Back in 2018, former James Bond star Pierce Brosnan publicly backed Tom Hardy to be the next 007 - and if latest reports are to be believed, it might just be happening.
While nothing has been confirmed, according to one movie source at least, Tom has reportedly been locked into the role since auditioning back in June.
The Vulcan Reporter claims the 43-year-old was expected to be announced as the new Bond in November, but this now seems unlikely due to the on-going coronavirus pandemic.
The outlet reckons an official announcement confirming Tom will be replacing Daniel Craig in the long-running film franchise will come before the year is out.
An article from The Vultan Reporter claims that Tom Hardy has been cast as the next James Bond/007.— DR Movie News 📽 (@DRMovieNews1) September 18, 2020
They’re a very reliable source, so it seems as if it’s only a matter of time before this is officially announced. If true, we are insanely happy about this. The man is everywhere! pic.twitter.com/ZOmba59Ipj
The latest rumours saw the British star’s name trending on Twitter thanks to an awful lot of excited fans…
TOM HARDY AS THE NEW JAMES BOND PLEASE LET IT BE TRUE pic.twitter.com/4BXwpajzxY— kate (@filmhardy) September 18, 2020
I would watch Tom Hardy peeling potatoes tbh, so if he is the new James Bond Issa wrap for my ovaries as I fear they may actually implode ✌🏼— Jess. (@jessicaaapeters) September 19, 2020
shaking and crying this better happen— aqe (@paraqsite) September 19, 2020
This might be the only good news I’ve heard in 2020.— Sharon (@ValentiSharon) September 19, 2020
Tom Hardy as James Bond ?— ✨BU✨ please check pinned📍 (@TortugaH0e) September 18, 2020
Tom Hardy as 007 ?
Yes Please pic.twitter.com/KJagBue7zd
If this is what it takes for me to finally watch a bond film SO BE IT GIMME!— beka (@nightwindow_) September 18, 2020
Mahn Tom Hardy new James Bond. If true, oouuu. That's superb.— Rango Mando (@chisnkyTrillz) September 19, 2020
If Tom Hardy is gonna be the new Bond, I shall have to reconsider my position on the 007 front. pic.twitter.com/e3TxjZpHkT— Darren Lacey 🏳️🌈 (Schitthead) (@dazlarrr) September 19, 2020
Pierce Brosnan, who played the British spy between 1994 and 2005, told the Daily Mail in June 2018 that Tom would “put a bit of wiggle” into the legendary screen character.
“Daniel Craig has been an incredible Bond. He’s very physical, he looks lethal. You genuinely believe this is someone who could kill a man,” he said.
“He’s complained about doing the part because he’s put himself through a lot physically, but he will do the next movie, and then I think Tom Hardy could be a good Bond. I’d be happy to see him do it. You need an actor who can put a bit of wiggle into it, that’s what makes Bond.”
However, not everyone was happy about the possibility of Tom playing 007, especially as Idris Elba is reportedly in the running to be the first Black Bond.
Tom Hardy as James Bond? This again? No. Bring in Idris Elba. pic.twitter.com/RsKpeJ8nNe— D E L O W U S U aka Pianoman (@platinummind) September 19, 2020
yeah i love tom hardy but idris elba playing james bond would be the serve of the century pic.twitter.com/2Diy0x2TaL— ً (@cIooneys) September 18, 2020
Tom Hardy being the next James Bond is actually class but let’s not beat around the bush here; it should’ve been Idris Elba— Sam (@SamBirdyy) September 19, 2020
absolute shock they cast another white James Bond when idris elba was the obvious choice but whatever— jax 🚀🐳 (@jaxonpjames) September 19, 2020
Tom Hardy as the new James Bond and not Idris Elba 🤨...2020 is a right off— Ramla Ali (@somaliboxer) September 19, 2020
As well as Tom and Idris, Tom Hiddleston and Richard Madden are names that have also repeatedly been linked to the role, while there’s also been a lot of debate about whether the character should next be played by a woman.
No Time To Die was originally slated to hit cinemas in April, but its release date was pushed back seven months due to the coronavirus pandemic, and it will now debut in UK cinemas on 12 November.
This was far from the first bump in the road for the film, though, which marks Daniel Craig’s final outing as James Bond.
In fact, its issues began way back in 2018, when original director Danny Boyle quit the project, to be replaced by Cary Joji Fukunaga.
Following that, leading man Daniel Craig was forced to take two weeks off from filming due to injury, while a crew member later sustained a “minor injury” when an on-set explosion went awry.
This article originally appeared on HuffPost UK and has been updated.