Aaron Taylor-Johnson rumored as next James Bond: Here's what we know about the search for a new 007

Aaron Taylor-Johnson rumored as next James Bond: Here's what we know about the search for a new 007

The speculation as to who will take up the 007 mantle has once again been shaken (not stirred).

The name may be Bond, James Bond, but the name of who is playing the iconic spy next remains elusive.

Thanks to a report in U.K. tabloid publication The Sun, Kraven the Hunter star Aaron Taylor-Johnson is the latest name under consideration to replace Daniel Craig. The report, based on an unnamed source, claims that “Bond is Aaron’s job, should he wish to accept it" and that producers expect him to sign on the dotted line in the coming days. However, a separate source close to the situation tells EW that is not true. Taylor-Johnson also demurred when asked about the rumors in a recent Rolling Stone U.K. feature.

EW has reached out to EON Productions, MGM, and Taylor-Johnson's reps for comment.

<p>getty (2)</p> Aaron Taylor Johnson; Daniel Craig

getty (2)

Aaron Taylor Johnson; Daniel Craig

And so, the speculation as to who will take up the 007 mantle has once again been shaken (not stirred). So where does everything stand now? Here's everything you need to know about the search for the next James Bond.

Who decides?

Bond franchise producers (and real-life half-siblings) Barbara Broccoli and Michael G. Wilson are heading up the search to replace Craig, who played the character in the most recent five films: Casino Royale (2006), Quantum of Solace (2008), Skyfall (2012), Spectre (2015), and No Time to Die (2021).

When will we know?

In June 2022, Broccoli said that "no one" was in the running for the role, and that it would be at least two years before the character might return to the big screen. "There isn't a script, and we can't come up with one until we decide how we're going to approach the next film because, really, it's a reinvention of Bond," Broccoli said. "We're reinventing who he is, and that takes time. I'd say that filming is at least two years away."

A few months later, Broccoli told EW that they'd start considering casting in 2023 and as such "no one should be waiting by the phone yet." "We haven't begun the hunt," she said. "We're going to be sort of sitting down and trying to figure out where the Bond series is going to go, and we need to do that first, to get a sense of that, before we start casting for the role. So we'll start thinking about that sometime next year."

So, with that in mind, the fact it's currently 2024 means that, at least according to their own admissions, Broccoli and Wilson should be currently hard at work casting the new Bond.

Who’s being considered?

Tabloid rumors and Internet wish-casting aside, we don’t actually know for sure yet, but Happy Valley star James Norton, Snowfall’s Damson Idris, Tom Hardy, Henry Cavill, Regé-Jean Page, Richard Madden, and now Taylor-Johnson have all been mentioned at one time or another.

For years, fans of Luther star Idris Elba have also nominated him for the role, but he told The Wall Street Journal in 2022 it was unlikely he'd take it on. "When I look in the mirror, I don't see James Bond," Elba told the outlet at the time.

After a different Sun report earlier this year claimed Oppenheimer Oscar winner Cillian Murphy was a favorite for the role, former James Bond Pierce Brosnan threw his support behind the idea, telling the BBC, "Cillian [Murphy] would do a magnificent job as James Bond on His Majesty's Secret Service."

And, with all the talk of this being a "reinvention" for the character, would a woman perhaps be considered? Never say never, but Broccoli previously expressed doubts that there'd be a gender swap. "Bond is male," she told The Guardian in 2018. "He's a male character. He was written as a male and I think he'll probably stay as a male."

"And that's fine. We don't have to turn male characters into women," Broccoli added. "Let's just create more female characters and make the story fit those female characters."

Ana de Armas, who played the scene-stealing, mysterious character of Paloma in No Time to Die, echoed those sentiments in July 2022, saying "there is no need for a female Bond." "What I would like is that the female roles in the Bond films, even though Bond will continue to be a man, are brought to life in a different way," she said, adding, "That they're given a more substantial part and recognition. That's what I think is more interesting than flipping things."

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