"Legend" - UK Premiere - Red Carpet ArrivalsAfter all the talk this week about Idris Elba potentially taking over the James Bond franchise, another under the radar candidate has quietly climbed the ranks as the potential new face of the franchise.

According to Variety, Irish betting site BoyleSports has been keeping track of the odds on different actors who could take over for Craig, and one candidate in particular has risen significantly in popularity. So who is this mystery man?

None other than Mad Max himself, Tom Hardy.

While Hardy's numbers have taken an impressive turn recently, rising from 6-1 odds to 4-1 odds (no doubt thanks to the success of "Fury Road"), fans of Elba shouldn't worry too much just yet. According to BoyleSports, Elba is still the frontrunner for the gig, tied with "Homeland" star Damian Lewis at 3-1 odds of becoming the new 007.

But a spokesman for betting site said that the market on Bond speculation has "come alive" thanks to this new swell of support for Hardy, and if that trend continues, it could mean bad news for Elba (and Lewis).

"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," spokesman Liam Glynn said in a statement.

Hardy still faces some tough competition for the role, though, at least according to BoyleSports's numbers. He's tied with "Man of Steel" star Henry Cavill at 4-1 odds, and rounding out the rest of the top 10 contenders are Michael Fassbender, Richard Armitage, Orlando Bloom, Dougray Scott, Rupert Friend, and Dominic West.

[via: Variety]

Photo credit: Getty Images

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