The Oscars are proving to be a fertile hunting ground for the next James Bond film with Rami Malek, winner of the 2019 Academy Award for Best Actor, set to join Bond 25 as the lead villain.  

Daniel Craig’s last turn as Ian Fleming’s secret agent comes in Shatterhand which is due to hit cinemas in April 2020.  

The betting market for Craig’s replacement is thriving but is a campaign to see Jane Bond on our screens? The London Evening Standard pondered this very question in celebrating Olivia Colman’s success at the Academy Awards.  

Collecting the Best Actress in Los Angeles earlier this month so quickly after a BAFTA left the impression that Ms Colman can win anything going, probably Masterchef and GBBO as well. 

But win the race to be the next Bond? That may be beyond her; the best odds currently around on her being Jane Bond are 66/1 with Betfair and Paddy Power both casting her at a 100/1 long shot. 

To put that into context, Ladbrokes and Coral are offering 12/1 on any female being cast in the lead role.  

The leading ladies in the betting are no surprise. Emily Blunt could claim a unique double; few will have a chance to star in, let alone be in the running for, Mary Poppins and James Bond. Are there two more iconic British roles on the silver screen? It’s only a 50/1 shot with Ladbrokes. 

Her closest named rival is Angelina Jolie. It’s been a while since she brought Lara Croft to life and with that franchise rebooting with Alicia Vikander, is Bond a natural progression for Jon Voight’s little girl? The best price from Coral of 80/1 suggests not. 

To many she will always be Lol Jenkins in This is England, but Vicky McClure leads a pack of 100/1 shots who you can quite easily imagine in a Bond-type role. OK, not all of them; Fleabag as Bond is stretching it although Phoebe Waller-Bridge is as English as they come.  

Charlize Theron and Gillian Anderson, however, are two very different Ms Bond’s. Both are used to action roles but Theron at 5’10 towers over Anderson at 5’3. I’m not sure the latter could pull off some of the stunts and would she need blocks on the pedals of a DB5? 

But It’s Mr Bond, Surely? 

That’s the reality for now. Barbara Broccoli told the world Jane was a separate franchise and there were no plans to cast a female bond in her lifetime.  

Nor according to the housewives choice Tom Hiddleston, is he in the running for Bond. “I haven’t spoken to anybody that makes those films,” he said. “It’s just an idea in people’s minds so it’s quite hard to engage with.” 

Not that hard; Betfair is among a cluster of bookies who pitch the Night Manager star at 5/4. Everything about Loki rings the Bond bells from height and build to the accent although Hiddleston can speak as anyone as he proved on Graham Norton’s show with his impressions. 

A lot of column inches have recently been devoted to Cillian Murphy, the star of Peaky Blinders among many other shows. His odds shortened to 6/4 with Paddy Power after the announcement that there will be a further three seasons of the Brummie gangsters.  

The press lapped it up and Murphy received the backing of Miss Moneypenny when actress Naomi Harris gave the boy from County Cork her blessing for the role. 

While that pair are the bookie’s favourites, Richard Madden is paying the price for not being in the news at present. His odds are drifting to 4/1 having been a clear second-favourite up to now.  

Along with Idris Elba, who is now free of the Luther shackles, and Tom Hardy, they form a resolute leadership of the peloton at 4’s and 5’s with Betfair and Paddy Power. 

Suggestions of Javier Bardem taking the lead role seem unfeasible given he was the baddie in Skyfall. The Spaniard is only 20/1 – an outside but not a long-shot – which is the same price as Ross Poldark, or Aidan Turner as his Mammy knows him.  

If Hiddleston is the housewives favourite, Turner isn’t far behind with a topless shot from the Cornish set a sure-fire way for a tabloid to shift a few extra copies. 

The next Bond is unlikely to be named soon so there are plenty of other contenders still to emerge. 

Published by Stuart Stratford

Stuart is a freelance writer based in the UK with more than a dozen years experience. He previously worked with Daily Mail betting, 10bet, Betway, Come On and a number of other international bookmakers, as well as ITV and Goal. Contact Stuart at stuart@aclfarsenal.co.uk.

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