Next Bond – Star who has screen tested for 007 gains on frontrunners

James Bond: Producers 'want someone in his 30s' says King

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It’s been over a year since Daniel Craig exploded out of the James Bond film franchise and speculation of who could take up the Licence to Kill next continues to be rife. Producers Barbara Broccoli and Michael G Wilson have made it clear that production on Bond 26 is at least two years away and that they’re looking for a male actor to reboot the franchise. Huge stars like Henry Cavill and Tom Hardy dominate the bookies’ odds, but they could be facing a challenge from another contender who has appeared out of the blue.

According to William Hill, Aaron Taylor-Johnson has entered the race with odds of 10-1 of replacing Craig as Bond. The 32-year-old rose to fame in comic book movies Kick-Ass and Avengers: Age of Ultron. And he most recently co-starred with Brad Pitt in the action comedy Bullet Train. The actor, who has played John Lennon and auditioned to portray Elvis Presley in Baz Luhrmann’s biopic, is married to 55-year-old director Sam Taylor-Johnson.

His sudden appearance in the race comes in the wake of an alleged new report that he massively impressed producers at a 007 screen test.

According to The Sun’s insider: “Aaron went for a screen test to be the next Bond in September and producers and Barbara loved him. He is now one of the front-runners.”

The last time the secretive 007 auditions took place was in 2005 when Craig beat Cavill to star in Casino Royale. The screen test involves a scene from the new movie and also one from Sean Connery’s From Russia with Love. The latter has 007 enter a room in a towel while holding a gun and approaching a woman in bed.

Here’s how his odds compare to the other frontrunners in the bookies’ race.

Taylor-Johnson is on 10-1 with Michael Fassbender and just ahead of them is Richard Madden on 9-1. Dan Stevens and Jack Lowden are on 8-1, Chiwetel Ejiofor is on 7-1 and both Tom Hardy and James Norton are on 6-1. In second place is Regé-Jean Page on 4-1 and the frontrunner remains Superman star Henry Cavill on 5-6.


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