Poldark and Hobbit actor Aidan Turner has taken the lead as the bookies favourite to become the next James Bond, overtaking Cillian Murphy and Jamie Dornan.
According to bookmaker William Hill, the Clondalkin-born actor, who recently played the titular role in Da Vinci biopic Leonardo, is priced at 8 to1 to put on the iconic tuxedo following Daniel Craig’s exit from the role with No Time To Die in 2021.
Turner has expressed some interest in the role before, nonchalantly telling the Daily Mail in 2018: “There’s someone else playing the role at the moment, but when it’s free I’ll have a look at it.”
These odds put him ahead of Holywood actor Jamie Dornan, who was nominated for a Golden Globe for his performance as Pa in Kenneth Branagh’s Belfast and has odds of 14 to 1, and Peaky Blinders star Cillian Murphy with odds of 12 to 1.
Speaking previously Dornan said it’s a hotly contested role.
“It’s fun and it’s a cool thing to be in the mix for that sort of thing. I do think it’s very transparent in terms of if you look at that list, there’s not one person on that list who doesn’t have some content at the moment that’s doing well” he said when discussing the role.
Murphy has previously stated that “it’s incredibly flattering to be in that conversation” when the topic of Bond has come up, before suggesting that the role be given to a woman next.
Turner is still placed behind German-Irish actor Michael Fassbender with odds of 7 to 1. Fassbender has spoke of taking a long break from acting in the past, however, and has recently took part in the 2022 Le Mans motor racing event.
These more generous odds put Turner and Fassbender just behind frontrunners like Idris Elba, Rege- Jean Pag, Henry Cavill, Chiwetel Ejiofor and Tom Hardy to be the next Bond, and five of the top 20 actors tipped for the role are Irish.
Risk-takers could have a flutter on Irish ex-One Direction member Niall Horan or Umbrella Academy actor Robert Sheehan, who have odds of 100-1 and 50-1 respectively.
A William Hill spokesperson said: “What’s unique about this round of casting for the next James Bond is the breadth of up-and-coming and established Irish talent, which means there’s some genuine competition for the role.”
When discussing the possibility of second Irish James Bond, they said: “Irish fans would likely be overjoyed to see an Irish actor like Turner take on the mantle of 007 - and we think it’s about time too, for someone to carry on Pierce Brosnan’s legacy.”
The new Bond will be the seventh actor to play him on screen, and this could potentially be the second time an Irish actor had played the iconic role following a four-film stint by Drogheda’s Pierce Brosnan which started in 1995. Brosnan stepped back from the role in 2002 after the critically reviled “Die Another Day”.
Daniel Craig took over the role in 2006 with Casino Royale. A relative unknown, he received criticism from fans for his looks and lack of experience.
Despite this, Craig reinvigorated the franchise and he went on to play Bond another four times, culminating in No Time to Die in 2021.
Craig was overwhelmingly positive about his time as 007, “I’ve loved every single second of these movies, because I’ve gotten up every morning and I’ve had the chance to work with you guys. And that has been one of the greatest honours of my life,” he told the crew of No Time to Die in a farewell speech.
James Bond producer Barbara Broccoli has remained tight lipped about the next Bond, stipulating only that the actor must be male and British.