Plenty Of Time For Next James Bond Betting Odds To Die Down

Plenty Of Time For Next James Bond Betting Odds To Die Down
© PA
The upcoming Bond film will be Daniel Craig's last in the lead role of the long-running franchise (© PA Images)

With the release of No Time To Die drawing closer – the twenty-fifth 007 movie hits cinemas at the start of April – UK bookmakers have gone into overdrive promoting their market on who will replace the retiring Daniel Craig as the shaken but not stirred agent for the next instalment of the long-running British spy film franchise.

It’s hard to get an honest appraisal of how this one will go as online and high street betting firms have been using terms such as “odds slashed” and “betting suspended” in their headline grabbing press releases in regards to Craig’s replacement for well over three years.

However, the latest odds movement do show two candidates have shortened considerably in recent weeks.

Firstly, Richard Madden, the Scottish actor who portrayed Robb Stark in the massively popular Game of Thrones, went from top-priced 8/1 into 4/1 (just 3/1 at Ladbrokes) to get the role.

Having played a similar part in the BBC hit thriller series Bodyguard, where he depicted a protection officer, he certainly looks custom-made for the promotion.

Irish actor Cillian Murphy, who plays gangster turned politician Tommy Shelby in the global TV hit Peaky Blinders, is another candidate punters have seemingly lumped on.

He’s had a roller-coaster ride within the betting but, coinciding with a poll conducted by social network LADbible which attracted 400,000 votes and saw the 43-year-old declared ‘the greatest TV character of all time’, he’s back into 14/1 with Paddy Power.

Favourite is Flattered

But it is James Norton who now heads the betting. His CV includes major roles in several TV series, namely Grantchester, War & Peace and McMafia. However, talking to the Sunday Times’ Culture Magazine two weeks ago the 34-year-old declared any talk of him landing the part was pure speculation.

“There is no truth behind it [being given the 007 role] unless journalists know something more than I do. It’s bizarre and quite flattering to be even considered in that world, but beyond that? Pure speculation,” he was quoted as saying.

Another who touched favouritism but remains towards the top of the current betting is Sam Heughan. This Scotsman has been far more upbeat and positive in regards to taking one of the most coveted jobs in showbusiness.

A recipient of multiple awards for his role as Jamie Fraser in the hit US series, Outlander, Heughan was asked about the rumours of him becoming the next Bond during a December appearance on The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon to which he replied: “I can reveal right now that I am not James Bond. I’m still waiting for the call,” he said.

Fallon then asked: “But you haven’t been told you’re not James Bond?” to which Heughan replied “I haven’t been told I’m not. Ian Fleming [Bond’s creator] had a lot of Scottish ties and I think it would be definitely time for another Scottish Bond.”

They say ‘if horses could talk we would still back lots of losers’ but this most certainly was a powerful soundbite in the scheme of things.

Nevertheless, it is very doubtful the identity of the next Bond will be announced until long after No Time To Die is released and it is most likely we will have at least one other name topping the betting lists in the interim.

Who knows as Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex, has abandoned his royal titles and is seemingly unemployed, maybe he will be subject of the next bookmaker announcement and an ‘avalanche of money’ will see him being touted for the job – and we are not talking April 1st stuff here, ironically the eve of No Time To Die’s theatrical release.