The odds of British actor Rege-Jean Page replacing Daniel Craig as super spy James Bond have considerably shortened following the success of his hit Netflix show Bridgerton, according to British betting firm Ladbrokes.
The actor, who plays the dashing Duke of Hastings in the Regency romance series, had fuelled speculation on Dec 16, when he tweeted "Regency, royalty. Shaken and stirred," a reference to how Bond likes his martini mixed.
Ladbrokes' odds on which actor will play the next Bond is a closely followed process in Britain.
Page is now just 5/1 in the betting with Ladbrokes to replace Craig as Bond, having previously been 40/1 before Christmas.
"Tom Hardy still leads the way as favourite, with James Norton close behind in second place. But it really is all to play for in the race for 007 and RJP has a great chance if the odds are anything to go by," Ladbrokes representative Alex Apati tells Variety.
However, Apati noted that this kind of shift in the odds isn't uncommon off the back of a successful show.
"It's the reason Cillian Murphy was once favourite during the peak of Peaky Blinders," he notes.
Similarly, Richard Madden was favoured for Bond after Bodyguard and Paul Mescal also found himself in the running after the popularity of Normal People.
"All of those aforementioned names have seen their odds slashed immediately after a huge hype around the show they most recently starred in, hence why it's no surprise to see a similar pattern with Rege-Jean Page," says Apati.
"However, what strengthens RJP's chances somewhat more is that an announcement feels seemingly imminent (around) Daniel Craig's replacement, so the timing of Bridgerton's success may well have worked in his favour."
Page recently spoke to Variety about his star turn in the Shondaland show, describing the buzzy series – which Netflix claims is projected to stream in 63 million households in its first 28 days – as "something different, something funnier, faster, sexier."
The Ladbrokes list of James Bond frontrunners: Tom Hardy - 6/4 James Norton - 7/4 Idris Elba - 7/2 Rege-Jean Page - 5/1 Sam Heughan - 6/1 Richard Madden - 6/1 Jack Lowden - 8/1 Cillian Murphy - 10/1.
The next James Bond film, No Time To Die, is scheduled to release in April this year, following a few postponements in 2020 due to the pandemic.– Reuters
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