How this goofy superhero kicked some serious ass to be ‘formally offered’ the next James Bond films

Aaron Taylor-Johnson went from goofy <I>Kick-Ass</I> superhero in 2010 to a sophisticated, yet relatively unknown actor with street cred to pull off Bond.

Aaron Taylor-Johnson went from goofy Kick-Ass superhero in 2010 to a sophisticated, yet relatively unknown actor with street cred to pull off Bond. Photo: TND

After hovering in bookmakers’ top 10 James Bond hopefuls for three years, English actor Aaron Taylor-Johnson has reportedly been formally offered the iconic 007 role … should he wish to take it.

Speculation has swirled in movie circles for the past week that an offer is on the table, with The Sun reporting Eon [the production company behind the Bond films] expects the 33-year-old Bullet Train and Kraven the Hunter star to lock and load an exclusive deal this week.

One Austrian newspaper, is reporting Taylor-Johnson will be dramatically “presented” as the next Bond, with “costume rehearsals under way” and an offer on the table of three Bond films with an option for a fourth “screen adventure”.

Former Bond actors Australian George Lazenby, Timothy Dalton, Pierce Brosnan and Daniel Craig are reportedly on the list of attendees.

“The Bond makers want this to be one of the biggest announcements of all time and then want to start filming next year to get the new film in theatre by 2026,” the paper reported.

Coincidentally, the state-of-the-art 007 Elements museum and installation – located in the Austrian Alps and is “built like a secret Blofeld lair 10,000 feet above sea level” – would be the perfect backdrop for producer Barbara Broccoli and her team of creatives, who shot several scenes here for 2015’s Spectre.

Lazenby, who played Bond in 1969’s On Her Majesty’s Secret Service, has already given Taylor-Johnson his seal of approval, telling US gossip website TMZ the 33-year-old “can handle the stunts, and all the ladies who love a man in a tux”.

On the other hand, ATJ is remaining coy about the Bond deal.

He told Numero magazine he was just grateful to be in the mix, saying: “I find it charming and wonderful that people see me in that role. I take it as a great compliment.”

He was asked about it again by Rolling Stone’s Christina Newland, who suggested it must be flattering to be associated with 007 in the April cover story.

She writes: ” … he stares at me in silence … I add that I know he couldn’t possibly spill the beans to a journalist in this context … Barbara Broccoli is one formidable woman. More silence, although it is wry rather than severe. I laugh nervously. He asks me how my pasta is.”

“I can only really talk about the things I’m going to show and tell,” he answers.

“I don’t feel like I need to have a future drawn out for me. I feel like: Whatever’s drawn out for me, I can f—in’ do better,” was all he would say.

From Russia With Love

Source: United Artists

‘Britain’s next leading man’

Billed by Rolling Stone as Britain’s next big film star, Taylor-Johnson ticks all the boxes for who the Bond producers wanted in an actor.

He had to be mid-30s, of a certain height and physique, sexy and not too big a star so his Bond character could be shaped over several storylines [as was done with Daniel Craig].

There’s a legendary scene the producers make actors do when they audition for 007 and if the rumours are true, and Taylor-Johnson is the next Bond, he must have nailed this screen test.

It’s from 1963’s From Russia with Love, where Sean Connery’s Bond gets acquainted with Soviet spy Tatiana Romanova.

‘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,” producer Michael G Wilson told fans at a 2022 London event to mark 60 years of Bond.

“Then he hears something, takes his gun, goes in and the girl is in the bed.

“That is the test we use. Anyone who can bring that scene off is right for Bond.

“It’s tough to do.”

Aaron Taylor-Johnson at Milan Fashion Week in February: Photo: Getty

So who is ATJ?

As a teen dancer and high school dropout, he starred in the teen hit, Angus, Thongs and Perfect Snogging and a year later he played John Lennon in Nowhere Boy.

But it was his performance playing ordinary teen, Dave Lizewskia, who becomes a goofy wannabe superhero, starring alongside Nicolas Cage (Big Daddy) and Chloe Moretz (Hit Girl) in the clever 2010 Marvel flick Kick-Ass that earned him a stack of nominations in the comedy and action space (including a 2010 Teen Choice nomination for best breakout role).

This was his entry into Hollywood, with the film getting a sequel in 2013 and scoring roles in Godzilla and Avengers: Age of Ultron.

He then won a Golden Globe for Best Supporting Actor for his role in the drama Nocturnal Animals in 2017.

When working on Nowhere Boy, Taylor-Johnson met his future wife, Sam Taylor. At the time, he was 18 and she was 42.

The couple married in 2012, and blended their surnames – he became Aaron Taylor-Johnson, while she is known as Sam Taylor-Johnson.

They are parents to daughters Wylda, 13, and Romy Hero, 11, as well as being stepfather to Angelica, 25, and Jessie, 15, from Sam’s first marriage.

Taylor-Johnson’s other casting credits include Christopher Nolan’s Tenet, Bullet Train and The Fall Guy, which is yet to be released.

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