.
Boyle told the Radio Times: ‘The books were everything to me when I was a kid. I read them multiple times.
“Like everyone else, I saw the films, but I’d already read the books so I had a different relationship with the characters.
“Although I think it’d be impossible for a Bond aficionado to write or direct a Bond film.
“You’d be hampered by how much you knew. They want you to bring a freshness to it.”
It’s since been announced that Cary Fukunaga – who directed True Detective and 2011 film Jane Eyre – has taken up the baton as director, with the film expected to miss it’s slated autumn 2019 release.