Who will take over one of the biggest roles in the history of Hollywood and, indeed, world cinema? Over the past few months, we have learned a lot about what the franchise producers are looking for. Barbara Broccoli (daughter of legendary Bond producer Cubby Broccoli) and her half-brother Michael G Wilson have said that it is time for a bold new direction. They are reported to have already met with actors like Aaron Taylor-Johnson, and James Norton, while Henry Cavill, of course, was almost Bond the last time around. The latest Bond odds reveal who the British public are backing.
There have also been industry reports that the casting process has strict guidelines this time around. Broccoli has been vocal that they will be keeping the basic requirements that the actor who takes over as Bond is male and British. However, she has also publicly confirmed that he could be of any ethnicity.
Other reports also include details that the producers are limiting the upper age range of who they are considering at 40, with a view to building a new series of films potentially over at least ten years.
This has already knocked out former front-runners like Tom Hardy at 45, and the overwhelming public favourite for many years, Idris Elba, who is now 50.
Elba, himself, has also vocally distanced himself from the role and is no longer viewed as a serious contender, despite still featuring relatively high in ongoing UK bookies’ odds.
As for Cavill, he has been equally vocal in reinforcing his ongoing desire for a part that he narrowly lost back in 2005 to Daniel Craig. He was, perhaps, a little callow then at just 22 but has gone on to prove himself in actions roles from Superman and The Witcher to the brutal bruiser villain August Walker in Mission Impossible fallout.
And now, all the odds, literally, are finally in his favour, as he surges past all the competition.
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UK bookies Ladbrokes has just confirmed that the British public is backing Cavill as their next James Bond with overwhelming odds now at 7/4.
Ladbrokes spokesman Alex Apati told the Express: “Henry Cavill has pulled even further ahead in the race to replace Daniel Craig, with punters heavily backing him to get the gig this week.”
Former leader Aaron Taylor-JOhnson has slipped back to 3/1, neck and neck with another major contender, James Norton, who is riding high on the success of the final season of Happy Valley.
The rest of the latest list is composed of Bridgerton star Rege-Jean Page at 7/1, followed by Tom Hardy, still in the mix at 8/1, and Jack Lowden on 10/1.
Page will undoubtedly enjoy another spike in interest as his latest film, Dungeons and Dragons, hits cinemas this weekend, alongside Chris Pratt and Hugh Grant.
But many will be happy with the prospect of Cavill slipping into the 007 tuxedo, especially now that he no longer has the potentially distracting roles of Superman and The Witcher to diminish his chances.