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Jamie Bell joins 'next' James Bond race

Press AssociationPress Association 26/05/2016 Laura Harding

Billy Elliott star Jamie Bell is the latest actor to reportedly enter the race to become the next James Bond.

He joins Tom Hiddleston, Aidan Turner, Idris Elba and Damian Lewis among the names in the frame to play 007.

Bell, 30, has held informal chats with producers about replacing Daniel Craig when he steps down from the role, The Sun reported.

He shot to fame as the ballet dancing schoolboy in Billy Elliott and is in pre-production on Film Stars Don't Die in Liverpool, the latest project of Bond producer Barbara Broccoli.

In the film he plays British actor Peter Turner, opposite Annette Bening and Julie Walters.

A source told the newspaper: "Barbara has been a fan of Jamie for a long time and has even thought about him playing another role in the franchise before.

"Everyone remembers Jamie as the little boy in Billy Elliott, but he's now bulked up and got some serious roles under his belt.

"Tom Hiddleston and Aidan Turner are still in the frame, but Jamie has really shown that he is definitely up there competing with them."

Bell recently starred as The Thing in the latest big-screen adaptation of Fantastic Four and will soon be seen as an SAS soldier in 6 Days, about the hostage situation at London's Iranian embassy in 1980.

The Night Manager star Hiddleston has emerged as the favourite to take over from Craig, with speculation increasing after reports circulated that the Skyfall star was "done" with the franchise.

Coral bookmakers suspended betting on his successor after a particularly large bet was placed on Hiddleston.

A spokesman for Eon Productions told the paper: "Barbara regularly speaks to lots of actors and nothing has been decided yet on Bond."

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