Betting has been suspended on the next James Bond, after rumours circulated that Venom star Tom Hardy is tipped for the top role.
Speculation over who is to play 007 next has been rife ever since Daniel Craig announced his departure, with fans eager to see who dons the famous tuxedo next.
Daniel Craig is the longest serving Bond (after 4,527 days at the helm) – taking over from Sir Roger Moore, but the heartthrob’s time playing the spy is up after the release of his fifth and final film later this year.
No Time To Die is Craig’s last movie as Bond, and odds have now been suspended over who will step into his shoes next.
Bookmaker Coral has halted betting Craig’s replacement, following reports Inception star Tom Hardy is set to take on the role.
The Vulcan Reporter claims to have heard that Hardy was offered the part following a successful audition.
The publication claims the Legend actor was due to be announced as the new 007 in November to coincide with the No Time To Die release, but this has been pushed back due to the pandemic.
The announcement on who will be taking over will now be made later this year or in early 2021, it is reported.
Tom Hiddleston has been a frontrunner for the role since his success in spy thriller The Night Manager, and was at odds of 6/1 before the Hardy reports.
Another firm favourite for the role is Bodyguard star Richard Madden, who sat comfortably at odds of 8/1.
Both British actors won Golden Globes for their roles in their respective BBC series.
Outlander star Sam Heughan is another favourite to take on the role at 2-1.
War and Peace actor James Norton sat at odds of 6/2, while Idris Elba continues to be a popular choice for the role too at 10/1.
Coral’s David Stevens told Mirror Online: “The betting on who will play James Bond is always popular with our punters, with James Norton and Sam Heughan the two most recent favourites, but Tom Hardy has always been close to the head of the betting, and indeed was as short as 6-4 favourite last year.
“If he has landed the coveted role, the bookies will have been left shaken if not stirred.”
As always, we’re taking the news with a pinch of salt until the official announcement but at least fans will get to see Daniel Craig back as 007 for the fifth and final time in November.
The trailer, released earlier this month, sees James back out of retirement to face off with the evil new threat of Safin ( Rami Malek ) who has acquired some dangerous new technology and threatens the balance of the globe.
We also get to see Bond unite with beautiful Cuban CIA agent Paloma, played by Craig’s Knives Out co-star Ana de Armas, who displays her own combat skills.
Elsewhere, Bond finds a prickly ally in new 00-operative Nomi ( Lashana Lynch ), while old favourite Q ( Ben Whishaw ) seems to be out in the field to help Bond.
The trailer also teases Bond’s tense relationship with former flame Dr. Madeleine Swann ( Lea Seydoux ) whose dark past and links to Safin come back to help her.
But how does SPECTRE boss and Bond’s old foster brother Ernst Stavro Blofeld ( Christoph Waltz ) fit into proceedings?
It’s not too much longer to find out!