With No Time to Die marking Daniel Craig's fifth and final outing as Ian Flemings iconic spy, rumors are beginning to circulate that Mad Max: Fury Road star, Tom Hardy, has been chosen as his replacement. Now, full disclosure, the following should be taken with fist full of salt rather than just a pinch.

Reportedly, the 43-year old Hardy won the role of James Bond back in June after a successful audition. The plan was to make the casting announcement following the release of [No Time to Die}, but due to delays this was put on the back burner, with insiders now claiming that the announcement won't be made until next year.

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Tom Hardy has been a bookies favorite to take over from Daniel Craig for some time, with the actor's odds recently jumping to a healthy 8/1, an improvement from this time last year. He has also been many a Bond fans' top choice, thanks to his raw talent, powerfully intense screen presence, and ability to look good in a tuxedo. Despite seemingly being perfect for the role, Hardy's casting would still be a surprising one. Historically, the role of Bond is not usually given to such recognizable actors, with the part instead given to lesser known talent who are thereby shot to the A-list thanks to being associated with the 007 franchise.

Following roles in the likes of Layer Cake alongside Daniel Craig, Guy Ritchie's RocknRolla, and a blistering performance as Britain's most infamous prisoner, Bronson, Tom Hardy has become one of the most sought-after actors in Hollywood. The actor has proven his unique talent time and again in critically acclaimed projects such as Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy, Warrior, and Mad Max: Fury Road, and has worked with director Christopher Nolan several times in the likes of Inception, The Dark Knight Rises, and Dunkirk, each time providing a performance that is wholly distinctive. Hardy's performance in 2015's The Revenant was recognised with an Oscar nomination, and next year he is due to reprise the role of Eddie Brock in comic book sequel Venom: Let There Be Carnage. No doubt, Hardy's addition to the Bond series would be a victory for the long-running franchise.

Before any of that though, we still have yet to see Daniel Craig as James Bond for the fifth and final time in the upcoming No Time to Die, which picks up five years after the capture of Ernst Stavro Blofeld, with James Bond having now left active service. He is approached by Felix Leiter, his friend, and a CIA officer, who enlists his help in the search for Valdo Obruchev, a missing scientist. When it becomes apparent that Obruchev was abducted, Bond must confront a danger the likes of which the world has never seen before.

No Time to Die is directed by Beasts of No Nation's Cary Joji Fukunaga from a screenplay by Neal Purvis, Robert Wade, Fukunaga, and Phoebe Waller-Bridge. Léa Seydoux, Ben Whishaw, Naomie Harris, Jeffrey Wright, Christoph Waltz, and Ralph Fiennes reprise their roles from previous films, with Rami Malek and Lashana Lynch joining the main cast. No Time to Die has been delayed several times due to the ongoing global circumstances, with rumors currently abound that it may be delayed again. For now, the movie is scheduled for release on 12 November in the United Kingdom and on 25 November in the United States, with a recent poster sticking to the November release. This comes to us courtesy of The Vulcan Reporter.

Jon Fuge at Movieweb
Jon Fuge