Since we started bingeing Bridgerton, Netflix’s juicy new Jane Austen meets Scandal period drama, we have been crushing over its leading man Regé-Jean Page. As the dashing Duke of Hastings, one of London’s most eligible bachelors, the Zimbabwe-born Brit has undoubtedly become the breakout star of the show and now he may be stepping into the role of a lifetime.
According to British betting firm Ladbrokes, a closely followed process in the U.K., the 31-year-old is at 5/1 odds to replace Daniel Craig as the next James Bond. The actor fueled speculation last month, before Bridgerton premiere, when he tweeted “Regency, royalty. Shaken and stirred,” an obvious reference to how 007 likes his martini mixed.
“Tom Hardy still leads the way as favorite, with James Norton close behind in second place. But it really is all to play for in the race for 007 and RJP has a great chance if the odds are anything to go by,” a Ladbrokes representative told Variety.
For years, there’s been pleading from fans for Idris Elba to become the first Black James Bond and he’s shut down the conversation pretty much every time.
“James Bond is a hugely coveted, iconic, beloved character, that takes audiences on this massive escapism journey,” the Luther star told Deadline back in 2019. “Of course, if someone said to me ‘Do you want to play James Bond?,’ I’d be like, Yeah! That’s fascinating to me. But it’s not something I’ve expressed, like, yeah, I wanna be the black James Bond.”
The actor has also commented on the small-minded criticism that some people have expressed over the mere idea of a Black James Bond.
“You just get disheartened when you get people from a generational point of view going, ‘It can’t be.’ And it really turns out to be the color of my skin,” he said in the August 2019 issue of Vanity Fair. “And then if I get it and it didn’t work, or it did work, would it be because of the color of my skin? That’s a difficult position to put myself into when I don’t need to.”
Elba is still third on the Ladbrokes list with 7/2 odds followed by Page, Sam Heughan, Richard Madden, Jack Lowden and Cillian Murphy.
The next James Bond film Craig’s last, No Time To Die, is finally scheduled to released in April, following initial postponements in 2020 due to the ongoing COVID-19 global pandemic.