Daniel Craig may have hung up his hat as MI6 agent James Bond, but sources exclusively tell Closer that he’s still hugely involved in the franchise and getting a major vote in whomever is chosen to fill his shoes as 007.

The 56-year-old actor, who has played the fictional secret agent for five installments in the iconic film series, confirmed during a 2019 appearance on The Late Show With Stephen Colbert that No Time to Die would be his last time playing Bond in the franchise.

While other actors including Sean Connery, David Niven, George Lazenby, Roger Moore, Timothy Dalton and Pierce Brosnan have also played the leading man throughout the years, a slew of both up-and-coming and A-list stars have been considered to carry the torch.

“Unlike every actor who has played Bond before him, Daniel is poised to have a significant vote in who ultimately succeeds him in the role,” says a source familiar with the situation.

While a new movie in the famed film franchise has yet to be announced, there is a long list of rumored Bond contenders, including Aaron Taylor-Johnson, Henry Cavill, Callum Turner, Jacob Elordi, Idris Elba, Taron Egerton and more.

An announcement is expected to be coming soon, says the source, adding that Daniel’s close relationship with Bond coproducer Barbara Broccoli is “what puts him in this position of heavy influence.”

Barbara Broccoli and Daniel Craig
Lia Toby/Getty Images for BFI

According to the insider, “They love each other and trust each other like a brother and sister, and they both want to stay in each other’s lives beyond Daniel’s time as James Bond. Barbara never had this kind of relationship with the other Bond actors, even though she has been around these movies and on their sets since she was a high schooler.”

Clearly, a lot of thought is going into the decision, considering it’s been nearly five years since Daniel revealed that his Bond days are over.

“[Barbara] will not sign off on the new Bond without talking it over extensively with Daniel, and she absolutely trusts his opinion on everything about the franchise,” says the source. “She would take a bullet for that man — and he for her, I think!”

In an October 2023 interview with The Guardian, Barbara gave an update on where they are in the process of continuing the action-spy saga following Daniel’s 15 years with the series, which began with 2006’s Casino Royale.

“Daniel gave us the ability to mine the emotional life of the character … and also the world was ready for it,” said Barbara, 64. “I think these movies reflect the time they are in, and there’s a big, big road ahead reinventing it for the next chapter and we haven’t even begun with that.”

She added, “Our focus is making the feature films. When we get going on a Bond movie it takes our full attention for three or four years so that’s our focus.”

In a March 2024 interview with Rolling Stone UK, Avengers: Age of Ultron actor Aaron (the latest man rumored to take on the role) played coy when asked about the rumor mill. “I can only really talk about the things I’m going to show and tell,” he told the publication regarding the ongoing buzz. “So, The Fall Guy, Nosferatu, Kraven the Hunter. I’m here to promote those.”