Michael Pena should be the next James Bond, according to Chiwetel Ejiofor.

The '12 Years a Slave' actor widened the the possible of list of contenders by throwing his 'The Martian' co-star's name into the hat to succeed Daniel Craig as 007.

Chiwetel said: ''I want Michael Pena to be James Bond. That's what I want.''

Michael - whose parents hail from Mexico - has starred in 'American Hustle', 'Fury', 'Ant Man' and 'Crash'.

By putting his friend's name forward, Chiwetel ruled himself out of the running but said the debate puts the spotlight on diversity in film.

Speaking in an interview with Variety, he explained: ''I think that there are the same challenges for diversity existing everywhere. And it's something that we're going to struggle with until we figure it out, we haven't yet, but we're getting there.''

Meanwhile Pierce Brosnan, who starred in four 007 films between 1995 and 2002, sparked controvery when he predicted the iconic British spy will be white.

He said: ''Anything is possible for sure, but I think he'll be male and he'll be white.

Though he added: ''There's wonderful black actors out there who could be James Bond, and there's no reason why you cannot have a black James Bond.''

Whilst 007 author Anthony Horowitz caused a public outcry and was forced to apologise when he sugested Idris Alba was ''too street'' to play Bond.

Daniel Craig reprises his role as Bond for the fourth time in upcoming movie 'Spectre' to be released in November.