Daniel Craig will be putting down his martini soon making way for a new actor to take up the mantle. While Tom Hardy has long been slated for the job, a new contender is on the scene : Sam Heughan. Previously, the Outlander star was barely even a contender and was priced a distant 75-1.
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Now, he’s raced ahead of the likes of Hardy and the Venom actor’s Peaky Blinders co-star Cillian Murphy to take a spot in the top three favourites
According to Paddy Power, Heughan’s odds have been slashed dramatically from 75-1 to 8-1.
This puts him behind favourite James Norton (2-1) and Tom Hiddleston (9-2).
Meanwhile, Hardy has been bumped to fourth on the list at 9-1.
James Bond: The new 007 actor could be Outlander star Sam Heughan
James Bond: Outlander star Sam Heughan’s odds of taking over as Bond have been slashed
“Forget Sean Connery, it’s more like From Balmaclellan With Love as Sam Heughan’s chances of becoming the next James Bond just shortened massively,” a Paddy Power spokesperson told Express.co.uk.
“He was as large as 75-1 with us this morning, but due to a large, sustained period of bets we’ve had to cut him into 8-1 – putting him amongst the favourites now.”
Heughan, who is best known as Jamie Fraser in Outlander, has previously revealed he would love the chance to bring Bond back to Scotland.
“I think any actor who says they wouldn’t [want to play Bond] would be lying,” he told STV earlier this year. “I think it’s about time we had a Scottish Bond again.
James Bond: No Time To Die will be Daniel Craig’s last Bond movie (Image: EON)
James Bond: Daniel Craig returns in ‘No Time To Die’
“I think Fleming had a good connection with Scotland and I believe James Bond was supposed to have been brought up in Scotland,” the Scottish actor continued.
However, he also acknowledged the number of actors he would have to beat to get the part, saying: “I know I’ve got competition out there, so we’ll see what happens.”
In another interview with The Scottish Sun, Heughan joked he would only play Bond if he was allowed to wear a kilt in character.
Meanwhile, the Outlander favourite has in fact auditioned for 007 before when bosses were casting for Casino Royale — when Craig got the part.
“I didn’t audition for Bond a long time ago when they were redoing it with Daniel Craig when he was Bond 21,” he said on Live with Kelly and Ryan.
“They were going to go younger with him and it was a pretty good experience. It’s about time we got a Scottish Bond,” he added.
To add fuel to the fire, Bond bosses have a history of casting actors who have previously auditioned for 007.
Both Timothy Dalton and Pierce Brosnan were strongly linked to the part years before they ended up taking it.
Heughan has played Jamie Fraser in Starz’s Outlander since it first aired in 2014.
He has starred in the fantasy romance drama opposite Caitriona Balfe for five seasons.
The actor previously appeared in Doctors, The Spy Who Dumped Me and A Very British Sex Scandal.
While the frontrunners in the race for the new Bond seem to change every day or two, Heughan’s meteoric rise into the top three is interesting to note as Craig’s exit draw closer.
No Time To Die will be released in UK cinemas April 3 2020.