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Aaron Taylor-Johnson is currently favourite with the bookies to play the 007 agent
By Yasmin Rufo
BBC News

Speculation over which actor will take on the role of James Bond has been mounting once again, after reports British actor Aaron Taylor-Johnson has been offered the role.

The Sun has reported the Kick-Ass and Marvel films actor has been “formally offered the job” as the 007 spy, formerly played by Daniel Craig.

Craig left the role in 2021 after starring in five films over 16 years.

The next bond film will be the 26th, after No Time to Die.

The BBC has approached Taylor-Johnson and Eon Productions for comment.

Daniel Craig was announced as the sixth Bond in 2005 and stayed in the role until No Time to Die’s release in 2021

Taylor-Johnson recently told Numero magazine he found it “charming and wonderful that people see me in that role”, when asked about the rumours naming him as the next Bond.

“I take it as a great compliment,” he added.

The actor, 33, who starred as John Lennon in the biopic Nowhere Boy in 2009, is now favourite with the bookmakers to play the role.

He also starred in thriller Nocturnal Animals, which he won a Golden Globe for in 2017, Anna Karenina, Godzilla and Tenet.

Who else is in the running to play 007?

Cavill played Superman in films including Man Of Steel and Batman Vs Superman

Over the past three years there has been no shortage of names being thrown into the mix for who would follow Craig, widely seen as a tough act to follow.

Mark O’Connell, author of Catching Bullets: Memoirs of a Bond Fan, told the BBC after Craig’s departure: “A new Bond is not just a red-carpet suit and a timepiece endorsement arm.

“He must be a movie star, an ambassador for the series and cinema, a media diplomat, an anointed son of British culture and the face of a billion-dollar ecosystem of products and endorsements.

“He must be instantly recognisable across all corners of the globe as James Bond.

“He must be good looking, able to hold the camera and dominate cinema screens the size of football pitches.”

‘Very, very exciting’

One of the current favourites to take on the role is Super Man and Mission: Impossible actor Henry Cavill who was thought to be in the running to play Bond before Craig was cast.

He told GQ in 2020 that he “would love to play Bond, it would be very, very exciting”.

One of the youngest names thought to be in contention is 32-year-old Damson Idris.

He is best-known for his role in US TV crime drama Snowfall that ran for six seasons between 2017 and 2023. He also played the lead role in Netflix’s sci-fi action film Outside the Wire.

Damson Idris starred in TV crime drama Snowfall

Another favourite with the bookies is James Norton, who starred recently in the stage production of A Little Life and was in the cast of 2019 film Little Women.

The 38-year-old actor has starred in a number of gritty TV dramas including McMafia and Happy Valley.

In 2018 he dispelled rumours that he could be the next Bond, and told the Evening Standard: “There’s an inevitable amount of speculation. But that’s as much as it is – speculation. Very flattering, very humbling speculation.”

But of course a lot can change in six years.

James Norton played Prince Andrei Bolkonsky in the BBC’s 2016 series War and Peace

The likes of Tom Hardy, Idris Elba and Chris Evans are other names that have been mentioned.

But Elba, 51, acknowledged that he might now be “too old” to take on the role, given if he stayed on for as long as Daniel Craig did, he would be 66.

Idris Elba was the favourite to take on the role for a number of years after his hugely popular performance as Stringer Bell in The Wire

Producers do not necessarily choose the biggest name for the role, after all, Daniel Craig’s name was not at the forefront in the year after Pierce Brosnan’s final Bond film in 2002.

Speaking of Brosnan, he recently told the BBC that his fellow Irishman and Oscar winner Cillian Murphy would make a “magnificent” 007.

Brosnan has also previously said that Bridgerton heartthrob Regé-Jean Page would make a “wonderful” Bond.

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