Bullet Train star Aaron Taylor-Johnson has emerged as a front-runner to replace Daniel Craig as the next James Bond. The 32-year-old Avengers: Age of Ultron alum has reportedly met with Bond producers Barbara Broccoli and Michael G. Wilson about being the next actor to portray the British Secret Service agent, and their discussion went well, according to Puck’s Matthew Belloni.
“Taylor-Johnson fits the bill – great actor, British, fits the younger direction the Broccolis want to go, accomplished but not particularly famous,” Belloni wrote about the performer’s promising potential to play Bond.
The actor reportedly even had a secret audition in September, and recently shot scenes as the spy, including the franchise’s iconic gun barrel sequence. While the screen test is said to have gone very well, it has not yet been officially confirmed if he has been cast as the series’ hero.
The high-profile casting process to find the next actor to play Bond comes after Craig’s last appearance as the suave spy in 2021’s No Time to Die. The Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery star first played the MI6 agent in 2006’s Casino Royale.
Besides Taylor-Johnson, several other up-and-coming and A-list actors have been rumored to be in the running to replace Craig as Bond in the next installment of the Oscar-winning franchise, which Broccoli has been described as a reinvention. Those actors include Idris Elba, Tom Hardy, Henry Cavill, Richard Madden and Bridgerton star Regé-Jean Page.
The news about Taylor-Johnson’s potential casting as Bond comes just days after The Mail On Sunday reported that Broccoli was also interested in possibly casting Emily In Paris actor Lucien Laviscount in the coveted role.The producer is reportedly interested in the actor’s talent, as well as the fact that his fame has rise since he joined the hit Netflix romantic comedy series during its second season.
But since No Time to Die was only released in theaters 15 months ago, an official 007 casting update isn’t expected to be announced for quite some time. Broccoli and Wilson need time to work with the writers of the series’ next installment to create its story and villain before they decide which actor to cast as the heroic spy.
“We always sit down with our writers, and we start by thinking about, ‘What is the world afraid of?’ We start by thinking about, ‘Who’s the Bond villain?'” Broccoli told Syfy in September.
“We try to focus on that as the sort of uber story, and then we want to also look at Bond’s emotional life, and what he’ll be facing personally that he hasn’t had to deal with before. So he has two big issues in the films – one is the geopolitical one and the other is the personal one,” the producer added.
Besides being in the running to play the next iteration of Bond, Taylor-Johnson is about to re-enter the Marvel Universe through its collaboration with Sony. He’s playing the titular Spider-Man villain in Kraven The Hunter, which is set to be released on October 6. The film, which is being helmed by A Most Violent Year and Triple Frontier director J.C. Chandor, fits into Sony’s recent push to establish its own Marvel movie franchise outside of the Disney-owned continuity.
In addition to Kraven The Hunter, the actor has also been cast to star alongside Ryan Gosling in The Fall Guy film.
Besides Avengers: Age of Ultron, Taylor-Johnson first rose to fame in Warner Bros. and Legendary’s MonsterVerse’s 2014 movie, Godzilla. He also starred in the two big screen adaptations of the Mark Millar-created comic book, Kick-Ass.