It’s no secret that Daniel Craig has been trying to slip out of James Bond’s pristine tuxedo for some time now, and it is believed that the current production of the famous franchise – currently untitled and scheduled for release in 2019 – will be his last.
Indeed, the die was cast when he told a Sun reporter that he would rather ‘….break this glass and slash my wrists’ than take on the role once more.
But his stance apparently softened when Sam Mendes, who was meant to be directing the 25th Bond film, quit. The pair had allegedly not seen eye to eye on set.
Craig has confirmed he is set to be a father for the second time with partner Rachel Weisz, and reiterated that Bond 25 would be the last in which he wears the spy’s dinner jacket.
Speculation has been rife as to his successor for a while now, with a number of names in the frame. But the decision from Paddy Power to suspend betting on one candidate in particular after a flurry of wagers offers the biggest hint yet….
Plenty of Elba Room for Idris
The man in question is Idris Elba, the Luther actor and part-time DJ who saw his odds cut from 10/1 to 4/6 to don 007’s Gucci loafers for the 26th installment of the franchise.
The market move came after movie mogul Barbara Broccoli reportedly said ‘it’s time’ after being quizzed about the possibility of a black James Bond.
Elba himself fanned the flames by posting on Twitter “the name’s Elba, Idris Elba’, which caused pandemonium on the social media platform.
But he returned to his channel a few hours later, posting a photograph of Public Image and writing ‘don’t believe the hype’ – perhaps a reference that many had jumped to the wrong conclusion about his chances of playing the wisecracking espionage specialist.
At one point Irish bookmaker Paddy Power had suspended their market after the wagers flooded in, but they have since reopened the bracket with Elba still the odds-on favourite at 10/11.
A spokesman said: “A hint from the James Bond producer, some weighty bets and the fact that Idris Elba is one of the coolest men on the planet has forced us to stop taking bets on him for the next James Bond.
“We’re now convinced that he’s going to take over from Daniel Craig following Bond 25. From Hackney with Love.”
The Likely Lads
There are, of course, other names in the frame despite Elba’s red hot favouritism.
Tom Hardy appears a smart bet at 9/2; he has that suave, dashing Bond thing going on.
James Norton, who has appeared in Grantchester and McMafia, is the next in the market at 6/1, but is he high profile enough to get the role?
Sam Heughan (6/1) and Aiden Turner (15/2) have the looks, while Mark Strong (22/1) has the brawn, and if you think the producers might take a huge leap of faith you can back ‘any female to be the next James Bond’ at 16/1.
If you fancy a novelty bet on a huge outsider, the likes of Harry Styles (150/1), Danny Dyer (200/1) and David Beckham (500/1) might just float your boat!