Will Tom Hardy suit up as "007" following Daniel Craig's final turn as the iconic agent?

The English actor has long been identified as a frontrunner to land the role. But over the Sept. 20 weekend, the rumours gained significant momentum. The Vulcan Reporter broke a story claiming that Hardy's casting was finalized after a successful audition back in June.

Tom Hardy "James Bond" casting rumours heating up

The Vulcan Reporter adds that Hardy was "expected to be announced as the new Bond in November," but that the COVID-19 pandemic delayed plans for the big announcement. Craig's final James Bond performance will come in No Time to Die, set for a Nov. 12 (UK) and Nov. 20 (US) release date.

"007" casting is also a popular bet in the gambling world, which has responded promptly to the latest round of Hardy casting rumours. Once an 8/1 bet, Hardy was lowered by bookies to a 5/4 favourite over the weekend, Daily Mail reports. Other stars previously rumoured for the coveted role include Idris Elba, Tom Hiddleston, and Richard Madden.

Tom Hardy movies: "007" role on the way?

If Hardy does indeed land the "Bond" role—the news isn't official just yet—he'd become the 10th lead in the franchise's storied history. Craig has played the part in four films dating back to 2006's Casino Royale. His fifth and final performance comes in No Time to Die.

Hardy, meanwhile, has built a strong career in British and Hollywood projects. The Bronson, Revenant, and Dark Knight Rises star appeared in 2020 as the lead in Capone, and he'll play "Venom" in 2021 MCU film Venom: Let There Be Carnage.

No Time to Die is still expected to get a November 2020 release. But with other blockbuster films continuing to postpone premieres amid a shaky global box office, a 2020 release may not be set in stone. Stay tuned for more on No Time to Die and Craig's eventual replacement—Hardy or otherwise.

Sean Connery starred as the iconic spy agent, "James Bond".

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