James Norton

It’s one of the most hotly debated of all movie questions: who will be the next James Bond?

First Tom Hiddlestone was in the lead, then all the smart money went to Richard Madden. There was even a time when Cillian Murphy seemed a likely choice. However, a new consensus is now forming: the new favourite to be James Bond is James Norton.

Though Norton has the lowest profile of the current candidates, Bond producers historically go against the most famous option when casting the role of the world’s favorite superspy, preferring to make stars rather than pay a premium for existing big names.

Norton is best known for his television work in the UK, particularly his role as Sidney Chambers, a crime-solving vicar, in Grantchester. Earlier this year, Norton revealed that he would be leaving the hit show, further fueling speculation that he was shifting to a movie career.

At 34 years old, Norton fits the profile. Bond producers are thought to be looking for an actor who can fill the tuxedo for a decade or more. Many of the other actors in the public consideration are simply too old to be considered a good investment.

A Tight Field

British bookmaker William Hill has the actor the new favorite at 4/1. Tom Hiddleston is second favorite at 5/1 with Richard Madden at 6/1.

Also in the running at 13/2 is Tom Hardy, with Henry Golding a long shot at 7 to 1. Idris Elba, though he has been linked to the role for years, and would certainly be a popular choice, appears to be fading in the running, and is currently being offered at 9/1.

When Daniel Craig was announced that was considerable skepticism in the media with the fair actor being dubbed James Blond. So, is the world ready for a ginger-haired 007?