PEAKY BLINDERS star Cillian Murphy is back in the running to replace Daniel Craig as James Bond once the actor vacates the role after the next 007 outing.
The Cork native is a serious contender to become only the second Irishman to play the world-famous secret agent, following on from Pierce Brosnan’s seven-year stint as Bond.
Murphy remains a popular choice among Bond fans, thanks to his breakout turn as Tommy Shelby on the hit Birmingham-set BBC drama series, Peaky Blinders.
And it would appear someone in the know is backing the Irishman to take up the role.
Irish bookmaker BoyleSports has been forced to slash the odds of Murphy replacing Craig from 20/1 to a much more palatable 14/1.
Betting movements of this kind can sometimes be an indication of impending casting news.
It’s not the first time Murphy has been linked with a major blockbuster movie role.
Back in the mid-2000s, he came close to landing the part of Batman in Christopher Nolan’s Batman Begins, only to lose out to Welshman Christian Bale.
The 28 Days Later star ended up being cast as the comic book film’s central villain, The Scarecrow and his career has gone from strength to strength since.
While James Norton remains the bookmaker’s favourite at 11/8, Murphy would be a popular choice.
His case could be further enhanced should Christopher Nolan agree to direct the next instalment.
Bond producers are keen admirers of Nolan’s talents while the British filmmaker has so far refused to rule out helming a 007 movie.
Nolan is a keen admirer of the Irishman’s talents having previously cast Murphy in Batman Begins and Inception.
Sarah Kinsella, spokesperson for BoyleSports said: “According to reports, James Norton is trying to get a deal signed off which has sparked his price cut into 11/8 from 13/8, but Cork star Cillian Murphy is attracting support too in the race to replace Daniel Craig.
“He is now 14/1 from 20/1 after a handful of bets arrived on Tuesday for the Peaky Blinder.”
No Time To Die, Craig’s final outing as 007, is set to be released in April.
A replacement has yet to be announced.