The quest to find the new James Bond is still underway. Talk around who will become the next person to portray big screen legend has, however, narrowed it down to just one face.
In 2021, Daniel Craig decided to hang up his MI6 hat, handed in his gun, and ended his 15 year career as the silver-tongued rogue named 007 following the release of No Time to Die. From that moment, the race was on to replace the actor who seemed irreplaceable.
Daniel Craig exits stage left
Craig’s decision to leave quit the role was based on many reasons, not just one. As reported in Digital Spy, when asked the question, the British actor said:
I always had a kind of secret idea about the whole lot in my head, and where I wanted to take it. And Spectre wasn’t that. But [No Time to Die] feels like it is,” he explained in December 2019.
If [Spectre] had been it, the world would have carried on as normal, and I would have been absolutely fine. But somehow it felt like we needed to finish something off. If I’d left it at Spectre, something at the back of my head would have been going, ‘I wish I’d done one more’.
That’s not all either, since it seems Craig had been thinking of quitting since 2006, when Casino Royal made its cinematic debut. As quoted by the online magazine:
I said to Barbara [Broccoli], ‘How many of these movies do I have to make?’ because I don’t really look at contracts or any of those things. And she said, ‘Four,’ and I went, ‘Oh, okay. Can I kill him off in the last one?’ And she didn’t pause. She said, ‘Yes’,” he recalled in December 2021.
So I struck a deal with her back then and said, ‘That’s the way I’d like it to go’. It’s the only way I could see for myself to end it all and to make it like that was my tenure, someone else could come and take over. She stuck to her guns.
As it turns out, Craig’s final Bond film would be No Time to Die, the action packed film that premiered last year.
Aaron Taylor-Johnson, the contender
The contender for the face of James Bond is no other than Aaron Taylor-Johnson, a 32-year old screen star born in High Wycombe, Buckinghamshire, England. The husband of the famous film director Sam Taylor-Wood started in the drama when he was only six.
One of his first roles was in theatre, playing Macbeth, William Shakespeare’s classic villain-hero. His last was Bullet Train, where he starred alongside Sandra Bullock and Brad Pitt.
Taylor-Johnson moved up to first place in the contest to reprise the role of the main protagonist in the Bond cinematic empire when Idris Elba, a favorite before him, walked off after years of negotiations with those in charge of the next film.
Henry Cavill, another British actor, was also slated for the continuation of the 007 series before Craig. At that time, he said told the Independent UK that he “probably wasn’t ready at the time and I think Daniel did an incredible job over the past movies, so I’m happy they made that choice.” He also believed it was down to his youthful age, being only 22 years old at the time he took his screen test to play Bond.
Aaron Taylor-Johnson is only ten years older than Cavill at that time, and 6 years younger than Craig when he began to film. Nevertheless, the powers that be appear to have deemed him just the right fit.
Women want him, every man wants to be him
If Taylor-Johnson does succeed Craig, then that will make him the 7th following after Sean Connery, George Lazenby, Roger Moore, Timothy Dalton, Pierce Brosnan, and Daniel Craig
He will have big shoes to fill however, as Craig’s career was rich both financially and professionally. He made an astounding $85 million throughout his years epitomizing Ian Fleming’s character for example, although the films generated enormous profits as well.
Skyfall was the first Bond film to gross over a billion with at $1.109 billion USD in earnings. The lowest was Quantam of Solace, as itonly made $589.6 million and the next highest earning Spectre, which brought in $880.7 million.
Will the new achieve the same fame? Perhaps if, like their predecessor, they manage to exemplify the MI6 agent the world has come to know.
And here are some other names that have been heard for the job: