Cillian Murphy odds slashed on taking over from Daniel Craig as James Bond

Cillian Murphy could soon be taking on one of the most coveted roles in cinema to replace Daniel Craig as James Bond.

The Irish actor, 41, has had his odds slashed from 33/1 to 12/1 to play the iconic 007 agent after it was reported Danny Boyle is in talks to direct Craig’s final outing as the British spy.

Jessica Bridge of Ladbrokes said: “Boyle and Murphy have collaborated in the past, and the betting suggests punters are putting two and two together for the next 007 film.

“Fans of Peaky Blinders would love to see Tommy Shelby become James Bond.”

Popular: Cillian Murphy as Thomas Shelby in Peaky Blinder (BBC/Caryn Mandabach/Robert Viglasky)
Popular: Cillian Murphy as Thomas Shelby in Peaky Blinder (BBC/Caryn Mandabach/Robert Viglasky)

Boyle and Murphy previously collaborated on 28 Days Later and Sunshine.

Variety reported earlier this week that Boyle has long been a favourite of MGM and Eon to helm Bond 25. The franchise has a history of directors working on multiple titles including Sam Mendes, Terence Young and Guy Hamilton.

Tom Hardy, who starred alongside Murphy in hit BBC show Peaky Blinders, recently had his odds slashed to take over from James Norton in the race to play the famous spy.

Hardy and Norton are the current joint 3/1 favourites. Fellow actor Jack Huston is the third favourite with odds of 6/1.

Norton previously shut down talk of taking on Bond, telling fans to “keep you money in your pockets” after he became the odds on favourite to replace Craig in the wake of his role in BBC spy drama, McMafia.

Speaking to Radio Times in December he said: “It’s really humbling and flattering, but to have my name [talked up for Bond] next to the likes of Tom Hardy and Michael Fassbender is just mad.

“If you’re thinking of putting a bet on me, keep your money in your pocket.”

The latest odds come weeks after Craig confirmed his return to the role after months of speculation. The actor has enjoyed four outings as the British spy in Skyfall, Casino Royale, Quantum of Solace and Spectre.

Announcing the news on US chat show The Late Show, he told host Stephen Colbert: “I just want to go out on a high note, and I can't wait.”

The as-of-yet untitled 25th film is set for release in November 2019.