Damian Lewis Is A Serious Contender To Play James Bond, According To Bookies

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The neverending James Bond casting speculation continues, although no one knows whether Daniel Craig will continue with the role after Spectre. Crotchety Craig always appears on the verge of running away from the golden franchise. He’ll probably stick it out for another movie, but rumors shall not die. That’s where the internet comes in handy for casting agents to put out feelers here and there. Recent internet-approved Bond candidates include Jason Statham and Idris Elba, but can we expect producers to make such an exciting choice?

Today’s news introduces an unexpected prospect for the Bond franchise, and the info comes courtesy of UK bookies who introduce Damian Lewis as a serious contender. Lewis wouldn’t be an unconventional choice, but his name has never seriously been floated for the role. These bookies say he’s second only to Elba:

It may well be a shameless attempt to generate column inches, but one U.K. bookmaker has, out of the blue, slashed its odds of Homeland star Damian Lewis being named the next James Bond.

William Hill revealed on Monday that it had dramatically dropped Lewis’ price from an outsider 25/1 to near-favorite 3/1, just short of hot tip Idris Elba, currently 5/2, and putting the actor firmly in contention ahead of Tom Hardy (4/1), Henry Cavill (5/1) and Michael Fassbender (7/1).

“This is an unprecedented gamble, as for no apparent reason we have seen bets of up to £200 [$312] on Damian Lewis being named as the next Bond. Lewis has previously hinted at his desire to play the famed superspy, joking in 2013 that the Scottish heritage outlined in Skyfall had “paved the way perfectly for a red-headed Bond.”

One thing is certain: Nearly any actor who replaces Craig will endure as great of a backlash as Craig did before Casino Royale. We’re talking Batfleck levels of mass confusion. Lewis would be the safest choice out of all these bookies’ favorites. Too safe.

In any event, the Guardian is already calling Lewis “Gingerfinger.”

(Via the Hollywood Reporter)