While we're far from hearing anything official regarding who will take over the role of James Bond after Daniel Craig hangs up his Walther PPK, the odds-on favorite is currently Avengers: Infinity War star Tom Hiddleston. Speculation has already been going on for more than two years in regards to who the next 007 could be, given Craig's non-committal attitude in regards to James Bond 25, prior to the announcement that he was indeed going to come back for one more round as the iconic MI6 agent. But with his fifth and final outing set for next year, attention has once again turned to the future of the franchise.

British bookmaker Coral has the 37-year-old Tom Hiddleston going off at 2-1 odds, making him the clear favorite to become the next James Bond. This is far from the first we've heard of Tom Hiddleston being a potential candidate for the coveted part. In May of 2016, the British actor was so heavily expected to be the next 007 that bookmakers literally stopped taking bets on him because it appeared to be such a sure thing.

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There were rumors at one point that Tom Hiddleston, best known for his role as Loki in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, had even met with franchise producer Barbara Broccoli. But that was before Daniel Craig committed to James Bond 25, which looks to begin production in the near future under the direction of Cary Fukunaga, following a long and tumultuous development process. And at this point, Broccoli reportedly doesn't want to look beyond Craig's tenure. Though, the actor has made it clear that this is going to be his final time playing the part.

Other actors in the mix, in terms of oddsmaking, include James Norton (3-1), Idris Elba (4-1), and Tom Hardy (4-1). Both Hardy and Elba have been big favorites online over the years, but Elba has more or less taken himself out of the running and Hardy has a very busy schedule already. There were also rumors that Game of Thrones star Richard Madden could be up for the part down the line, and Henry Cavill has also proved to be a popular choice. Part of what has put Tom Hiddleston over the top is his turn on the series The Night Manager, in which, he plays a British spy. With a second season in the works, that could almost serve as an informal audition for the role.

In any event, it's probably too early to even discuss this, in real terms. James Bond 25 is set to be released on February 14, 2020. While the franchise will surely continue beyond that without Daniel Craig, there will undoubtedly be a gap of at least a year or two to give it time to breathe and settle before announcing a new 007. When that time does come, don't be surprised to hear Tom Hiddleston's name. This news was previously reported by Express.

Ryan Scott at Movieweb
Ryan Scott