Will Damian Lewis Replace Daniel Craig as James Bond? Bookies Slash Odds

Behind-the-scenes footage of the opening sequence of 'Spectre' was released on Monday

LONDON — Rumors that Damian Lewis could become the next James Bond have forced U.K. bookmakers to slash their odds on him taking the role. Meanwhile, 007 production company Eon Productions has released behind-the-scenes footage of the opening sequence of the latest Bond film, “Spectre.”

Odds on the former “Homeland” star stepping into Daniel Craig’s shoes have tightened from 25/1 to 3/1, according to Britain’s biggest bookmaker William Hill. The bookie’s favorite remains former “The Wire” and “Luther” star Idris Elba, who is 5/2. Other actors in the running include Tom Hardy (4/1), Henry Cavill (5/1), Michael Fassbender (7/1) and Orlando Bloom (12/1). The odds that “Spectre” will be Craig’s last appearance as Bond are 10/1.

“This is an unprecedented gamble, as for no apparent reason we have seen bets of up to £200 ($312) on Damian Lewis being named as the next Bond. This could well be significant and might herald the end of Daniel Craig as the world’s most famous spy,” William Hill spokesman Rupert Adams said.

Lewis’ recent credits include “Wolf Hall,” in which he plays Henry VIII, and Werner Herzog movie “Queen of the Desert,” while upcoming productions include Showtime’s New York-set drama series “Billions,” in which he plays Wall Street dealer Bobby “Axe” Axelrod. Last year saw him appear in “The Silent Storm,” whose exec producers include 007 producers Barbara Broccoli and Michael G. Wilson.

Broccoli and Wilson’s Eon on Monday released on YouTube and Eon’s website, 007.com, behind-the-scenes footage of the opening sequence of “Spectre.” The sequence, which is set during the Day of the Dead festival in Mexico City, employed 1,500 extras.

“I wanted the audience to be dropped right into the middle of a very, very specific, very heady, rich environment. It’s the Day of the Dead, everywhere you look there’s color and detail and life. We’ve built floats and maquettes, the costumes are extraordinary and the craftsmanship is amazing,” “Spectre” director Sam Mendes said.

Two behind-the-scenes photos were posted on Twitter.

The movie is released in theaters on Nov. 6.

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  1. He’s 6’3, Tri-Athlete, Boxer, incredible actor.

  2. Fitzhugh Rose says:

    Actually Heughan is not really a Ginger.

  3. Fitzhugh Rose says:

    Awful choice.

    • Fitzhugh Rose says:

      Eon Productions and Barbara Broccoli are barking up the wrong Ginger. They need to see Sam Heughan in Outlander.

  4. buffalobilly says:

    gosh i hope so
    he is magnificent!
    craig was alwys an odd fit…

  5. Pamela Donald says:

    I do love Damian Lewis and thought he was PERFECT in Homeland. He is NOT Bond though. He’s just not “hot” enough. Need a younger Bond too. Someone that will last a few years. Someone about 40.

  6. Henry Cavill is winning a Bond Poll by a landslide at the moment and is the perfect choice to be the next Bond. Especially when he is able to use his British accent….that would be incredible!

  7. Regarding the article on Daniel Craig…….One the best Bonds? GIVE ME A BREAK! The guy is a thug, he has no class, he couldn’t milk a line if it had udders on it. And that line he had in Casino Royale, ” I know I can beat him.” James Bonds would never say that, he would just hook the guy and beat him. And why do we have to revamp James Bond? It is like they are starting to do James Bond from the begining.

  8. Carlos T. Jackal says:

    Read Ian Fleming’s books. Bond is described as dark-haired, etc. Sean Connery was the correct casting, as was Pierce Brosnan and even Timothy Dalton (minus the terrible scripts). Blond Bonds like Roger Moore and Daniel Craig are not canon, and neither would be ginger Bond and black Bond (and don’t forget Rupert Everett’s much-discussed-but-no-way-in-hell gay Bond).

  9. Rebecca B says:

    Who honestly GAF what Rupert Adams, some bookie spokesman, says about movies? Some total nutter places a £200 bet on an actor to replace Daniel Craig as James Bond, and he finds this “significant” and indicative that it “might herald the end of Daniel Craig” as Bond?

    Tail wagging the dog.


    And you thought this was worthy of an article, Variety?

    For shame…

  10. Sam America says:

    Same as making no talent Will Smith the great JAMES WEST IN WILD WILD WEST and making
    Denzel The Equalizer who was a BRITISH WHITE GUY! Hollyweird sucks! and Bond is WHITE
    but not this white boy they are thinking of putting in the role! It’s absurd! they went from Connery
    to Moore who were both not only two of the best actors ever but had unique and original looks
    and voices! Even Craig was not right for Bond! just end the franchise already! enough is enough.

  11. Dk77042 says:

    I actually like Quinn from homeland. I’m not on board with a red head bond or a black bond.

