Even as Idris Elba responded, with signature class, to uproar over comments by a James Bond author that the actor is "a bit too 'street'" to play 007, another name is quickly emerging as an oddsmaker's favorite to succeed Daniel Craig: Tom Hardy.
Yes, the actor known for rough-and-tumble roles in such films as "The Dark Knight Rises," "Bronson," "Warrior," "Mad Max: Fury Road" and the upcoming "Legend."
Frequently mentioned in Bond speculation, Elba was drawn back into the discussion this week when author Anthony Horowitz, who writes the Bond novels for the Ian Fleming estate, was quoted as saying, “For me, Idris Elba is a bit too rough to play the part. It’s not a colour issue. I think he is probably a bit too ‘street’ for Bond. Is it a question of being suave? Yeah.” He quickly apologized, clarifying that, "Clumsily, I chose the word ‘street’ as Elba’s gritty portrayal of DCI John Luther was in my mind, but I admit it was a poor choice of word."
While admittedly a poor word choice, Horowitz's original remarks appeared to have mattered little to Elba, who wrote on Instagram, "Always Keep Smiling!! It takes no energy and never hurts! Learned that from the Street!"
However, it's not Elba, but rather Hardy, whose odds of replacing Craig have been slashed from 6 to 1 to 4 to 1 by an online bookmaker in Ireland.
Variety reports that while a poll conducted by BoyleSports still has Elba tied for the lead with "Homeland" actor Damian Lewis at 3-to-1 odds, the opinion among gamblers appears to be turning.
“With the support showing no signs of drying up, we are expecting Tom Hardy to be the new favorite for the role sooner rather than later," a BoyleSports spokesperson said in a statement, "which could result in BoyleSports being hit hard if Hardy lands the role."
Hardy is currently tied with "Batman v Superman" story Henry Cavill. The Top 10 is rounded out by Michael Fassbender, Richard Armitage, Orlando Bloom, Dougray Scott, Rupert Friend and Dominic West.