Next James Bond Henry Cavill and Tom Hardy hopes destroyed by new favourite | Films | Entertainment

Hopes were high for Henry Cavill to be the next James Bond but many had feared his commitments to playing Superman in the DC big screen universe and Geralt in The Witcher TV franchise would be the biggest obstacle. And then, shockingly, by the end of last year, he no longer held either role. He was also the runner-up to Daniel Craig in the Bond auditions the last tie around. Surely this time the role was his. For much of 2022 UK bookies had Cavill as the clear favourite to take over as 007 in the latest Bond odds. But now a newcomer has burst into the race and smashed past everyone.

As well as public opinion and insider commentators, the most important people are the Bond producers Barbara Broccoli and her half-brother Michael G Wilson. They have been very clear it is not the time for a female Bond but that the actor will be British and all ethnicities are eligible. They are also looking for a fresh new direction, perhaps away from the stoic and serious stylings of Craig.

However, reports have also revealed that the producers are seeking an actor under 40 who can carry the franchise for at least a decade – and 39-year-old handsome Henry will start his own next decade in May. Tom Hardy is already 45.

Meanwhile, a former rank outside has shot past everyone, amid reports that he has already screen-tested for the role.

Coral spokesman John Hill told Express Online: “Aaron Taylor-Johnson is the name everybody is backing to replace Daniel Craig as the next James Bond. He is now odds-on for that role for the first time since opened betting on this market several years ago.”

The bookies has Taylor-Johnson at 4-5 odds, followed by Happy Valley, Grantchester and McMafia star James Norton on 3-1.

After being out in front for so long, Cavill has slipped back to 7-2, while Hardy is languishing behind on 5-1.

The rest of the list includes odds of 4-1 for Bridgerton’s Rege-Jean Page, 6-1 for original overwhelming favourite Idris Elba, 13-2 for Chiwetel Ejiofor, 12-1 for Aidan Turner and 12-1 for Jamie Dornan.

Elba, whose new Luther sequel The Fallen Sun hit Netflix at the weekend, turns 51 this year and has been increasingly open about ruling himself out of the Bond race.

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