Odds on the 43-year-old succeeding current Bond star Daniel Craig to play the part of the MI6 operative were slashed from 6/1 to 1/1, before being suspended altogether as speculation builds to fever pitch.
The actor, who has had a wide-ranging portfolio of roles having starred in films such as Inception, Bronson and The Dark Knight Rises, has always been touted as one of the bookies’ favourites to play Bond.
When the bookmakers market closed, James Norton was the second favourite actor to bag the part at 9/4, followed by Idris Elba (11/2), Sam Heughan (6/1) and Richard Madden (7/1).
Oddschecker spokesperson Callum Wilson explained: “For years we’ve heard speculation about who will replace Daniel Craig as James Bond, and finally it seems that English heart-throb Tom Hardy is the man for the role.
“The versatile Hardy would certainly be a popular choice – and attracted 54 percent of all bets in the 24 hours before the market was suspended.”
Betting has been suspended just days after it was reported that Hardy had been cast.
The Vulcan Reporter claims Hardy has been locked into the role since auditioning back in June.
The site said that an official announcement confirming he will play 007 after No Time To Die was due to come in November.
However, they said the announcement may be delayed due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Craig, who has assumed the role of Bond since 2006, will leave the film franchise behind following the much-delayed release of No Time to Die.
The film, scheduled for release in November, finds 007 after he has left active service and is enjoying a tranquil life in Jamaica.
However, his peace is short-lived when his old friend Felix Leiter (Jeffrey Wright) from the CIA turns up asking for help.
Evening Standard has reached out to a rep for Hardy for comment.