LONDON: British bookmakers made actor Tom Hiddleston the favourite to become the next James Bond on Thursday after a newspaper report that Daniel Craig is “done” playing the superspy.
The Daily Mail, citing an anonymous LA film source, said 48-year-old Craig had told executives at MGM Studios that last year’s movie “Spectre” was his last outing as 007.
“Daniel is done, pure and simple, he told top brass at MGM after Spectre. They threw huge amounts of money at him, but it just wasn’t what he wanted,” the source said.
The paper reported that Craig, who has played Bond in four films in the past decade, had turned down an offer of £68 million (88.5 million euros, $99 million) for two more.
Craig is contracted to do a fifth film but last year said he would rather “slash my wrists” than play 007 again.
He told Time Out magazine: “If I did another Bond movie, it would only be for the money.”
Bookmakers William Hill and Ladbrokes both had Hiddleston, a 35-year-old British actor who appeared in “Thor” and recently starred in BBC spy drama “The Night Manager” which is now showing in the United States, the most likely new Bond.
“We have seen Damian Lewis, Idris Elba and Tom Hardy all occupy the top of the betting at various stages of the last 12 months but it would seem that Tom Hiddleston is in pole position at the right time,” a spokesman said.
A Ladbrokes spokesperson said the odds on favourite Hiddleston had been “trimmed” following the Daily Mail report, although she said Aidan Turner, who played the dwarf Kili in the Hobbit films, was still popular.
Another bookmakers, Coral, suspended betting on Hiddleston earlier in the week after a particularly large bet.