British Oddsmakers Note Surge in Bets That Damian Lewis Will Be the Next James Bond

In the past week, the Homeland actor has become a more widely speculated contender for the role

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The odds are increasingly likely that Homeland actor Damian Lewis may become the next 007.

When the new Bond film Spectre hits theaters in November, star Daniel Craig, 47, will be tied with Pierce Brosnan for playing James Bond in four films each. Only Roger Moore and Sean Connery had longer tenures playing the character, at seven films each. Because Spectre may be Craig’s last Bond outing, many actors have been suggested as potential replacements.

On Monday, the Telegraph reported that Britain’s top bookmaker, William Hill, had changed the odds that Lewis, 44, would win the role, from 25 to 1 to 3 to 1, putting Lewis right behind longtime favorite Idris Elba, whose odds are 5 to 2.

“This is an unprecedented gamble, as for no apparent reason we have seen bets of up to 200 on Damian Lewis being named as the next Bond,” William Hill spokesperson Rupert Adams told the paper. “This might well be significant.”

Internet betting exchange Betfair also told the paper that Lewis’ odds changed from 50 to 1, to 4 to 1.

On Tuesday, Variety noted that in addition to Homeland, Lewis has also starred in the 2014 film The Silent Storm, the executive producers of which include Barbara Broccoli and Michael G. Wilson, the children of Bond producer Albert Broccoli and the producers of the Bond movies since 1995’s GoldenEye.

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Other actors whose names have been attached to the franchise include Tom Hardy and Michael Fassbender.

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