Los Angeles - Tom Hiddleston enjoyed a "jolly" meeting with James Bond director Sam Mendes and producer Barbara Broccoli in London - fuelling rumours he is set to be the next 007.
The British actor - most famous for playing Thor's nemesis Loki in the Marvel Cinematic Universe movies - has set tongues wagging that he will replace Spectre actor Daniel Craig as the star of the long-running spy-action franchise.
Hiddleston, 35, joined Mendes and Broccoli at private members club Soho House in the UK capital this week and an onlooker revealed: "At first it was Barbara, Tom and another good looking young man. Then Sam Mendes joined them at about 11pm and they stayed until around 1am ... There was lots of laughter; they all looked to be having a very jolly time."
Craig, 48, is believed to be considering hanging up his tuxedo and a few actors have been tipped to replace him, including Bastille Day star Idris Elba, who would become the first black actor to take on the role if he was cast.
However, the recent sighting will almost certainly put the odds in Hiddleston's favour and excite fans that the casting will soon be announced.
The source added to the Daily Mirror newspaper: "We were gobsmacked they were being so brazen about it. They clearly didn't mind who saw them."
Meanwhile, Hiddleston - who recently starred in TV drama The Night Manager - rubbished claims he had been offered the role.
He said last week: "The thing is, the position isn't vacant as far as I am aware. No one has talked to me about it.
"I think the rumours have all come about because in the Night Manager I play a spy and people have made the link.''
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