U.K. Bookie Favors Guy Ritchie as Next James Bond Director

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LONDON – One of the U.K.'s biggest names in betting William Hill has installed Guy Ritchie as the 4/1 favorite to be the next James Bond film director.

Ritchie tops the bookies' list to land the job of directing what will be the 24th installment of the global movie franchise after Sam Mendes ruled himself out of a return to the chair following Skyfall, the 23rd outing for 007.

But the list from the British bookmakers is not all about Brits, with Martin Scorsese at 9/1 and Steven Spielberg a 10/1 shot.

And, according to the bookies, those two are not even long shots.

Those with long odds include Clint Eastwood, James Cameron and Quentin Tarantino, all at 33/1.

"The Sherlock Holmes films have been an enormous success, and we believe that Guy Ritchie is the man to be entrusted with the Bond franchise, although Bond by Quentin Tarantino would make interesting viewing," said William Hill spokesman Rupert Adams.

Other names on the list include a return to the hot seat for previous Bond director Martin Campbell at 9/1 and Ang Lee and Ridley Scott, both offered at 25/1.

Tim Burton's odds to take the reins are at 50/1; like all good gambling houses, other director odds are available on request, William Hill said.

Whoever lands the job from Mendes will follow the most successful Bond film of all time in the U.K. after it gunned down more than $151 million at the British box office alone.

Albert R. Broccoli’s EON Productions, led by producers Michael G. Wilson and Barbara Broccoli, are expected to mount the next film with Craig returning in 2014.

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