Tom Hardy finally responds to rumours that he is going to play the next James Bond

Tom Hardy finally responds to rumours that he is going to play the next James Bond

Every few years, an all-important question comes about: Who will be next to play James Bond?

This very question has been on our minds for what seems like forever now. With current James Bond Daniel Craig apparently quitting and claiming that he "would rather slash his wrists than play 007 again", but soon after returning for one last film, it's been a rollercoaster of emotions for Bond fans, and it doesn't look set to end anytime soon.

One man who lots of bookies are putting their bets on is Tom Hardy, the English actor famous for his roles in films like The Dark Knight Rises and Dunkirk. With his slicked back hair, perfect British accent and massive muscles, Hardy appears to be the ideal candidate for the eighth James Bond, and speculation hit an all-time high when British newspaper the Daily Express pulled an April Fools Day prank, claiming that Craig had quit Bond 25 and was being replaced by Hardy.

On April 1, the Express posted an article with the headline "James Bond 25 SHOCK: Daniel Craig QUITS – Tom Hardy cast as NEW 007". In the article, the newspaper faked a statement from studio heads, who "said":

"We regrettably announce that Daniel Craig will not star in the upcoming Untitled Bond 25. Daniel feels that 2015’s SPECTRE, his latest outing as James Bond, was, in fact, a better send off for his incarnation and acted as a satisfying conclusion to the story arc which began in Casino Royale. With great sadness we have accepted Daniel’s decision and have loved every minute working with him on the last four 007 films. Looking forward, we are pleased to announce that Tom Hardy has signed on to replace him in Untitled Bond 25. Tom has had a talented and varied career and we very much look forward to introducing his Bond to the world.”

Soon after, the story was revealed to be an April Fools prank that had deceived hundreds of readers. Afterwards, many expected the piece of fake news to be swept under the carpet and never be spoke of again. But instead, the subject of the joke, Tom Hardy himself, took to Instagram to discuss the rumour, much to the pleasure of his fans.

On the social media site, he wrote "Dammit I was in my tux and on the runway good to go. No drama. Return to base. Headed back to Nola stood down 19", posting a screenshot of the article beneath his comment and gaining 186,000 likes.

Although the whole debacle was a well-planned joke, the 40-year-old's reaction to it is sure to start up the rumour mill. Only two months ago, it was revealed that the Warrior actor was the bookies' favourite to play 007 following Craig's departure. According to Betway, Hardy knocked McMafia star James Norton off the top spot with 3/1 odds. Since then, Hardy's odds have climbed to 9/4 as many become excited to potentially seeing him become a part of Her Majesty's Secret Service. Others in the running reportedly include Tom Hiddleston, Idris Elba and Henry Cavill.

Who will actually be the one to get their hands on that tuxedo and - shaken not stirred - martini? Watch this space.