James Bond stalwart Daniel Craig is to step down as 007 after his fifth and final film No Time To Die. The upcoming 25th Bond movie, which was set for release earlier this week but has been delayed due to the coronavirus crisis, will mark the last with Craig at the helm following his 14-year stint as the iconic spy. But who will replace him as the face of the franchise?
A number of high-profile British actors are currently battling it out at the bookmakers in the race to take over as the new Bond.
Among those in contention, according to bookies, are McMafia star James Norton, Outlander actor Sam Heughan, Peaky Blinders’ Tom Hardy, Richard Madden and Tom Hiddleston.
But recent developments in the race have seen some big moves when it comes to the betting.
According to Ladbrokes, Hardy, a former favourite to be the next Bond, is once again creeping back up the list.
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His odds have been cut from 8/2 to 6/1, putting him in fifth place.
Norton, meanwhile, remains the current frontrunner, priced at just 2/1 to replace Craig.
A recent surge of bets on Scottish-born Heughan, who was the hot favourite for the job before Christmas, has prompted the bookies to trim his odds too.
The Outlander star’s odds have shortened from 3/1 to just 5/2, meaning he’s snapping at Norton’s heels.
Now that he’s officially confirmed Bond 25 as his last outing as 007, there is space for a new actor to take his place.
Earlier this year, Grantchester and Happy Valley star Norton denied rumours he’d already been cast as the new Bond.
After an insider told The Sun one of Norton’s friends had been celebrating and telling people his pal had snagged the coveted role, Norton dismissed the reports as “pure speculation”.
When fans finally get to see No Time To Die in cinemas, currently scheduled to be in November, they’ll be greeted with a Bond who’s retired from active service and is enjoying downtime in Jamaica.