Has Tom Hiddleston just quashed those James Bond rumours?

The Night Manager and Thor actor is either being a very clever spy or admitting defeat in the race to play 007

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Tom Hiddleston is trying very, very hard not to upset everyone, but The Night Manager and Thor actor has some bad news: he doesn’t think he will be James Bond after all.

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The actor had looked to be the hot favourite after a reported meeting with Bond producer Barbara Broccoli, and his chances rose even higher after Night Manager director Susanne Bier was tipped as the next James Bond director.

Now, though, it seems Hiddleston might have to put away his tux.

“I’m sorry to disappoint you everybody,” he said tentatively at Wizard Comic Con in Philadelphia. “I don’t think that announcement is coming.”

Cue gasps from the audience. “I’m very gratified to hear the enthusiasm,” he added with typical English manners. “There’s not much I can say that I haven’t already said. Your guess is as good as mine, to be honest.”

Hiddleston isn’t the only name in the frame of course. Poldark’s Aidan Turner has been installed as the current favourite, with Billy Eliot’s Jamie Bell also mentioned in dispatches.

We could have a woman of course, with both X-Files’ Gillian Anderson and Game of Thrones’ Emilia Clarke intrigued by the idea of playing Jane Bond, and Bond writer Anthony Horowitz saying there is no reason why a woman couldn’t play 007.

But before you try to second guess anything, Skyfall and Spectre director Sam Mendes warns that the next actor “will not be what you expect”.

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Who knows, maybe Hiddleston’s already playing the spy game and sending us in the wrong direction?