James Norton or Tom Hardy? Who could be the next James Bond to replace Daniel Craig in his most iconic role ever played?

Place Your Bets

After the release of the latest James Bond movie "No Time To Die" this spring, Daniel Craig will retire after 14 years in the film franchise. With that said, the search for his replacement has started.

There are a number of actors ready and willing to fill in his shoes: Tom Hardy who played the lead role in "Venom," Sam Heughan of "Outlander," and Tom Hiddleston of "The Night Manager." However, the bets have increased for another actor to be the next James Bond.

James Norton is now the crowd favorite, and it looks like the bookies have shortened the odds in his favor. 

At the moment, the "Happy Valley" star is at 6/4 to become the next 007. While Norton may have taken the lead in McMafia, the "Bodyguard" star Richard Madden is also up for the spy challenge at 4-1. 

Close behind the race to replace Craig are Hiddleston and Heughan who are both priced at 5-1. Hardy used to be a favorite for the role, but he is now down to 8-1 along with another former favorite Aidan Turner.

Secret Meetings

Several news outlets have previously reported that James Norton has been confirmed to replace Daniel Craig as 007 following the secret meetings he has had with the franchise bosses. However, Norton insisted that there was no truth to the meetings. 

A source told The Sun that last year, a series of meetings were held at the back end. "Numerous meetings and secret squirrel script readings were had at the back end of last year," the source added. "James has always been in the frame but until four months ago there were no concrete moves."

According to the source, Norton claimed to have ticked all the boxes needed to qualify to become the next James Bond, at least from the end of the big bosses.

James has reportedly been in upstate New York filming for the last few months until he was recently out to celebrate. One of his friends openly told the crowd that his mate has been chosen to be the next James Bond. 

The announcement of his new role is set to be made this summer. 

Clearing The Rumors

Norton, however, talked to The Times to clarify the rumors that a decision has already been made and that he has been chosen. The actor said that none of which is real, pointing out that "it's speculative" and there is no truth behind it."

"Although it is quite flattering to even be considered for such an iconic role, it is bizarre to announce that a decision has been made. Everything is pure speculation," the actor added. 

Just before the release of another iconic Bond film, Craig said that he would "rather slash his wrists than to play the role of the iconic spy again. 

Who is it going to be the next James Bond? Everyone will just have to wait to find out. 

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