One of the most coveted roles in all of Hollywood history is James Bond. And now, that prestigious role is up for grabs, and per online bookmakers, Rege Jean Page is odds-on favorite to be next James Bond. Betting odds are listed below for Page, along with other leading candidates:
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Seven different actors have portrayed the M16 secret agent on the big screen and the eighth likely won’t be decided anytime soon. Still, it’s fun to speculate, especially with Daniel Craig’s swan song to the franchise, No Time To Die, currently in the theater. Below is our entertainment betting analysis and predictions on who could be the forthcoming Bond actor/actress:
Rege Jean Page
Let’s begin with the betting favorite. Page is a relatively unknown 30-year-old actor. He’s most famous for a supporting role on Netflix’s Bridgerton show, which was produced by Shonda Rhimes. He is British, akin to the Bond character, and we should note that he’s mixed-race — father is white, but mother is black.
We have to mention the race aspect since Hollywood is very preconceived with ethnic diversity right now. Could Bond — a white character in both books and film — finally cross the race barrier? Honestly, we have a tough time believing that happens. That view stems not from our personal views on race, but more about what we know about the Bond character and its “owners.”
You see, Bond isn’t controlled by a mega-corporation like other Hollywood IPs (e.g. Marvel or Star Wars). While the films are distributed by MGM Studios (who were bought by Amazon earlier this year), neither of those companies dictate who plays James Bond next. That’s because a pair of step-siblings — Michael Wilson and Barbara Broccoli — retain ownership over the Bond character. The two inherited the character rights from Broccoli’s father in 1995.
A Wall Street Journal article on Wilson and Broccoloi earlier this year described them as having an “encyclopedic knowledge of the character’s history and one laser-focused priority: keeping the franchise close to their vision for it.” That means no milking the proverbial “cash cow” that is the Bond franchise with spin-off movies and TV series, like Disney has lucratively done with its own IP.
We just can’t picture the step-siblings, who have been involved with the franchise since the early days in the ’60s and ’70s, to make Bond multi-ethnic. Unlike most Hollywood “big wigs”, the two are largely out of the public eye, and with that, more unlikely to cave in to “woke culture.” That’s why we’re not betting on Page or someone like Idris Elba to become Bond.
Another actor that’s long been linked to the Bond role, both by the media and oddsmakers, is Hardy. At first glance, Hardy certainly checks a lot of Bond boxes — British, white, black hair (Craig being blonde was famously critiqued when he was first cast in the role), and an A-list actor. Hardy is currently 44 years old, which is right in line with the age of many former Bond actors when they first played the character — Roger Moore (45), Pierce Brosnan (42), and Craig (38).
However, we hesitate with betting on Hardy because, well, he’s Hardy. He’s already a big-time actor with his pick at many different acting roles. He doesn’t need the Bond character. In fact, it could actually hold him back career-wise. Obviously, playing Bond is a huge commitment — multiple movies which take months and months to produce each — and that would hurt Hardy’s chances at getting other roles he might be interested in.
Save your money and don’t bet on Hardy here. To us, Hardy would better serve as a one-time Bond villain than the actual character himself.
Thus far, we’ve spent this entire article telling you who NOT to wager on to become the next Bond. Welp, we saved the best for last because Norton is our betting pick and this is exactly.
Norton has proved his acting chops in several critically-acclaimed, albeit under-the-radar films like Mr. Jones and Nowhere Special. Unlike Hardy, Norton’s career could be launched to space with a Bond casting. And at only 36 years old, Norton also has the longevity to play Bond for the next decade or so (Craig lasted a franchise-high 15 years in the role).
Take one glance at Norton and it’s easy to see him in the iconic role. He has the quiet, cool confidence to him. A jawed-faced and in-shape, but-not-overdone physique. British, white, colored hair like Craig. There’s just something about him, hence why there’s so much widespread speculation linking Norton and Bondon together, that dates back to 2020.
This early in the post-Craig era, any wager on the next Bond is a risk, but Norton is the “safer” choice among the entire betting group. We’re placing a mild bet on him, that at +600 odds, pays out just fine if he’s indeed cast.
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