According to The Hollywood Reporter, British actor Daniel Craig might be holding the winning hand in the James Bond/Casino Royale sweepstakes. Most handicappers have had Craig, star of this summer's Layer Cake, on the shortlist for some time, and Tuesday, London's Daily Mail upped the ante by reporting that Craig will indeed fill the shoes of the mythic Agent 007.

Separately, sources close to the project say that the actor is close to being officially tapped as the new Bond. In keeping with its tight-lipped policy regarding Casino Royale, a spokesman for Sony Pictures, which will release the gambling-themed Bond film -- scheduled to go before the cameras in early 2006 under Martin Campbell's direction -- said: "We are not commenting on rumors. When we have an announcement to make, we will let you know."

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