James Bond fans are eager to find out who will be donning the sharp suit next as the new 007 after Daniel Craig departs. While No Time To Die will mark Craig’s last outing as the iconic spy but his replacement has yet to be announced. Tom Hardy, who is currently starring in the BBC’s adaptation of A Christmas Carol, was previously top of the list, but his chances seem to be dwindling with bookmakers.
This week, bookies Coral revealed he has been overtaken by another competitor for the role.
Hardy is currently priced at just 10-1, but lesser known actor Jack Lowden’s odds have been trimmed to 8-1, putting him ahead of the Peaky Blinders star in the running for the new Bond.
This means Lowden has pinched fifth place on the list, ousting Hardy, behind James Norton, Tom Hiddleston, Richard Madden and Sam Heughan.
According to Coral, McMafia and Happy Valley actor Norton is currently on 5-1 to take over as 007, while Avengers favourite Hiddleston is priced at 4-1.
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James Bond: Tom Hardy’s chances of being the new 007 are dwindling
Bodyguard star Richard Madden is looking good for it on 3-1 but it’s Outlander’s Sam Heughan who’s still dominating the race, priced at 5-2.
“Excitement is really ramping up now on who will replace Craig with his last film around the corner and it’s been one of our busiest novelty betting markets recently,” Coral’s Harry Aitkenhead said.
“Sam Heughan has been the firm favourite for a while now but the most popular bet in the last few days has been Jack Lowden and he’s soared to the top of the betting.
“The Scottish actor is now a leading contender to be the next 007.”
Hardy has been gradually slipping down the list in recent months, having been priced at 8-1 back in November.
His name’s been in the ring for the new Bond since last year and he even joked about the possibility of taking up the mantle from Craig back in April 2018.
Sharing an article about his chances of getting the part on Instagram, he quipped: “Dammit I was in my tux and on the runway.”
The year before, he insisted he didn’t want to address speculation for fear of jinxing it.
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There’s a saying amongst us in the fraternity of acting that if you talk about it you’re automatically out of the race,” he told The Daily Beast. “So I can’t possibly comment on that one!”
Meanwhile, Craig is preparing to exit the Bond franchise after 14 years in the lead.
He recently confirmed once and for all that No Time To Die will be his last movie as 007 and dismissed rumours he might be set to return in the role of director, insisting he just wants a rest.
The No Time To Die trailer dropped earlier this month, giving fans their first proper look at what’s in store for Bond this time around.
In the clip, he was looped back in to active service having retired, going on the hunt for a mysterious new villain.
The trailer also featured a glimpse of said bad guy, Safin (played by Rami Malek), who had severe scarring on his face and was seen stalking through a snowy scene, carrying a gun and wearing a broken mask which half-concealed his identity.
Bond also appeared to be growing suspicious of his new love Madeleine Swann (Lea Seydoux) as she begged him: “Why would I betray you?”
“We all have our secrets,” he replied angrily. “We just didn’t get to yours yet.”
James Bond: No Time To Die is released in UK cinemas April 3, 2020.