If rumours have us believe Aaron Taylor-Johnson has been given his code number by Eon Productions and is our new 007 and that he’s already filmed the gun barrel for an announcement in March.
I don’t buy these rumours, mainly because they come from The Sun and are unreliable when it comes to breaking movie news. I’ll be waiting to hear something from The Hollywood Reporter or Deadline.
After already completed a top-secret screen test at Pinewood Studios and according to their source, “Aaron has impressed bosses so much that he has filmed one of the franchise’s famous gun barrel teaser scenes, something all the Bond actors do. That move takes him a step closer to signing a deal.
“Bosses at the brand were really impressed with his unique blend of acting intensity and his impressive back catalogue of action films.”
If this were true, they’d know that anyone who auditions to be James Bond must do a screentest of the key scene from 1963’s From Russia With Love.
As co-producer Michael G. Wilson explained during the BFI’s 60th Anniversary celebration of the franchise about the casting process saying, “We always use the same scene… and that’s the one in From Russia With Love, where Bond comes back to his room after the assassination, and he starts taking off his shirt, goes into the room to bathe.
“Then he hears something, takes his gun, goes in and the girl’s in the bed,” continued Wilson.
It makes perfect sense to use this scene as it shows everything about the character – his sex appeal, chemistry with a beautiful actress, a quip and then embracing.
As used in famous screentests by both James Brolin and Sam Neil.
The only other scene I’d add nowadays and in future castings is the “I’m the money” scene from Casino Royale, which is the perfect double-hander to find a new James Bond and the leading Bond girl.
Elsewhere and returning to the rumour of Taylor-Johnson being Bond, this would be a confusing move for Wilson and fellow co-producer Barbara Broccoli to make. As recently as The Sound of 007 concert stated, they haven’t even started coming up with a story, let alone thinking of a new Bond.
So I firmly believe that before we even hear of casting or shortlists, they’ll be news that veteran franchise scribes Neil Pervis and Robert Wade are writing a treatment and story for Bond 26. Followed by a writer will be hired to pen the script, with Steven Knight being my pick. Having seen his fantastic work on SAS: Rogue Heroes and the success of Peaky Blinders.
Next will be the director, with the likes of Edger Wright in consideration, and then he will film the FRWL screen tests before the unveiling of the new James Bond.
Suppose Taylor-Johnson is cast, then I wouldn’t have a single complaint. Don’t get me wrong, I am very much in Team Henry Golding camp and have been since 2018’s Crazy Rich Asians, but ever since David Leitch’s Bullet Train, I felt like the actor has everything to be 007.
He was one of the reasons I love the Brad Pitt action-comedy and everything screamed Bond, from how he wore a suit, the action/fight scenes and the slow-mo of him flicking his fag way was perfect.
Meanwhile, he’s a terrific actor starring in different dramatic roles, he’s a great-looking bloke with a bit of roughness that Timothy Dalton and even Daniel Craig had at the beginning. The women who loved Angus, Thongs and Perfect Snogging as teenagers will also be excited.
Furthermore, although he was Quicksilver in Avengers: Age of Ultron, his best-known role is Kick-Ass, a film that came out in 2010!
He was also in the running to be Batman before Robert Pattinson was cast.
There are two issues regarding the casting: his role in the Netflix movie reboot of The Fall Guy (starring Ryan Gosling and Emily Blunt) and depending who he plays, the streaming service might’ve signed him on a multi-film contract.
Additionally, he would have signed a multi-film deal with Sony to play Kraven the Hunter in the Spider-Man spin-off, as the studio will be hoping it’ll be the next Venom and not another Mobius.
So if both are multi-picture deals, I see Eon having to share with one (preferably Sony) studio but not both.
But this is all speculation right now and nothing concrete. I’m sure 2023 will be filled with more rumours, but more importantly, official news.