Hardy may swap Batman battles for girls and gadgets as next Bond

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With rumours rife that Daniel Craig may have sipped his last Martini as James Bond, a host of candidates are ready to do battle over the role every red-blooded male would love to play.

And a look at the biggest action blockbusters of recent years give many a clue as to the likeliest actors to take up the 007 mantle.

Idris Elba leads the betting at 5/1, and justification of the Luther lead’s price would see him become the first ever black Bond, a title Rio Ferdinand has previously outlined he is keen to assume.

But with his football career still very much alive and well, he is excluded from our market, though his former Manchester United team-mate David Beckham can be backed at 200/1.

Perhaps it is wiser to stick with orthodox actors though, and Michael Fassbender is another near the head of the market, as a 6/1 shot to take over from Craig.

Fassbender was acclaimed for recent roles in X-Men: First Class as well as Prometheus, whilst his portrayal of an MI6 agent in lower-budget thriller Haywire would stand him in good stead for a stint as 007.

At 7/1 though, Tom Hardy appears potentially overpriced to become the next man to obtain a license to kill on her Majesty’s secret service.

Often employed in villainous roles, Hardy has proved his credentials in blockbusters such as Inception, Rocknrolla and the Dark Knight Rises, whilst the shape he got into for Warrior suggests he potentially has the perfect look to play Bond.

Hardy’s ability to portray characters oozing with charisma, wit and charm would also appear to make him an ideal candidate to succeed Craig, who may look back on Skyfall as his last outing as a tuxedo-clad womanizer, at least until his next movie premiere.

Long at 7/1, now looks as good a time as any to back Hardy to assume the role, with the 35-year-old certain to remain prominent in the betting until an announcement is made.

All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.

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