The Next James Bond market is a perennial favourite among punters and ever since the current incumbent, Daniel Craig, announced that he would be stepping down, the market has been buzzing.
Top of the pile currently is James Norton, the bookies favourite at 4/1. Best known for his roles in television dramas Grantchester and Happy Valley, he has a considerable stage pedigree, and has previously expressed a desire to play a Bond villain. Although there has been nothing concrete about rumours that he is line for the role, his name continues to crop up in connection with Bond, and if the franchise is to continue along traditional lines, he seems to be the most likely candidate.
A lot of Bond speculation has revolved around whether the franchise was about to make a more significant change and give us a black Bond or a woman Bond. The possibility of a female Bond seems to have receded, as the leading candidates at this point; Gillian Anderson and Thandie Newton, are both priced up at 50/1 with UK bookmakers.
Speculation about a black Bond has proven more persistent, with Idris Elba regularly reported to be the man in the frame. In fact, one bookmaker even suspended betting on Elba getting the role last summer. But the man himself is on record as saying he would never play Bond and his odds have been drifting steadily in recent weeks, out to 12/1 with Bet365 and others.
Punters looking for a more solid contender may prefer Tom Hiddleston, whose performances as Loki in the Marvel Cinematic Universe give him box office appeal. Hiddleston met with the Bond production company back in 2016, fuelling speculation that he was being lined up for the role. Nothing has emerged since then, but he is as short as 5/1 with some bookies.
Other leading contenders include Richard Madden (6/1) who has been compared to Sean Connery, Tom Hardy (7/1) who is reported to be Pierce Brosnan’s choice, and Peaky Blinders star, Cilian Murphy at 18/1. And if you fancy a rank outsider in this market, how about David Beckham (500/1), Alan Carr (500/1) or even the current Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn, who is priced up at 500/1 with Ladbrokes to swap his bicycle for an Aston Martin.