James Bond fans have yet to find out who will be stepping up to the plate as 007 after Daniel Craig makes his exit following No Time To Die. In recent months, fierce competition has been raging between the likes of Richard Madden, Sam Heughan, Idris Elba and Tom Hardy when it comes to bookies’ predictions, and now a new name has entered the race: Tom Felton. Best known for his portrayal of antagonist Draco Malfoy in the Harry Potter movies, the 32-year-old actor has declared his interest in a recent interview.
Felton told Closer Magazine it was his “ultimate dream” to play Bond as he well and truly threw his hat in the ring for the part.
“I like playing the goodie, but I don’t really look to play a good guy or a bad guy,” he said.
“I like playing people who are different to me — the further away they are from home, the more fun it is to play.
“But James Bond would be the ultimate dream,” the Harry Potter favourite added.
“The first film I had, when I was seven-years-old, was James Bond. That was all I had on my mind.”
Meanwhile, the actor also reflected on the enormous success of the Harry Potter franchise which made him famous, saying: “I look back at some of the finest memories of my life with huge pride.
“Still, to this day, it freaks me out how much of a thing the films have become. The effect they’ve had on people is crazy.”
Felton is far from the only high profile British star setting is sights on playing iconic spy 007 after Craig steps down from the role.
James Norton, star of Happy Valley and McMafia, is current favourite for the job, according to bookies Coral, priced at 7-4.
Meanwhile, Outlander actor Sam Heughan is second in the running at 11-4, having previously revealed his desire to play the part.
“I think any actor who says they wouldn’t [want to play Bond] would be lying,” the Scot told STV last year. “I think it’s about time we had a Scottish Bond again.
However, Heughan also acknowledges how popular the part was, adding: “I know I’ve got competition out there, so we’ll see what happens.”
According to Coral, Tom Hiddleston is hot on the heels of the favourites, priced at 7-2, while Richard Madden, 11-2, Jack Lowden, 6-1, Michael Fassbender and Hardy, 8-1, are also in the running.
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Luther actor Elba is priced at 10-1 and Rocketman star Jamie Bell is on 12-1.
Felton having expressing his interest in taking over as Bond, Ladbrokes have installed him at 80-1 to replace Craig.
While his odds of getting the job this time around aren’t as hot as the likes of Elba, Norton and Heughan, the bookies have priced him at an impressive 10-1 to one day play Bond.
Coral have priced Felton at 50-1 to be the next Bond, with spokesperson Harry Aitkenhead saying: “Tom Felton is definitely an outsider in the market for the next James Bond, and at 50-1 it seems unlikely that he’ll succeed Daniel Craig but you never know and we aren’t ruling it out.
“It would be a bit of a difference change of scenery from harry Potter but he’d be a popular contender, that’s for sure.”
Craig will make his final appearance as Bond in No Time To Die, which is set for release in April.
He will go up against mysterious villain Safin (played by Rami Malek) who is armed with a dangerous new technology.
If the trailer is anything to go by, there is also an intriguing connection between Bond’s love Madeleine Swann (Lea Seydoux) and Safin, with her beau soon growing suspicious.
The trailer showed the couple being chased down boy baddies with guns as she begged: “Why would I betray you?”
“We all have our secrets,” he replied through gritted teeth. “We just didn’t get to yours yet.”
James Bond: No Time To Die is released in UK cinemas April 3.