The drumbeats are building. Tidings are on the wind. It may well be time once again to pass the torch and anoint the new. If reports are right, then the producers have finally gotten serious about it.

There’s going to be a new James Bond.

That is always technically true. From the moment you take the gig, you’ve got a ticking clock running down towards the moment you leave the part. Will you be George Lazenby, one and done? That’s got to be a particular fear. Timothy Dalton managed to squeeze out a second film as the character before he got shown the door. Pierce Brosnan held on long enough to make a mark, and Daniel Craig has done a terrific job of defining the character his own way, guaranteeing that we’ll talk about him when we talk about Sean Connery or Roger Moore. Like Doctor Who, another British institution, it feels by now like these characters are going to exist forever, handed down from filmmaker to filmmaker, handed down from actor to actor. We will see many interpretations, and the longer this thing rolls on, the more daring those choices should be.

According to Birth.Movies.Death, sources close to Tom Hiddleston are saying that he is in “advanced talks” to take over the role from Daniel Craig.

Does that mean that he’ll be playing the role in the next James Bond film? Does he mean he’ll definitely play the role at all? Nope, and nope. Right now, Daniel Craig is still under contract to the series, and the last film (which I wasn’t crazy about) set several things into motion that would be very strange if they were resolved with a different actor in the role. Maybe they’ve started talking to Hiddleston about the role with an eye on what they’ll do a few films down the road. Maybe they’re making it clear to Craig that they’re willing to explore options.

There has been very little reliable reporting on Bond so far. The most recent story that everyone ran about Craig leaving the series was sourced to The Daily Mail, which is about as reliable as Anthony Weiner in charge of a social media stream. This is the problem with the echo chamber of Internet movie news. One unreliable report, picked up by otherwise reliable sources, becomes amplified and burnished with the air of authenticity. Repeat it enough times and people simply accept it as fact. One of the craziest things I witness on a regular basis is when people bitch after a film is released because a rumor that was never true turns out to not be true.

The guys at BDM do a good job sourcing their reports. Even here, though, language is very careful, and they never say anything that implies this is even close to being a done deal. There are other reports that are saying Craig is definitely out, or possibly out, and Deadline suggested that Jamie Bell has also had conversations about the role.

That is, frankly, crazy. Bell’s a very good actor, and I moderated a great event with him one night for SAG to talk about performance capture work and Tintin. He should work all the time. But for James Bond, really? Size-wise alone, I feel like that’s a problem, and unless he’s going to be an all CGI character like he was in Fantastic Four, I just don’t see that working. Hiddleston, however, could be terrific in the role, and I would be delighted to see the oft-mentioned Idris Elba play the part.

Whatever is happening, I would be very cautious about getting too emotionally invested in any particular outcome at this point. There’s nothing decided, and we’ve seen Eon frustrated devoted scoop hounds mightily in the last few years. I wouldn’t be shocked to learn that none of the people listed above ends up playing it. Coughdanstevensdon'tbestupidcough. We’ll see soon enough, because only one thing is set in stone.

James Bond will return.

A respected critic and commentator for fifteen years, Drew McWeeny helped create the online film community as "Moriarty" at Ain't It Cool News, and now proudly leads two budding Film Nerds in their ongoing movie education.