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Richard Madden is not in talks to replace Daniel Craig as James Bond, despite inaccurate reports making the rounds. Gossip Cop can exclusively debunk the claim. We've learned it's false.

Earlier this month, the Daily Mail wrongly reported that producers of the 007 franchise are "on the brink of approaching" Madden to take over the iconic spy series. A supposed source told the outlet that Barbara Broccoli, the longtime executive producer of the Bond films, was impressed by the "Game of Thrones" star after watching his new BBC show "Bodyguard." "It's seriously looking like [Madden] is going to get the job," says the publication's alleged insider. "Not only is he on top of Barbara's list, but she is preparing to offer the role."

This week, the National Enquirer picked up the story and added an additional angle about Madden supposedly stealing the role from Idris Elba. However, Elba said in August that he won't be the next Bond, so that aspect of the story is clearly fabricated. Still, a questionable tipster tells the magazine, "Everybody thought Idris had a lock on the part, but he's already 46 - and Richard is just 32 and red hot because of 'Thrones.'"

In an effort to back up its premise, the Enquirer notes that photographer Andy Gotts did a photoshoot with Madden earlier this month. In the past, Gotts has also shot portraits of members of the Bond cast, including Craig. There's no connection here. The celebrity photographer has worked with dozens of stars over the years, and Madden was being shot as part of promotion for his series "Bodyguard."

These casting rumors are also coming from anonymous "sources," but Gossip Cop checked in with Madden's rep, who has no knowledge of the actor being approached by Bond producers. It's safe to say that a spokesperson qualified to speak on the actor's behalf knows more about his career than untraceable "insiders." Also, not a single Hollywood trade publication, which typically break major casting news, has reported that Madden is in the running.

Meanwhile, the story doesn't make much sense logically. Craig's next installment of the Bond franchise was recently delayed until February 2020 after director Danny Boyle left the project due to creative differences. Cary Fukunaga has since been hired to helm the 25th installment in the series, but filming won't begin until next March. It doesn't make sense that producers would be looking for Craig's replacement well before his next Bond movie stars shooting. Broccoli and the other producers are focused on the upcoming sequel for now.

Our Verdict

Gossip Cop has determined this story is totally false.

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