A Bond for the (Correct) Ages?

Aaron Taylor-Johnson Offered James Bond Role
Reportedly will "sign contract this week"

At last, some spy news on Spyglass. With the very real caveat that I'm linking to a UK tabloid (owned by News Corp) and that even they are couching this news with the notion that he's been offered but hasn't yet signed on to the role of James Bond, here you go:

BRIT actor Aaron Taylor-Johnson is taking his martinis shaken, not stirred, after being formally offered the job as the new James Bond.

Insiders said the Kick-Ass movie star is expected to accept the role as 007, taking over from Daniel Craig, who has played MI6’s most famous spy for 15 years.

A source said: “Bond is Aaron’s job, should he wish to accept it. The formal offer is on the table and they are waiting to hear back.

“As far as Eon is concerned, Aaron is going to sign his contract in the coming days and they can start preparing for the big announcement.”

If true – again, a big "if" for the moment – I like this pick. While not as big of a name as some of the others in contention – namely, quite literally: Henry Cavill, Idris Elba, Tom Hardy, and most recently, given all the Oscar buzz, Cillian Murphy – Taylor-Johnson has long been one of the front-runners (and recently the odds-on favorite) for the role. He's 33 years old. In Ian Fleming's Bond novels, Bond is perpetually in his mid-to-late 30s. So by the time filming actually begins – perhaps end of this year, but more likely next, Taylor-Johnson will be 34 or 35 years old.

Compare that to the other Bond actors:

  • Sean Connery: 32 in Dr. No (1962) – 41 in Diamonds Are Forever (1971)1
  • George Lazenby: 29 in On Her Majesty's Secret Service (1969)
  • Roger Moore: 45 in Live And Let Die (1973) – 57 in A View To A Kill (1985)2
  • Timothy Dalton: 41 in The Living Daylights (1987) – 43 in License To Kill (1989)
  • Pierce Brosnan: 42 in Goldeneye (1995) – 49 in Die Another Day (2002)
  • Daniel Craig: 38 in Casino Royale (2006) – 51 in No Time To Die (2021)

If we assume Taylor-Johnson makes three to five Bonds, and those are released every two to three years, he'll likely be in his early-to-mid-40s by the end of such a run. So that would be the best age overlap with the actual character since Connery.

If this does indeed come to pass, everyone will have to get up to speed on Taylor-Johnson's previous work, which includes Nowhere Boy (in which he played John Lennon, directed by his wife, Sam Taylor-Johnson, who is seemingly about to have a big new movie of her own), Kick-Ass, and Bullet Train. His most-seen film was undoubtedly Avengers: Age of Ultron, where he played Pietro Maximoff (aka Wanda's brother). Though his biggest star turn pre-Bond will likely be the upcoming Kraven the Hunter – unless it's horrible. And it has been delayed multiple times at this point (official word was simply the strike – the director is a good one)...

Then the search will be on to find a director of the next Bond. Guess who was in Christopher Nolan's Tenet? Just saying...3

I had long been holding out hope that Richard Madden might be the long-shot next Bond (back to the Scottish Connery roots). But again, this is a good pick. Incidentally, the first Jewish James Bond, it would seem.

Also, holy shit, a James Bond who was born in 1990.

1 Though, yes, Connery played Bond again in Never Say Never Again, the updated "unofficial" remake of Thunderball, released by Warner Bros. in 1983 when he was 52 years old.

2 The OG "JB" when it comes to doing an intense job at an advanced age, much like current "JB", Joe Biden. Too soon?

3 Sadly sounds very unlikely for this next Bond installment, at least.