Los Angeles: Actor Jamie Bell, who shot to fame playing the lead role in "Billy Elliott", has reportedly held informal meetings with producers about taking over from Daniel Craig as the iconic British spy James Bond.
Bell is currently working with Barbara Broccoli on his next movie "Film Stars Don't Die" and has impressed the 55-year-old with his work on that and in his previous films.
"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," a source told The Sun newspaper, reports femalefirst.co.uk.
Tom Hiddleston and Aidan Turner have previously been tipped as frontrunners for the role, but they now face strong competition from the actor.
The source added: "Tom Hiddleston and Aidan Turner are still in the frame, but Jamie has really shown that he is definitely up there competing with them."
While Hiddleston is a favourite for the role, he recently shared that he hasn't been approached for it and had no idea that Craig wants to leave the franchise.
He said: "The thing is, the position isn't vacant as far as I am aware. No one has talked to me about it. I think the rumours have all come about because in the 'Night Manager' I play a spy and people have made the link."
Last year, Craig, who has starred as Bond in "Casino Royale", "Quantum of Solace", "Skyfall" and "Spectre", said he would "rather slash (his) wrists" than portray the spy again, but later said that he would do another Bond movie "for the money".
He also threw his Bond future in doubt when he signed up for 20-episode US TV series "Purity".
Idris Elba and Damian Lewis have also been mentioned as possible replacements for the actor.