Heavy speculation has surrounded the question of who will become the next James Bond. Ever since Daniel Craig’s 007 character was killed off last year, fans have hoped that the legacy will continue. After all, Craig wasn’t the first so how could he be the last? Now, The Sun reports that Aaron Taylor-Johnson is the top pick to be the newest James Bond, 007.
Aaron Taylor-Johnson Allegedly Attended a Secret James Bond Audition
An insider told The Sun that Taylor-Johnson went to a secret audition. He reportedly impressed the James Bond franchise mega boss, Barbara Broccoli.
“Aaron went for a screen test to be the next Bond in September and producers and Barbara loved him,” said the insider. “He is now one of the front-runners.”
Aaron Taylor-Johnson certainly has the looks necessary. His serious eyes and chiseled face could fit perfectly as the world’s favorite spy. And we’ve already been wowed by him in a variety of movies. He was hilarious in the Kick-Ass films, earning a long list of nominations. And he won the Best Newcomer honor at the Empire Awards for Nowhere Boy. He also won a Golden Globe for Best Supporting Actor and the Virtuoso Award from the Santa Barbara International Film Festival for his part in Nocturnal Animals.
The Early James Bonds
Previous James Bonds have been portrayed since 1962, starting with Sean Connery. Connery starred in 6 James Bond films up through 1971. However, George Lazenby squeezed in there in On Her Majesty’s Secret Service in 1969 but he wasn’t a smashing hit like Connery.
After Connery, Bond was portrayed by Roger Moore. Starting in 1973 with Live and Let Die, Moore starred in 7 Bond films up through 1985. So far, he holds the record for the most Bond films, although his time span wasn’t quite as long as Daniel Craig’s.
The next 007 was played by Timothy Dalton in The Living Daylights in 1987 and License to Kill in 1989. That was it for Dalton, though, as his star power wasn’t quite up to par with his predecessors. Next was Brosnan.
Pierce Brosnan played James Bond in 4 films from 1995 to 2002. Golden Eye, Tomorrow Never Dies, The World Is Not Enough, and Die Another Day did exceedingly well at the box office. They made between $333 million and $431.9 million at the worldwide box office, with his final film earning the most.
But he was eventually replaced by Daniel Craig. It wasn’t that Brosnan quit. In a documentary interview in Some Kind of Hero: The Remarkable Story of the James Bond Films, Brosnan spoke out about being fired.
“I was in the Bahamas, working on a movie called After the Sunset and my agents called me up and said, ‘Negotiations have stopped. [Producers Barbara Broccoli and Michael Wilson] are not quite sure what they want to do. They’ll call you next Thursday,’” he recalled. “I sat in Richard Harris’s house in the Bahamas, and Barbara and Michael were on the line —‘We’re so sorry.’ She was crying, Michael was stoic and he said, ‘You were a great James Bond. Thank you very much,’ and I said, ‘Thank you very much. Goodbye.’ That was it. I was utterly shocked and just kicked to the curb with the way it went down.”Pierce Brosnan per the Hindustan Times
Daniel Craig Wanted to Kill Off His 007 Character, Promised 4 Movies
Enter Daniel Craig. Craig, unlike Brosnan, actually planned his exit well in advance. He told Variety that he was thinking of it ever since his first Bond film in 2006, Casino Royale.
“I’m going to tell a story here, whether or not anybody remembers it or agrees with it,” Craig said. “But it was 2006. Barbara and I were sitting in the back of a car driving away from the Berlin premiere of Casino Royale. Everything was going well. People liked the movie. And it looked like I was gonna get a chance to make at least another movie. I said to Barbara, ‘How many of these movies do I have to make?’ Because I don’t really look at contracts or any of those things. And she said, ‘Four,’ and I went, ‘Oh, okay. Can I kill him off in the last one?’ And she didn’t pause. She said, ‘Yes.’ So, I struck a deal with her back then and said, ‘That’s the way I’d like it to go.’ It’s the only way I could see for myself to end it all and to make it like that was my tenure, someone else could come and take over. She stuck to her guns.”Daniel Craig, per Variety
So, Daniel Craig made an agreement with Barbara Broccoli to do 4 James Bond movies. However, after his fourth, Spectre, in 2015, James Bond hadn’t died yet. Hence, he returned for his 5th and final Bond film, No Time to Die, in 2015. The six-year lag didn’t seem to matter. All that mattered was that he followed through with his dream of killing off his character.
“I always had a kind of secret idea about the whole lot in my head, and where I wanted to take it. And Spectre wasn’t that,” said Craig. “But [No Time to Die] feels like it is.”
Daniel Craig’s 007 was the first and only James Bond to die on-screen in history, making for some serious drama and a bit of an emotional cliffhanger for diehard Bond fans. So, it’s an absolute delight to hear that the legacy may continue. And this time, it could be the hunky 32-year-old, Aaron Taylor-Johnson to play James Bond, 007. Other candidates mentioned in the past have included Henry Cavill, Idris Elba, Tom Hardy, and James Norton.