Richard Madden has taken the lead as the current favourite Scottish star to play the next James Bond.
The Next James Bond market at William Hill sees Madden priced at 10-1, as an increasingly likely contender for James Bond, sitting in the top 10 actors to step into the coveted role – with speculation having run rife after Daniel Craig stepped back from the franchise with No Time to Die.
The former Game of Thrones star, 35, could be set to swap his sword for a Walther PPK as a run of bets on the Scot sees him as a fan favourite for picking up where Craig left off.
Madden, born and raised in Elderslie, near Glasgow, has been linked to the vacant tux ever since his performance as a volatile ex-soldier in Bodyguard and – most recently – having made his Marvel Cinematic Universe debut in Eternals.
Madden has notably avoided answering any questions related to him playing the new James Bond – which would make him the second Scottish star to do so, behind Sean Connery.
And although he dodged questions asking if he’s in consideration for the role, Madden has stated that he’s interested in playing the suave superspy as it’s ‘on his wish list’.
Fans are keen to see Bond return to his Scottish roots, with Fleming’s penultimate novel – You Only Live Twice – revealing that 007 has a Scottish father, and iconic actor Sean Connery having been first to portray the half-Scottish spy on the silver screen.
Speaking on the odds, a William Hill spokesperson said: ‘It’s no surprise that Richard Madden is a good fit for the role, as his work on BBC’s The Bodyguard clearly showed that he’s no stranger to defending key figures against attack on behalf of his country.
‘It’s also high time that we saw another Scottish Bond enter the foray – after all, 007 has a strong connection to Scotland based on Ian Fleming’s work, so why not have Madden pick up where Connery left off?’
While Madden is the current Scottish favourite, other likely picks from the region include Outlander’s Sam Heughan – who’s priced at 16-1 – as well as Karen Gillan (50-1), Gerard Butler (50-1) and Ewan McGregor (66-1).
To see the full list of James Bond contenders, visit HERE.