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The Independent UK
The Independent UK
Tom Murray

Aaron Taylor-Johnson stokes James Bond rumours with awkward interview response

Getty Images/MGM

Aaron Taylor-Johnson was caught tongue-tied when asked about his potential to appear as the next James Bond.

The 33-year-old Bullet Train star has long been among the favourites to succeed Daniel Craig who ended his five-film run as 007 with 2021’s No Time to Die.

In a new interview with Esquire to promote his forthcoming lead role in Marvel’s Kraven the Hunter, Taylor-Johnson was asked indirectly about the Bond rumours.

“What comes from [Kraven] could generate many different conversations,” the actor said, cryptically.

As the interviewer raised the betting odds for Taylor-Johnson to take over as the new 007, Johnson responded: “But this is the thing, right? As I’ve already told you, I have to go by the beat of my own drum. It’s my own path, what feels intuitive to me.

“I’ve never made a decision based on other people’s perspectives, or their judgments, or their expectations. You lose your f***ing mind if you do that. Your sense of worth and soul is gone. You need to understand what is integral to you and what feels right, and you’ve got to stay on track with what’s present in front of you. Kraven is what’s in front of me.”

He continued: “I’ve spent two years making Kraven. So all that hard work we put into trying to get that to where it is – that’s where I’m at right now.”

Aaron-Taylor Johnson (left) and Daniel Craig as James Bond
— (Getty Images/MGM)

Asked if it was exciting to consider what could come next, he responded: “I just focus on the things I can have in my hands right now. What’s in front of me right now.”

As Esquire points out, at no point does Taylor-Johnson outrightly deny that he could join the spy franchise.

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When the interviewer then asked if he should bet on Henry Cavill (another big name in the Bond casting rumours), Taylor-Johnson teased: “I mean, if you’re a betting man...”

Puck reported earlier this year that Taylor-Johnson had met with longtime Bond producer Barbara Broccoli and that the meeting “went well”, per their sources.

Superman star Cavill, meanwhile, auditioned for Bond against Craig back in the mid-Noughties. Ironically, the Man of Steel star was considered too young (22) at the time; his age may rule him out again from the casting race, according to Casino Royale director Martin Campbell.

“Henry’s 40, so by the time he’s done the third one he’s going to be 50 and anything beyond that’s two, three years per Bond,” Campbell said.

Casting director Debbie McWilliams recently ruled out younger actors from the role as they “didn’t have the mental capacity” for the iconic part.

For a more extensive breakdown of the next Bond contenders, click here.

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