James Bond: THIS star runaway favourite to replace Daniel Craig – odds fall to lowest ever

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Sometimes it feels like it might be easier (and quicker) to become an actual secret service agent than to stay in the race to play the most iconic one on screen. Years and years keep passing with the original top dogs still in the race but giving way to one undeniable alpha. The rumours and speculation started way back when Skyfall was released. At the time, Daniel Craig swore he would rather slit his wrists than return to the role. But then he signed up for SPECTRE. Which was supposed to be his grand swan song. It perhaps wasn’t quite as universally acclaimed as some would like and Craig seems determined to have one final go at being the greatest Bond of all time.

That remains to be seen after various delays, directors being fired and accidents on set.

Either way, it’s undeniable that many eyes, in the industry and among the public, are now looking beyond Bond 25.

Idris Elba and Tom Hiddleston remain contenders on 5 to 1 and 4 to 1 respectively. Recent additions to the list Cillian Murphy and James Norton are close behind on 6 to 1.

But one man has now gone beyond Evens and stands at a mighty 4 to 5.

All hail the former King In The North from HBO’s Game of Thrones. Not only has he led armies to great victories, he has impressive Bodyguard training and even moonlights as the perfect Prince Charming for every Cinderella.

Can anybody stand in Richard Madden’s way?

Coral Bookmakers has reduced the odds on Madden yet again, and base it on industry analysis.

A spokesman said: “We are still waiting on confirmation on whether there will be a second series of Bodyguard and that delay has prompted a flurry of bets on Richard Madden becoming the next James Bond where they feel he is perfect to play the role of 007.”

The buzz had already started last year when the first series aired and the producers admitted they were unsure if Madden would be able to return due to his increasing profile and schedule.

The Scottish actor already has a huge blockbuster lined up for 2020 when he debuts as Ikaris in Marvel’s The Eternals, alongside Angelina Jolie and Salma Hayek.

With Bond 25 out in 2020, it is unlikely a full reboot will happen immediately. Even if the star replacing Craig is announced, there will almost certainly be a short hiatus. Plenty of time for Bodyguard 2 and Marvel magic.

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