Damian Lewis, who played U.S. Marine Sergeant Nicholas Brody in HBO’s “Homeland,” is among the most likely contenders to become James Bond, according to The Hollywood Reporter.
Lewis’ odds of taking over as Bond were raised substantially from 25/1 to 3/1 (currently at 6/4) – behind fellow Idris Elba’s odds of 5/2 – by British bookmaker William Hill.
Ever since Sean Connery first portrayed the famous spy in 1962, the casting for the role of James Bond has been a cause of excitement and debate alike. According to The Atlantic, “Brits are so touchy about who plays Bond that serious complaints arose about Daniel Craig’s casting because of his hair color.”
The Telegraph quoted a spokesperson from William Hill, saying, “Bets have been placed on [Lewis] succeeding Daniel Craig. This is an unprecedented gamble, as for no apparent reason we have seen bets of up to £200 on Damian Lewis being named as the next Bond. This might well be significant.”
A spokesman from Betfair, who agrees, said, “Damian Lewis hadn’t seen any interest in the betting until this weekend, but an absolute landslide in bets has forced us to cut the odds.”
Another frontline contender, Betfair says, is Elba, the stylish drug operator from HBO’s “The Wire.”
“Idris Elba looked like a foregone conclusion, but Damian Lewis has now thrown a huge spanner in the works,” Betfair said.
If Elba clinches the title, he will be the first black man to play Bond, though his contention received extreme criticism from Bond fans who couldn’t accept the spy as anything but white.
The list of contenders includes the likes of Christian Bale, Benedict Cumberbatch and – surprisingly – David Beckham, with odds of 33/1, 50/1 and 200/1 respectively.
The list also contains names like Tom Hardy (4/1), Orlando Bloom (12/1), Tom Hiddleston (25/1) and Hugh Jackman (50/1).
Craig, who has portrayed the spy since 2006, will appear in his fourth Bond movie titled “Spectre” scheduled for a release this November.
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