Tom Hardy to play 007?

Actor Tom Hardy poses for photographers on the red carpet for the film Locke at the 70th edition of the Venice Film Festival held from Aug. 28 through Sept. 7, in Venice, Italy, Monday, Sept. 2, 2013. (AP Photo/Andrew Medichini)

With only two films remaining on Daniel Craig's contract, and the 45-year-old actor unlikely to renew, bosses at MGM and Sony are doubtless on the hunt for his replacement as iconic British spy, James Bond.

And, according to the Daily Star, they may have found their man.

The tabloid suggests that The Dark Knight actor Tom Hardy is hot favourite to become the latest 007.

[Exclusive: Roland Emmerich wants to direct Bond]

"Although Craig is signed up for the next two Bond films the search for his replacement is already on," said a source.

"Tom is right at the top of the wish list. He’s been approached to gauge his interest and he’s keen.

"He’s a respected actor with a great back catalogue of films but most importantly he’s the type of guy that all men want to be like and all women want to be with. He’s perfect Bond material."

[What kind of Bond would Tom Hardy be?]

Whether the rumours are true or not, Hardy has said in the past that he'd be up for the role.

In March last year, the actor admitted he'd jump at the chance to play England's most famous secret agent in a radio interview, telling Magic FM's Verity Geere: "I'd love to play Bond with Chris Nolan (as a) director or something, it would be awesome."

[Could a hammy James Bond work again?]

Daniel Craig has promised that his potentially penultimate Bond movie will have a sense of humour about it following the rather heavy tone of Skyfall.

"Hopefully we'll reclaim some of the old irony and make sure it doesn't become pastiche." he told Vulture.

"I can't do shtick, I'm not very good at it. Unless it kind of suddenly makes sense. Does that make sense? I sometimes wish I hammed it up more, but I just can't do it very well, so I don't do it."

The 24th official Bond movie is currently slated for a November 2015 release.