    I think hardy is a short guy, no? Fass would he better. Bloom? God no. And suoerman? Not a bad choice if he didn’t do suoerman.

    • jane says:

      Hardy is a little bit shorter than Craig not huge difference!!!

      • Superman Henry Cavill will be playing a spy in the Man From Uncle in August and is a perfect choice as he was too young for the role when Craig got the part. But Henry was the next choice by the Producer…. so it is natural he would get the part now! Love him!!!

  12. Bobby Johnson says:

    What about Clive Owen?

  13. Michael says:

    Elba cannot play Bond like a white actor cannot play John Shaft. Bond is white. It is as simple as that and all the PC stupity in the world is not going to change that fact.

  14. kellyduck says:

    What moron is talking to bookies about casting for the next James Bond? Slow news day?

  15. mj says:

    l’d love to see Idris Elba in the role. He’s got just the right blend of tough and suave. But Mr. Elba is not so young either. If they cast him, how long before he bowed out? Being Bond these days is pretty tough.

    Daniel Craig is going to be a hard act to follow. Most of the people on the list aren’t in the physical shape to do the action Bond has exhibited in his modern reincarnation. And oh, dear god, please NOT Henry Caville. He is the ponciest man I have ever seen. I can take anything but a poncy Bond.

    I agree with most others here. I like Damien Lewis quite a lot but he’d be a very odd choice for 007 after Daniel Craig.

    As I write this, it occurs to me the logical choice would be Tom Hardy. But would he do it? Probably not.

    • Charlie G says:

      Ian Fleming didn’t write his James Bond books featuring a BLACK actor or spy. James Bond is, and always will be just as described by Ian Fleming. Go ahead and put a black actor in that role and watch how fast the franchise dies. Not every movie or role needs to be rewritten just to satisfy a group of people or Hollywood writers that don’t have the creativeness of their predecessors.

  16. JSintheStates says:

    Yuck! Damian Lewis looks like a prepie school boy! I still think Idris Elba would be fantastic!

  17. LABete says:

    I really like Damian Lewis as an actor, but he seems to specialize in creepy character roles. I would see him more as a Bond villain than Bond.

  18. Jester's Court says:

    People don’t want a black Bond or a ginger bond flock the world is coloured bad, you know the old heads will kick off about Fass being German too, who gives a flock it’s all about the ability to act… as for casting a unknown that would be the worst possible outcome!!!

    Jude Law!

  19. Dennis Morrow says:

    I cannot get over the fact that Paul Bettany is overlooked again as a contender for the Bond role. He’s perfect for it. I thought he should have been chosen over Daniel Craig back in 2006.

  20. AyAy says:

    Please no, Bond shouldn’t have a lisp, ever.

  21. Victor says:

    A ginger Bond? The guy is a great actor but I’ve gotten so used to him speaking as an American on Band of Brothers and Homeland I just don’t see it. But it sounds better than a black Bond. In the meantime just keep Daniel Craig happy as James Bond.

  22. Diana F Conti says:

    Daniel Craig is excellent as 007. If this should happen it will diminish the aurora of the franchise and end the cult status that surround James Bond.

  23. Allie F. says:

    Dear God NO!!!! He may be a good actor, but no James Bond.

  24. Sith McGarbage says:

    The name is Bond. Ginger Bond.

  25. Cupid's Silver Arrows says:

    So Daniel Craig making over a billion for Skyfall isn’t enough? They now want to replace him? Or is this rumors started by some people with idle time on their hands?

    I hope Mr Craig stays on for a few more titles as he is quite good in the role.

  26. Bill B. says:

    The guy’s a good actor and I like him, but he’s not right for this role. Of all of those mentioned, I’d like to see Fassbinder in the role, but I sincerely doubt he would be interested. Why the talk? Is Craig leaving? He got me interested in Bond again who I abandoned years ago.

  27. Shell says:

    No way! They’d be better off casting an unknown.

  28. JE says:

    Let’s hope Idris Elba is the next James Bond. He’s the favorite to get the role next.

    • Dave Lizotte says:

      I want to say one thing before I comment. I am not racist…not at all. With that said I would be pissed if the next James Bond is black. The character is white in the novels and countless films. We keep casting black actors into white rolls just to be PC. I like Idris Elba I really do he is a great actor but he should not be OO7. I feel the same about the actor cast as the Human Torch. Johnny Storm had been white in the Fantastic Four comics from the start. He has also been white in the two movies we have already seen. Just so I am not branded a racist I also want to say I am just as concerned that the next Doctor Who may be a female. Same thing…changing history to be PC. If that happens I am done watching Dr Who and if Elba is cast as Bond I am done with the Bond franchise. Let’s cast based on what the character should be and not on this PC bullshit society.

      • Dave Lizotte says:

        One other thing just to be certain some moron does not still call me a racist. My favorite actor is Denzel Washington. Movies like Crimson Tide sold me on his talents. Despite my admiration for Denzel I would not want to see him as OO7 either due to the same reason I stated in regards to Elba.

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