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As Aaron Taylor-Johnson's James Bond Odds Change, Barbara Broccoli Discusses Casting A 'Non-Star' 007

 Aaron Taylor-Johnson as Kraven the Hunter.
Aaron Taylor-Johnson as Kraven the Hunter.

The picture for the future of the James Bond movies is a bit muddier than fans would like it to be, as Bond 26 sounds like it’s a bit further off than we’d like. So for those who are tracking the betting odds and comments from producer Barbara Broccoli or any of the other EON Productions brass, the landscape has gotten all the more interesting. The most recent updates on both fronts has only proven that point further, as an odds shake up and talk of “non-star” casting has now been put on the board.

Aaron Taylor Johnson sitting in his seat, dressed sharply in Bullet Train.
Aaron Taylor Johnson sitting in his seat, dressed sharply in Bullet Train.

Aaron Taylor-Johnson's 007 Odds Have Slipped

Towards the end of 2022, wild rumors practically cast Taylor-Johnson in Bond 26, which led to the Kraven the Hunter actor ruling the roost of would-be super spies. That would appear to no longer be the case, as Taylor-Johnson is no longer the leader in the 007 odds game. At least, that’s what online betting hub OLBG has in its numbers, which paint a severely interesting picture.

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Aaron Taylor-Johnson’s frontrunner status has been usurped by a frequently mentioned candidate shooting back up to the top, and it’s not Henry Cavill. Take a look at the odds presented below, which are not only close, but still stacked with frequently mentioned candidates for the next Commander Bond:

  • James Norton - 9/4 (30.8%)

  • Aaron Taylor-Johnson - 5/2 - (28.6%)

  • Henry Cavill - 3/1 - (25.0%)

  • Rege-Jean Page - 7/2 (22.2%)

  • Damson Idris - 11/2 (15.4%)

  • Tom Hardy - 8/1 (11.1%)

  • Richard Madden - 9/1 (10.0%)

Not only is the Cavill train still running strong, but James Norton has taken his previous lead back yet again. Honestly, at this point, a Norton/Taylor-Johnson/Cavill showdown feels like it’s the race to watch. But, of course, this is James Bond we’re talking about; a series that’s helped make relative unknowns into superstars and known names into megastars. And franchise overseer Barbara Broccoli hasn’t forgotten that fact, as shown in a recent interview.

George Lazenby speaking while flanked by two women in On Her Majesty's Secret Service.
George Lazenby speaking while flanked by two women in On Her Majesty's Secret Service.

Barbara Broccoli's Feelings About A "Non-Star" Bond

As Yahoo was on hand for a recent event promoting the launch of 007: Road to a Million, the publication was able to speak with Ms. Broccoli about the future of the James Bond brand. Among talks about AI concerns bringing back deceased 007 actors came these remarks about any future Bond casting:

We're totally open to casting a non-star. But acting is a very specialized profession, and if somebody has to carry a movie and have the range of requirements [for Bond] in terms of physicality, it's not going to be someone who has never done it before. It would be sort of irresponsible to do that. But we'd certainly be open to a non-star.

Reading those remarks certainly recalls that time that non-star/non-actor George Lazenby scored one 007 movie before turning down an offer to continue acting as the face of the franchise. However, Barbara Broccoli does have valid points that should inform the race to inherit the mantle from Daniel Craig. James Bond has done amazing things for actors like Craig that, while they were established, they weren’t seen as leading men.

Then again, after the story of Sean Connery quitting Bond twice, perhaps the word “never,” or any concept vaguely resembling it, has been outlawed at EON Productions. So, as usual, the doors are open, the field is as wide as ever, and the race for the 007’th actor to play James Bond is still very much in play. Anything can, and will happen, so keep your martinis cool and your eyes and ears open.

James Bond fans, fear not, because while Bond 26 may be further off than anticipated, there’s still 00-entertainment available for you to enjoy. With access to a Prime Video subscription, you can not only watch quite a few of the Bond adventures, but you can currently stream all eight episodes of the reality competition 007: Road to a Million.