Recently, it was announced that Steven Knight’s period crime drama Peaky Blinders would be coming to an end with its upcoming sixth, and now final, season. While there’s a movie project that’s already being planned as a proper conclusion to the Netflix hit series, this turn of events has left series star and James Bond candidate Cillian Murphy with a free schedule to chase after this prospect. Because of this, the oddsmakers are seeing this as a good omen for the Irish actor’s fortunes, as his odds have just improved in terms of who will replace Daniel Craig.

A betting firm known as Coral has Cillian Murphy reporting in on their books with an 8/1 standing, with this information coming via Express. Before today’s announcement, Murphy was reported by Coral as at a 16/1 standing; however, with this Peaky Blinders finale news in the air, those odds have now been slashed. Though there are multiple firms keeping odds and those numbers don't always match, I still think the fact that one key piece of information can change the numbers drastically is fascinating to watch play out in real time.

It’s certainly encouraging to see Cillian Murphy emerging as a regularly rising contender to the James Bond legacy. While the field at large has still seen regular favorites like Outlander’s Sam Heughan and McMafia’s James Norton jockey for position with the public (as well as newcomers like Bridgerton’s Rege-Jean Page making a bit of noise through their fans), Murphy is probably the first regularly recurring name besides Tom Hardy to really pop up over and over again. However, the advantage of a seemingly free and clear schedule might make Cillian Murphy’s odds soar even higher in the months to come.

As Sam Heughan and Rege-Jean Page both have ongoing series commitments in their pockets, their schedules may not allow for a smooth as clockwork 007 franchise. Particularly given both are stars on period dramas that take quite a while to film. We’re coming up on an almost six-year gap between Spectre and the release of No Time To Die, which would tie with the longest period of inaction in the Bond series since the one between Timothy Dalton’s exit with License To Kill and Pierce Brosnan’s entrance in Goldeneye. So as one could bet that Michael G. Wilson and Barbara Broccoli wouldn’t want to keep fans waiting for that long of a gap again, having an actor who can commit himself solely to Bond, James Bond is likely going to be a selling point going forward.

This also applies to Tom Hardy, as his gig as Sony’s Venom could also muddy the waters in his favor. So, if Cillian Murphy continues to mill about with this pool of recent favorites, and he keeps his books clear of any special gigs that’ll lock him into a Peaky Blinders-style commitment, we might see those odds grow even greater in his favor. Don’t worry about putting down your money just yet, as No Time To Die will likely be released before any sort of movement is had with the next 007; and even that is a subject that’s as suspenseful as whatever Rami Malek’s Safin has up his sleeves. So keep your martini supplies stocked and ready, as you can never tell when the next twist will come in the Bond legacy.

Out of this handful of contenders, who would you want to see become the next James Bond?:Cillian Murphy Sam Heughan Rege-Jean Page James Norton Tom Hardy None of the above. Too soon to tell.
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