The Brit declared his intentions to move on from the 007 franchise over the weekend (28-29May16), after taking charge of the franchise's two most recent releases, 2012's Skyfall and 2015's Spectre.

"It was an incredible adventure, I loved every second of it," he said at the Hay Festival in Wales on Saturday (28May16). "But I think it's time for somebody else. I'm a storyteller and at the end of the day, I want to make stories with new characters."

Now sources tell Oscar-winning Danish moviemaker Bier is among a "handful" of names on franchise producer Barbara Broccoli's shortlist to take over the reigns of the superspy series, potentially making her the first female director to take charge of a Bond film.

The news emerges as her The Night Manager star Tom Hiddleston remains a favourite to take over from Daniel Craig as 007, should the blond Bond decide to walk away from the coveted role.

Idris Elba, Damian Lewis, Tom Hardy, and even Jamie Bell's names have all also been mentioned as possible replacements.

Bier previously admitted she was a big fan of Thor actor Hiddleston and thoroughly enjoyed working with him on the hit TV thriller, which hit screens in the U.K. and U.S. earlier this year (16).

"There's a certain incredibly enigmatic quality to his eyes," she said. "You aren't sure you can trust him, but you are sure there is a pain there that he doesn't show. He's so immaculate and fun and elegant and charming, and there is somewhere inside of him a painfulness, which I think for most women, is irresistible."

Bier's film credits include Brothers, After The Wedding, and Things We Lost in the Fire. She also took charge of Jennifer Lawrence and Bradley Cooper's 2014 film Serena.