Cillian Murphy rules himself out of playing James Bond as he thinks next 007 'should be a woman'

Tobi Akingbade

Cillian Murphy has shut down claims that he could be the next James Bond because he thinks the iconic role should go to a woman.

The Peaky Binders star, who plays Tommy Shelby in the BBC show, was hotly tipped to take over Daniel Craig’s spot as the new 007, joining a list of rumoured contenders which also includes James Norton and Richard Madden.

But, speaking to The Guardian, the 43-year-old admitted he has other ideas.

He said: “The thing about it is, if you say anything about Bond it becomes the headline, right?

TV star: Cillian Murphy as Tommy Shelby in Peaky Blinders (BBC)

“There’s two things I’ll say about that. Firstly, there’s a whole other industry which is completely separate from the film side of things, and that’s the bookies.

He added: “The second thing I’d say is that I think it should be a woman, which rules me out.”

The English actress Lashana Lynch has reportedly been cast as a new 007, but her character will appear alongside Craig’s Bond, having taken over his code name, rather than replace him.

[[gallery-0]]

​Previous contenders rumoured to be in the running to play the iconic super-spy include Idris Elba and Tom Hiddleston.

Filming for the 25th Bond film, which is using the working title Shatterhand, has so far taken place on location in Jamaica, Norway and Italy, and at Pinewood Studios in the UK.

Earlier this year, Craig was forced to spend two weeks recovering from an ankle injury sustained while filming. Despite this, the film is still slated for release in April 2020.

The 25th Bond film will be directed by Cary Fukunaga and will be Craig's fifth and final outing as the super spy.

Ralph Fiennes, Ben Whishaw, Naomie Harris, Jeffrey Wright and Rory Kinnear will all return to the series, while Rami Malek will make his Bond debut as a villain.