Next James Bond: ‘Rocketman star Richard Madden CLEAR favourite to replace Daniel Craig’

The incumbent James Bond is having minor ankle surgery before returning to shoot Bond 25, but just who will replace him as 007 next? Well, favourite Madden currently holds the best odds to take the Licence to Kill next. According to Coral, the 32-year-old is currently 2-1 to be the next Bond, with Tom Hiddleston and Idris Elba being at 5-1. A spokesman for the bookmakers said: “Richard Madden has been very popular to play the next 007 and following a flurry of bets behind the Bodyguard star over the last couple of days, he is now the clear favourite for the role.”

Presumably, this flurry of bets came over the weekend as Madden stars in the newly released Elton John biopic Rocketman.

The actor plays Elton’s manager and lover John Reid in the fantasy musical.

Madden portrays him as well-dressed and suave; channelling a Bond vibe that audiences will have picked up on whether intentional or not.

Last week, the actor was asked at the Rocketman press conference in Cannes if it was a “done deal” that he was replacing Craig as 007.

Despite the encouragement from Egerton next to him, a bashful Madden was adamant it was nothing but speculation.

He said: “It’s very flattering to be involved in that conversation at all.

“But it’s all just talk and I’m sure next week it’ll be someone different.”

Nevertheless, Bond producer Barbara Broccoli has made it clear she wants to persuade Craig to stay on for a sixth 007 movie.

According to GMB’s Ross King: “When I was asking her about it [being Daniel’s final Bond film], she said, ‘I’m in complete denial’. She is a very powerful lady, as we all know.

“Maybe don’t count out the fact that he might come back for just one more.”

Meanwhile, Moneypenny star Naomie Harris said: “Daniel has never said that [Bond 25 is his last film], so we don’t know. It’s still open – who knows? Genuinely I think he doesn’t know. Nobody does.

“It depends on this film and if people turn out and are like, ‘We want Daniel’ – which I think they will – then he may well be back for another one.”

Bond 25 will be released in UK cinemas on April 3, 2020.

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