JAMES BOND candidates still look to be jostling for the position as the new 007, competition to replace Daniel Craig, and Tom Hardy’s chances continue to improve.
James Bond is set to enter a new chapter later this year after Daniel Craig bows out of the role. He will make his last appearance in No Time To Die before leaving the position of 007 open for a new actor to take his place. But Bond bosses have yet to confirm who will be stepping into his shoes.
However, Tom Hardy is making a play for the position at bookies, his odds being shorted from 6/1 to just 5/1 in the past couple of days.
Still in pole position is McMafia and Happy Valley actor James Norton, who has been the favourite to take over from Craig since the start of the year.
He is priced at 2/1, despite previously refuting reports he has been offered the role.
In second place is Scot Sam Heughan, who is best known for playing Jamie Fraser in Outlander, priced at 3/1.
Giving Hardy a run for his money on 5/1 is Tom Hiddleston, while Aidan Turner and Richard Madden are close behind on 6/1.
Peaky Blinders favourite Hardy has dodged questions about the part of Bond in the past, saying he doesnt want to jinx his chances with franchise bosses.
“Theres a saying amongst us in the fraternity of acting,” he said in 2015, when asked about speculation he could be next to don the famous tuxedo. “That if you talk about it youre automatically out of the race.
“So I cant possibly comment on that one!”
Earlier this week, a former favourite for the job made headlines when he announced that he no longer wants to play Bond.
Damien Lewis, who was hot property with bookies back in 2015 when Craig first said he was done with the part, insisted he doesnt fancy the gruelling filming schedule and being tied in to the franchise.
Saying the rumours linking him to the job had now “subsided”, he told GQ: “And I dont want to play James Bond anymore.
“If someone had asked me 10 years ago, that might have been a different matter. But I dont have that sort of ambition now,” he added.
“I dont want to go travelling off around the world for eight months of the year and play one character for the next 10 years.
“And I think Id be the oldest new James Bond cast, maybe after Roger Moore,” he noted. “Or maybe even older than Roger Moore.
“So, you know, I dont think its a problem. I dont think its something I have to think about,” he concluded.
Moore was 45 when he was cast as 007 in Live and Let Die and Lewis is now 49-years-old.
Meanwhile, No Time To Die will be Craigs fifth and final outing as Bond.
He first took up the mantle from Pierce Brosnan back in 2005.
The movies release date has been delayed by seven months due to the coronavirus crisis but it is now due to land in cinemas in November.