James Bond: Jason Statham RESPONDS to rumours he will replace Daniel Craig as 007

The actor, who first played James Bond  in 2006’s Casino Royale, is expected to step down after the next instalment in the franchise is done and dusted.

Although Statham – currently promoting new shark movie The Meg – is not currently considered a frontrunner by bookies, he had previously thrown his hat in the ring as a potential replacement.

But speaking at the premiere for The Meg, he said: “No one is coming to me for that job.”

Back in 2015, he had said: “Would I do it? Abso-f**king-lutely.”

For now, though, attention is on Bond 25, the as-yet-untitled next film in the franchise; which begins filming at the end of 2018.

The official 007 Twitter account confirmed in May: “We’ve been expecting you… #Bond25, Daniel Craig’s 5th outing as 007, will be directed by Academy Award-winning Danny Boyle from an original screenplay by John Hodge.

“Production is set to begin on 3 Dec 2018. MGM will partner with Universal Pictures to release the film worldwide.”

Additional casting has not been confirmed but it was recently thought that Mark Strong’s involvement had been leaked on Instagram.

Craig confirmed last summer that this next flick will be his last, after indicating after 2015’s Spectre that he was already finished.

But ultimately he said on US TV: “I always wanted to [return], I needed a break.

“I just want to go out on a high note, and I can’t wait.”

James Bond 25 is due out in late 2019.

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