Last fall the producers of the James Bond series decided it was time to revoke Pierce Brosnan's license to kill. The search began immediately for the next 007. With a new Bond film scheduled to begin shooting this year, SportsInterAction.com and other bookmakers offered odds on who would fill the role formerly occupied by Sean Connery et al. Ewan McGregor was the favorite until an Internet rumor sparked fervent betting that Colin Salmon, Brosnan's costar in Die Another Day, would be cast as the first black Bond. Here are the latest odds on the next Bond.
13 to 4: Colin Salmon. Speculation arose when he signed a photo "007."
4 to 1: Ewan McGregor. The Scottish hunk's chances took a hit when he signed on to play Sky Masterson in a spring production of Guys and Dolls in London.
9 to 2: Christian Bale. Already cast as the next Batman. Could he handle a second billion-dollar movie franchise?
9 to 1: Colin Farrell. Farrell's louche portrayal of Alexander in Oliver Stone's 2004 biopic might hurt his chances.
11 to 1: Orlando Bloom. Lord of the Rings made him a bona fide action hero. Still, a twentysomething Bond?
11 to 1: Jude Law. Could be the best-looking Bond yet—but can he throw a punch?
21 to 1: Rupert Everett. Are the red states ready for Madonna's pal as the first gay Bond? Bettors say no.
29 to 1: Chow Yun Fat. An Asian Bond would sell a lot of tickets—but the global box office for Bond films is already out of this world.
41 to 1: Tom Cruise. The diminutive Scientologist might be tired of international intrigue—his Mission: Impossible III is also due for 2006 release.
501 to 1: Colin Powell. Recently said that Bond's famous gadgets are "interesting." A clue to his post-Bush plans?