The race to don the tuxedo of the world’s most famous spy, James Bond, seems to be finally reaching its climax, according to an insider. With Daniel Craig bowing out after a stellar run in five films, speculation has been rife about who will be the next to utter the iconic “Bond, James Bond.”
Emerging at the forefront of the Bond conversation is 33-year-old British actor Aaron Taylor-Johnson. A source close to the selection process has disclosed that Taylor-Johnson is in prime position to take on the role, with renowned filmmaker Christopher Nolan, 53, likely to direct the upcoming installment of this storied franchise.
“Aaron Taylor-Johnson is currently the hot favorite to step into the iconic role, he’s the first choice for Barbara Broccoli – he is the one to beat,” the insider shared.
Christopher Nolan’s Vision for James Bond
The prospect of Christopher Nolan at the helm brings a new level of anticipation, given his acclaimed body of work and history of reinventing genres. It has already been rumoured that the acclaimed Oppenheimer director is on talks to direct 2 Bond films, and the insider says, he’s hoping to take the direction in a new way.
“He is extremely interested in doing something very different with the franchise. If he can get his way with producers, then he is all for it,” the source added.
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But Nolan’s involvement raises questions about whether Taylor-Johnson’s casting is a sure thing, given the director’s history of frequent collaborations with certain actors.
He has worked with Taylor-Johnson before, though, in the 2020 film Tenet, and the actor’s eagerness to be part of Nolan’s projects is well-documented.
Recalling his experience vying for a part in Tenet, Taylor-Johnson told The Hollywood Reporter in 2020:
“When there’s an opportunity to work with someone like Chris Nolan, you just hope to get your foot in the door. He’s always going to have his go-to actors, so you never know if something is going to come around or not.”
Taylor-Jonson Has Impressed while Casting
Despite the competition, Aaron Taylor-Johnson made a significant impression during a screen test at Pinewood Studios earlier this year, catching the eye of Bond producer Barbara Broccoli. While fans have also expressed support for Henry Cavill to take the role, rooting for the actor who narrowly missed out in the past.
Broccoli is reportedly eyeing a long-term commitment from the next James Bond actor, seeking someone ready to carry the franchise for the next 15 years, akin to some of her predecessors.
Taylor-Johnson, who first garnered attention in the 2009 John Lennon biopic Nowhere Boy, is not only known for his professional achievements but also his personal life. He met Nowhere Boy director Sam Taylor-Johnson, 56, on set and the two have been married since 2012 and have two daughters together. Sam Taylor-Johnson has two other daughters from a previous relationship.
Other Names in The Mix
While Aaron Taylor-Johnson stands as a strong contender to inherit the iconic role of James Bond, history suggests that Bond producers are known for their unpredictability.
Taylor-Johnson’s international acclaim, though a point in his favor, somewhat contradicts the traditional Bond casting approach, which often favors less universally recognized talents. This rationale extends to Henry Cavill, another household name in the running.
However, other leading names in the betting, James Norton, with odds of 5/1, remains a serious candidate, alongside Rege-Jean Page, also standing at 5/1, and Damson Idris at 11/2. These actors bring fresh faces to the table, aligning more closely with the franchise’s penchant for introducing rising stars.
Meanwhile, early favorites such as Idris Elba and Tom Hardy appear to be stepping back, either opting out of the race themselves or potentially exceeding the age bracket usually sought for an actor expected to carry the Bond title for the foreseeable future.