GERARD Butler’s odds of playing the next James Bond have been slashed as speculation rises over who will take over from Daniel Craig.

William Hill has cut the Scottish actor’s odds to 50-1 in the race to find the next 007.

The Paisley-born actor has long been linked with the role, having revealed that he met with Bond bosses 20 years ago to discuss casting - which would’ve made him the second Scottish star to do so after Sean Connery.

READ MORE: Scots star Richard Madden has odds on being the next James Bond slashed

Butler, best known for his roles in the Olympus Has Fallen trilogy and 300, is also no stranger to the franchise. The 52-year-old earned one of his first acting credits in Tomorrow Never Dies, of the Pierce Brosnan era, playing the leading seaman on HMS Devonshire.

Despite vehemently squashing rumours about becoming the next James Bond, claiming that he’s much too old for the role now, William Hill still thinks that Butler is in with a chance, cutting his odds to 50-1.

The National: Sean Connery in From Russia With Love.

Sean Connery remains the only Scot to fill the role of 007

Speculation has been rife over the last few weeks as to who’s set to step into Craig’s tuxedo after he bowed out after an explosive exit from No Time To Die late last year.

READ MORE: Most-searched Scottish celebrities of 2021 revealed

The current frontrunner in the market is Superman and Witcher star Henry Cavill, who has seen his odds cut to 2-1 in the last week, followed by Bridgerton's Rege-Jean Page (11-4), and Luther's legend Idris Elba (9-2).

Other Scots in the market include Outlander’s Sam Heughan and The Bodyguard’s Richard Madden, most favourably priced at 8-1, as well as Trainspotting’s Ewan McGregor slightly behind Butler at 66-1.

Meanwhile, William Hill has Lashana Lynch's place at 7-1. This follows her role in the latest Bond instalment No Time To Die as agent Nomi - the inheritor of the 007 designation following James Bond’s previous retirement.