Time to wheel out the usual shaken and stirred comments. It’s been a hard-fought battle over the past few years as some of the UK and Ireland’s biggest stars have vied to go on Her Majesty’s Secret Service. McMafia and Grantchester hunk James Norton has been leading the pack for over a year but could never quite shake off some of the original contenders like Tom Hiddleston, Idris Elba and Tom Hardy. Suddenly, though, a US source with a strong track record for insider scoops has dropped a Bond bombshell.
The Vulcan Reporter claims they heard back in June that Hardy had basically been locked into the role after a successful audition.
According to the site, the 43-year-old star of Venom had been all set to be announced as the new Bond this November, during the majr promotional push for Craig’s final outing in No Time To Die.
With cinema release dates in chaos due to the on-going coronavirus pandemic, this now seems less likely but the industry site still confidently expects that that an announcement will come before the end of 2020.
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In immediate response to the breaking news today, major UK bookies Coral suspended bets on who will be the next James Bond.
A spokesman for Coral told Express Online: “The betting on who will play James Bond is always popular with our punters, with James Norton and Sam Heughan the two most recent favourites, but Tom Hardy has always been close to the head of the betting.
“Hardy was as short as 6-4 favourite last year, so if he has indeed landed the coveted role, the bookies will have been left shaken if not stirred.”
Before the shock report surfaced, Coral had James Norton out clear in front on 6-4, with Highlander star Sam Heughan on 2-1 and Tom Hiddleston still in the mix at 5-1.
Game of Thrones and Bodyguard actor Richard Madden was on 6-1 with Hardy just behind, on equal odds with Michael fassbender and Jack Lowden at 8-1.
Ladbrokes, however, have made Hardy the new favorite, slashing odds from 8-1 to 4-5.
A spokesman 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.”
Leaks, scoops and rumours are part of the Hollywood game and must always been taken with a large pinch of salt.
However, The Vulcan Reporter is regarded as more credible than most.
DR Movie News tweeted: “They’re a very reliable source, so it seems as if it’s only a matter of time before this is officially announced.”
While DisInsider’s Skyler Shuler tweeted: “I’m no Bond scooper, but @Vullein doesn’t run nonsense. If he’s hearing Hardy is the new Bond then that’s what’s up.
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