James Bond fans have been eagerly putting their money where their mouths are by placing bets on the new 007 for months now. As Daniel Craig’s final outing as the iconic spy in No Time To Die draws closer, the race to replace him is certainly heating up with bookies. New statistics from Ladbrokes could hold a clue as to who might get the coveted job.
Idris Elba is one of the two most popular actors to take over from Craig this month.
According to Ladbrokes, 40 per cent of all bets placed in December so far have gone to the Luther star and Tom Hiddleston.
Compared with 13 per cent of bets being placed on Tom Hardy and a mere six per cent on Outlander star Sam Heughan, it looks as though the two Marvel favourites have captured the public’s imagination.
Interestingly, it’s Heughan who’s still the bookies’ top tip for the new Bond, priced at 5-2.
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Fans might be being put off betting on him when the odds are so short and looking for someone slightly lower down the list, landing on the likes of Hiddleston and Elba.
Avengers star Hiddleston is in joint second place in the running at the moment, priced at 5-2 alongside Richard Madden and James Norton.
Elba, meanwhile, is at 10-1, along with Chris Hemsworth and Jamie Bell.
Hardy, who looks to have slipped in the popularity stakes somewhat, is priced at 8-1.
It looks as though Elba has the backing of a major Bond star, though, with Dame Judi Dench dropping a hint about his chances on The Graham Norton Show last week.
Dench, who previously played M, recently worked with Elba on Cats and revealed she teased him about the Bond rumours on set.
“I knew he was up for it,” she said. “In Cats I had the line to him, ‘You’ll never get to the Heaviside Layer.’
“But, during rehearsals, I said, ‘You’ll never get to MI6,” she quipped.
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Despite her cheeky dig at her co-star, Dench said she thought Elba stood a good chance of replacing Craig as Bond, teasing: “But I think he might.”
Elba previously spoke out about the possibility of being cast as the new 007, telling Variety: “James Bond is a hugely coveted, iconic, beloved character that takes audiences on this massive escapism journey.
“Of course, if someone said to me, ‘Do you want to play James Bond?’ I’d be like, ‘Yeah!’ That’s fascinating to me.
“But it’s not something I’ve expressed, like, ‘Yeah, I wanna be the black James Bond.’”