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New 007? Craig ... Daniel Craig

An unknown British actor could be tapped to replace Pierce Brosnan as the new James Bond. NBC News correspondent Mark Mullen reports.
/ Source: TODAY

Who will play the world's most famous fictitious spy? It's been a mystery since Pierce Brosnan revealed he was no longer being considered for the role of James Bond. Now a largely unknown British actor is emerging as the rumored favorite. NBC News correspondent Mark Mullen reports.

There may be not only a new actor playing James Bond but also there could also be the first ever blonde Bond.

Meet Daniel Craig — a 37-year old Brit with 34 movies to his credit but largely unknown outside the United Kingdom. Craig is considered movie tough guy than pretty boy and the leading contender to become the sixth 007.

“I think that he's a different enough actor and a good enough actor to put his own stamp on the role,” Graham Rye, the editor and publisher of 007 magazine.

If Craig gets the job and replaces Pierce Brosnan, he'll beat out bigger box office draws like Colin Farrell, Ewan McGregor and Orlando Bloom.

But experts say the iconic series, with 20 films that have reeled in $3.5 billion, is a bigger than any one leading man.

"Generally speaking, you're looking at a 10-year commitment from an actor, and for their career to almost forever be associated with this role," says Paul Dergarabedian, president of Exhibitor Relations.

Although there have been a couple of secret agents that disappeared from screen relatively quickly like Timothy Dalton who starred in two Bond films: “The Living Daylights” in 1987 and “License to Kill” in 1989. Also there was George Lazenby who starred in “On Her Majesty's Secret Service” in 1969.

Fans will always debate who was the best — a comparison that awaits the blonde Bond.

"I think they'll undoubtedly have to dye his hair,” says Rye.

The new Bond movie is set to film in January. Producers are expected to choose the new Bond soon or risk costly delays that would leave the entire production shaken if not stirred.