Poor Daniel Craig. He’s still stuck half way out of the door. He filmed his last scene as 007 more than 18 months ago, but due to circumstances beyond even the control of MI6, he’s still waiting to say his official farewells when the film finally premieres in UK cinemas at the end of September.

The Bond production team maintains that it is bad form to even mention the topic of the next James Bond while the current incumbent still has unfinished business. Still, that doesn’t stop the rest of us, and the speculation has been incessant for the best part of two years.

A bookmaker’s delight

Any Bond fan worth his or her salt is fond of a wager, so the “next James Bond” bet is one of the more popular specials on the bookmaker sites. Still, as one actor and then another has seen his odds shorten and then dwindle, you might consider yourself better off sticking to the slot games.

If you want to do that, by all means click here for more information. But before you grab your vodka martini and go to win or lose a fortune, take a quick look at the new hot tip to take custody of the Aston Martin and the Walther PPK.

Another Welsh Bond?

Luke Evans set tongues wagging last month when he told the Daily Mirror that he “would jump at the chance” to play Bond and made some vague allusions to the highly secretive casting process. Evans is best known for his roles as Owen Shaw in Fast and Furious 6 and as Bard the Bowman in The Hobbit. He’s spent much of lockdown working out, and certainly has the physique to carry off the role of Bond.

If he should get the nod, he would be the second Welshman after Timothy Dalton to play the role of 007. However, that’s not the only thing he and the star of The Living Daylights and Licence to Kill have in common. Evans turned 42 last month, so realistically, he would already be in his mid 40s by the time he made his Bond debut. In recent years, and ignoring the extraordinary circumstances surrounding No Time to Die, a new Bond film has come out approximately once every three years. It means that like Dalton’s, Evans’ tenure might be a brief one. Craig was 37 when Casino Royale premiered, and it meant he could remain in the role for a decade and a half before bowing out gracefully.

Other contenders

Nevertheless, Evans is currently the front runner with the bookies at 2/1 odds with BetFair and PaddyPower. James Norton and Tom Hardy have long been touted as possibilities, but while they seemed compelling options 18 months ago, the sands of time are arguably working against them in the same way.

An intriguing choice from left field is Regé-Jean Page, who recently shot to fame in Netfllix hit Bridgerton as the Duke of Hastings. At just 31, he certainly has time on his side and could make the role his own. The question is whether he has the gravitas to portray Bond with all his complexity and emotional baggage.

The only thing we know for sure is the debate will run and run for many months yet.