It’s rare that we find out too much about James Bond films before the latest possible moment, but a few things are beginning to fall into place for Bond 25.
We know the next film in the franchise will almost certainly be Daniel Craig’s last – for real, this time – while Oscar-winning director Danny Boyle will be in charge for the first time. Its release date in the US will be 8 November 2019, while it will be screened in the UK before this.
But what happens after this one? Will Boyle go back-to-back like Sam Mendes? And, more importantly, who will replace Craig as 007?
Some familiar names have cropped up over and over again in the discussion around his successor, Idris Elba and Tom Hardy chief among them, but a new name has emerged in the race for the role.
We have never had a female Bond, but a lot of money has been coming in for Emily Blunt – enough for her odds to be slashed from a 250/1 outsider to the very much in-the-mix 50/1.
Sicario and The Girl on the Train star Blunt is set to star in upcoming release Mary Poppins Returns, but looks to have a relatively clear schedule after that hits cinemas at Christmas.
Blunt’s odds are now the same as those for The X-Files star Gillian Anderson to become Bond, while if you want to hedge your bets you can get 12/1 on any woman succeeding Craig.
Hardy and Elba still have shorter odds than both women, though McMafia star James Norton remains the bookies’ favourite.
Other big-name actors in the conversation include Cillian Murphy, Daniel Kaluuya and Michael Fassbender.
There is still a small chance of Craig staying on board for the 26th Bond film, but he is already older than predecessor Pierce Brosnan was when portraying the character for the final time in Die Another Day.
If the producers do opt to go for a younger Bond after Boyle’s upcoming 2019 release, 35-year-old Blunt certainly fits the bill.
(Images: Sony Pictures/Getty)