Today’s James Bond news comes not from actors, directors, or producers involved in the franchise, nor intrepid reporters calling in favors and digging for leads, but rather from bookmakers in the UK. Seemingly out of nowhere, Homeland star Damian Lewis’ 007 stock has risen from a long-shot to a second-place favorite behind Idris Elba. While I had no idea that people placed bets on such things, it’s a curious cultural phenomenon and an interesting possibility going forward.
As THR reports, Lewis was previously at 25/1 odds to fill the shoes of the super-spy but has jumped up to a 3/1 shot, placing him ahead of Tom Hardy (4/1), Henry Cavill (5/1) and Michael Fassbender (7/1). As far as I know, this all amounts to little more than financially backed wish-listing, but we know Lewis would be interested in the part since back in 2013 he joked that the “Scottish heritage outlined in Skyfall had ‘paved the way perfectly for a red-headed Bond.’” But is the door even open for a new Bond since Daniel Craig has become the face of the franchise’s recent resurgence?
Well now perhaps that’s the more interesting question. Though Ian Fleming’s Bond property has enjoyed a cinematic run of more than 50 years, it was only recently that MGM and Sony partnered up, starting with the successful revisit to Casino Royale. Craig shook his martinis in the follow-up films Quantum of Solace and Skyfall, and will appear in Sam Mendes’ Spectre this November. However, the 24th Bond film marks the end of the studios’ partnership, which has resulted in a bidding war among contenders for the lucrative property. Mendes was looking likely to helm the 25th film, just as likely as Craig was to return as Bond, but with the property rights up in the air at the moment, nothing is certain. Perhaps this is Lewis’ chance? Let us know who you think the next Bond should be, or if Craig should reprise his role one more time, in the comments below!