Next James Bond’s favorite, Aaron Taylor-Johnson, discarded by the star of 007

It’s been almost 18 months since Daniel Craig retired as explosively as James Bond in No Time To Die. Since then, rumors have abounded that Aaron Taylor-Johnson has been seriously impressing 007 producer Barbara Broccoli in secret meetings and auditions. As a result, he has risen to the top of the bookies’ favorites at current odds of 5-4.

According to Puck News insider Matthew Belloni: “The Aaron Taylor-Johnson rumors are true: He sat down with producer Barbara Broccoli and the meeting went well, according to sources. But while Taylor-Johnson fits the bill (great actor, British, fits the younger direction the Broccolis want to take, accomplished but not particularly famous), he’s about to become a much bigger star. If Sony’s Spider-Man spin-off, Kraven the Hunter, or Universal’s Ryan Gosling’s The Fall Guy, pans out, Taylor-Johnson could ironically end up too famous to take on Bond.”

However, being “too famous” is not the reason a star of the last four Bond films has ruled out the 32-year-old actor taking License to Kill next.

Rory Kinnear, who played M’s Chief of Staff Bill Tanner in four of Daniel Craig’s five 007 movies, believes Taylor-Johnson won’t land the role of a lifetime simply because he’s the favorite.

The No Time To Die star told The One Show: “I always feel a little bad for people who stand out because it never tends to be them. They are very good at keeping the real person a secret. I’d be interested to see who takes over obviously, but he tends to be the underdog, that’s historically [how it has been].” Here are the latest odds for the other upcoming James Bond contenders at the bookmakers.

READ MORE: Prince William invites Kate to ride in a James Bond-style Aston Martin

Casino Royale runner-up Henry Cavill, now not returning as Superman, is 6-4, just behind Taylor-Johnson. Third is Bridgerton’s hulking Regé-Jean Page at 3-1, followed by James Norton, Dan Stevens and Tom Hardy at 6-1. Behind them are Idris Elba and Richard Madden at 8-1, Jack Lowden and Luke Evans at 10-1, plus Chiwetel Ejiofor, Sope Dirisu and Callum Turner at 12-1.

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