Could this be the real reason why Daniel Craig has hung up his James Bond tux?

Former Bond girl Caterina Murino explained why she thinks the star has left the franchise...

It’s been official that Daniel Craig has quit James Bond for a while now.

Rumours have long been circulating that the actor was ready to hang up his tux and quit the franchise, and it is now officially confirmed that he will not be part of the next film – despite being offered a hefty pay rise, apparently.

Playing the iconic role is any actor’s dream, making the world question why the English actor would choose to leave.

Former Bond girl Caterina Murino worked with Craig in Casino Royale and has her own theories behind his decision. ‘It’s hugely stressful being Bond,’ she explained to the Sunday People, ‘there’s a lot of money involved, so that also brought more tension – and a lot of that tension was on Daniel.’

‘It’s not easy to go back time and time again. It can be tiring to keep trying to find new things in the same role’.

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Since his departure was officially confirmed, the speculation has now moved on to who might take over the reigns, and Game of Thrones‘ star Emilia Clarke has officially thrown her hat into the ring.

Speaking to The Daily Star, Emilia revealed that playing the iconic British character is an ‘unrealised dream’, though admits her character would be ‘Jane Bond’, instead of James. She also put forward another name for her ‘ultimate leading man’ – the Bond boy to her female 007, if you will – suggesting everyone’s favourite Oscar winner Leonardo DiCaprio.

If Emilia nabbed the role, she would be the first female version of the 007 agent, but not the first to suggest it. Gillian Anderson previously expressed her desire to also take on the role.

Still, there’s been no confirmation yet who will replace Daniel Craig in the iconic tux, with fans previously wondering if The Night Manager star (and keeper of our hearts) Tom Hiddleston would be the one to fill Craig’s shoes.

Seriously. Be still our beating hearts.

Tom Hiddleston holding a baby leopard. Wow.

The odds for the 35-year-old actor have steadily been climbing, and reached 2-1 following claims that he’d been spotted meeting with Bond director Sam Mendes and producer Barbara Broccoli, however, after one significantly large bet was placed on the actor, bookies slashed the odds to 1-2, leaving Coral no choice but to ‘pull the plug.’

‘There is no smoke without fire, and following the big gamble on Tom Hiddleston in the last 24 hours, we’ve had no choice but to pull the plug on the market,’ said Coral spokesperson Nicola McGeady.

‘Earlier in the year there was a gamble on Idris Elba and Damian Lewis, but nothing has come close to the recent gamble on Hiddleston.’

Before betting was suspended, Idris Elba was priced at 9-1, and Damien Lewis 14-1. Poldark Lothario Aiden Turner had odds at 3-1, and South London bad boy Tom Hardy was 4-1.

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When the rumours first emerged, Tom took an innocent approach, insisting ‘The position isn’t vacant as far as I’m aware. No one has talked to me about it,’ going on to explain ‘I think the rumours have come about because in The Night Manager I play a spy and people have made the link.’

However, as the weeks have passed and the rumours have spread, Tom has got quieter and quieter on the subject – adding serious fuel to the fire.

Just this week when asked about filling Bond’s iconic (and ever so sexy) shoes, Tom refused to comment but reportedly broke into a huge grin – making us more suspicious and hopeful than ever.

Only time will tell who our next leading man will be, but in the meantime, let’s all engage in some form of prayer for Tom to recreate this scene.

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