Fans of Idris Elba as James Bond be warned: there’s a new actor vying for the role. Tom Hiddleston, also known as Loki in the Marvel cinematic universe, is speaking up about his desire to play the infamous MI6 super spy.
Rumors have been circulating since last fall, well before the release of the latest Bond film “Spectre,” that Daniel Craig is ready to leave the iconic role. Craig raised eyebrows with his comments that he “would rather slash my wrists” than play the character (which requires grueling stunts and training) again.
For quite some time, fans have thrown names into the hat for a potential replacement for Craig. The loudest clamoring seems to be for Elba, who already plays a brooding spy-like detective on the BBC show “Luther.” Tom Hardy (“The Revenant”) is another name that’s mentioned frequently.
Hiddleston fans have suggested the actor as well, and now he is speaking out about the opportunity. Hiddleston is currently starring in the BBC’s six-part TV adaptation “The Night Manager” based on John le Carré’s spy thriller novel of the same name.
Speaking to The Sunday Times, Hiddleston mentioned his love of the Bond franchise and how he is a “huge fan.” “I simply love the theme tune, the tropes and the mythology. I love the whole thing,” he said. He added, “If it ever came knocking, it would be an extraordinary opportunity. And I’m very aware of the physicality of the job. I would not take it lightly.”
British betting odds on Hiddleston becoming Bond have become more frequent, and as such, bookmakers William Hill have cut his price from 25/1 to 10/1, although he still falls behind Hardy, Elba and others.
A rep for William Hill said of the cut, “There are some very Bond-ish elements to ‘The Night Manager,’ and the producers of the next 007 movie will surely be keeping an eye on Hiddleston’s performance in case Daniel Craig decides to step down.”
For his part, Craig recently took a role in a 20-part TV adaptation of Jonathan Franzen’s book “Purity,” which is likely to fill his schedule for quite some time. It’s worth noting, however, that after his negative comments about the Bond role, he later backtracked.
“The Night Manager” is currently airing in the U.K. on the BBC. It was recently picked up by AMC for its U.S. release in April.