James Bond stalwart Daniel Craig stepping down has the great and good of male British acting vying for the job with bookmakers. Having confirmed his departure, Craig will hand over the mantle to the next Bond after appearing in his fifth and final film in the franchise, No Time To Die.
Following reports there have been “concrete moves” made for James Norton to take over from Craig, however, he has emerged as the new favourite with Coral.
The bookies have trimmed the McMafia and Grantchester star’s odds to just 7-4, putting him firmly in the lead ahead of Sam Heughan, 11-4, and Tom Hiddleston, 7-2.
Just a few weeks ago, prior to rumours of secret meetings with Bond bosses, Norton was much further down the list, behind Outlander actor Heughan, Hiddleston and Bodyguard’s Richard Madden, priced at just 8-1 alongside Michael Fassbender.
While Fassbender remains on 8-1, however, he has now rocketed to the front of the pack, overtaking of longtime favourite Heughan.
The move comes after reports a pal of Norton let slip that the actor was to be the next Bond.
“Numerous meetings and secret squirrel script readings were had at the back end of last year,” a source told The Sun.
“James has always been in the frame but until four months ago there were no concrete moves.
“Producers wanted a Brit and James ticks all the boxes — tall, strapping, physically fit and, of course, looks great in a dinner jacket,” they continued.
At 18, she will be the youngest artist in history to write and record a theme song for the franchise.
“It feels crazy to be a part of this in every way,” she gushed, calling the appointment “a huge honour”.
“James Bond is the coolest film franchise ever to exist. I’m still in shock.”
Eilish follows in the footsteps of the likes of Adele, Sam Smith and Jack White and Alicia Keys.
The trailer for Craig’s last outing as Bond was released last month, giving fans their first proper look at what to expect from No Time To Die.
Bond will begin the movie retired from active service and enjoying a quiet life in Jamaica, before his old pal Felix Leiter (played by Jeffrey Wright) asks for his help in rescuing a kidnapped scientist.
The mission leads Bond on the trail of a mysterious villain, Safin (Rami Malek), who is armed with a dangerous new technology.
James Bond: No Time To Die is released in UK cinemas April 3.