Think You Know the Next James Bond? Don’t Bet on It

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Tom HiddlestonCredit Markus Schreiber/Associated Press

LONDON — You can get odds on almost anything here. But Coral, the British bookmakers, have suspended betting on the identity of the next James Bond after the odds on the actor Tom Hiddleston shortened sharply in recent days.

Ever since Mr. Hiddleston played a hotel-manager-turned-spy this year in the BBC series “The Night Manager,” rumors have been swirling about his potential move to the Bond franchise. After the Mirror newspaper reported on Thursday that Mr. Hiddleston had been seen with the Bond producer Barbara Broccoli and the director Sam Mendes at Soho House here, a flurry of bets moved Mr. Hiddleston’s odds from 2-1 to 1-2.

“We’ve had no choice but to pull the plug on the market,” Nicola McGeady, a spokeswoman for Coral, which suspended the betting on Mr. Hiddleston on Sunday, said in a BBC report.

“There is no smoke without fire,” she said.

Close behind Mr. Hiddleston in the Bond sweepstakes were Aidan Turner, the star of the BBC series “Poldark,” at 3-1, and Tom Hardy (“Mad Max: Fury Road”) at 4-1, with Idris Elba at 9-1 and Damian Lewis at 14-1. (Showing the fickleness of fashion, the bookmakers Ladbrokes suspended betting on Mr. Hardy in February, before Mr. Hiddleston entered the picture.)

The recent flurry of betting comes without confirmation that Daniel Craig, who has played Bond since 2005, will leave the role, although he memorably told “Time Out London” in October that he would rather “slash my wrists” than reprise the part. His representative later denied that he was leaving.

“The position isn’t vacant as far as I’m aware,” Mr. Hiddleston said on “The Graham Norton Show” on May 6. “I think the rumors have come about because in ‘The Night Manager’ I play a spy, and people have made the link.”

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