Tom Hardy reportedly cast as James Bond as bookies slash odds

·3 min read
The actor is the favourite to take the role
The actor is the favourite to take the role

Tom Hardy has been cast as the new James Bond, reports have suggested, forcing bookies to scramble to close the market on the next 007.

Rumours have long circulated over who would take over the role when Daniel Craig stepped aside.

With new film No Time To Die due to be released and Craig set to end his tenure as the British agent, touted successor Hardy has reportedly been successfully cast for the part.

Reports in the US suggested that the star of Dunkirk and The Dark Knight Rises Batman film had enjoyed a successful audition for the part of Bond.

Punters looking to back the British star found that bets were suspended after the news broke over the weekend, and bookies scrambled to respond to the news.

The market is once again open on the future of the iconic role, with odds slashed to 4/5 on Hardy taking over from Craig.

At 43 Hardy would become the second-oldest Bond at the outset of his tenure after Sir Roger Moore, who was 46 when Live and Let Die was released.

If the announcement and production of the next film in the franchise is delayed, the actor behind Batman villain Bane could potentially break Sir Roger’s record.

Hardy has long been associated with the role, but has remained reticent about his chances of taking the part first fully brought to the screen by Sean Connery in 1962’s Dr No.

Hinting that he didn’t want to ruin his chances with publicity, the star said previously:  "You know, there's a saying amongst us in the fraternity of acting, and in the fellowship of my peer group, that if you talk about it you're automatically out of the race.”

The star also said the reinvention of the franchise with Craig had been “impressive”, and the films had been crafted into “something profound" with director Christopher Nolan.

Coverage from The Vulcan Report claimed that Hardy had been given the role by Bond producers EON Productions.

While there has been no word from the actor himself or 007 filmmakers, odds on the star taking the role have been slashed.

Ladbrokes explained that odds were cut from 8/1 to just 4/5 after rumours began circulating.

Alex Apati of Ladbrokes said: "A flurry of bets over the past 24 hours suggests the cat is out the bag and it's Tom Hardy that'll soon be replacing Daniel Craig as 007."

He is now the firm favourite ahead of second palace James Norton, who made his name playing crime-fighting vicar Sidney Chambers.

Sam Heughan, best-known for appearing in the historical drama series Outlander, is the third favourite.

The next most-fancied successor to Craig is the long-time preferred pick for the role with the betting public, Tom Hiddleston, who sealed his reputation with The Night Manager.

Idris Elba, also a perennial contender to take on the mantle of 007, is not the main contender according to bookies.

Bodyguard star Richard Madden has also been linked with the role, as has Michael Fassbender, although neither are favourites for the part. 

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