Licence to kill rumours as Jason says no to 007

But, speaking at the premiere of his latest movie The Meg in Los Angeles, Statham threw cold water on the idea.

The actor, 51, said: “No one is coming to me for that job.”

Leading British stars James Norton, Tom Hardy and Tom Hiddleston, along with Poldark actor Aidan Turner, are all said to be in the running to take over as 007 when Craig leaves the role, possibly after his fifth outing next year.

Statham, originally from Derbyshire, was joined at the premiere by old pal Sylvester Stallone, his co-star in The Expendables film series.

Also on the red carpet was his fiancee, the British model Rosie Huntington-Whiteley, 31.

In The Meg, Statham plays a rescue diver tasked with saving a submarine crew trapped at the bottom of the ocean with a giant prehistoric shark.

It is set to be released in the UK on Friday.

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