Forget Taylor-Johnson, the next Bond is hiding in plain sight - and he's been backed by a former 007, opinion by Alex Davies

Forget Taylor-Johnson, the next Bond is hiding in plain sight - and he's been backed by a former 007, opinion by Alex Davies

WATCH HERE: Eamonn Holmes and GB News panel debate Aaron Taylor-Johnson as the next Bond

Alex Davies

By Alex Davies

Published: 22/03/2024

- 08:00

There's only one man who can fill the void of the Bond-shaped hole - and Barbara Broccoli and co should do all they can to get him, says GB News' Digital Entertainment Editor

James Bond fans have been on quite the rollercoaster of emotions this week after it was reported Barbara Broccoli and Eon had finally found Daniel Craig's successor.

The long-billed frontrunner for the role, Aaron Taylor-Johnson, had reportedly got as far as to be handed a "formal offer" and was supposedly readying himself to sign on the dotted line with his all-new Spymaster Duo.

That's what a tabloid source would have you believe but in a double twist Sam Mendes would've been proud of, all is not as it seems.

The BBC learned there was "no truth" to the Taylor-Johnson reports that emerged from Fleet Street and that still no decision had been made - although Taylor-Johnson does remain a firm favourite to bag the part.

What was interesting to see after the reports garnered global attention, however, is just how many people seemed perturbed at the idea of a 33-year-old, handsome and athletically-built actor taking on the part.

Despite a CV that boasts roles in Christopher Nolan box office smashes and the Marvel Cinematic Universe, the reception to Taylor-Johnson being reportedly handed the role fell as flat as someone being launched off a balcony by Bond himself.

Aaron Taylor-Johnson at a film premier

Aaron Taylor-Johnson was reportedly 'offered' the role this week, although nothing is confirmed


Calls for Henry Cavill, Theo James, Damson Idris, James Norton, Tom Hardy, Idris Elba and several other big-named stars have echoed in the chambers of social media ever since it was revealed Taylor-Johnson wasn't a shoo-in.

But I can't help but feel none of those names would garner a unanimously harmonious reception from fans of the genre.

Instead, the only person who it would be almost impossible to doubt in the role is Mr Tommy Shelby, AKA Cillian Murphy.

Murphy's stock has never been higher and his capabilities in front of the camera have never impressed as much as right now following his jaw-dropping and award-grabbing role in Oppenheimer.

Cillian Murphy

Cillian Murphy should be the man chosen to play Bond next, says GB News' Entertainment Editor


An Oscar, a Golden Globe and a Bafta all found their way to Murphy and quite honestly, it's about bloody time he got the plaudits he's deserved for so long.

28 Days Later was the first film that left me sleepless, Inception was the first film that left me with an existential crisis and Peaky Blinders was the first series I binged without stopping.

And that was in no small part down to Murphy.

Even former 007 himself Pierce Brosnan has publicly endorsed Murphy for the role, telling the BBC last month: "Cillian would do a magnificent job as James Bond on His Majesty's Secret Service."

Next James Bond

Next James Bond: Barbara Broccoli should look away from Aaron Taylor-Johnson for the new Bond


The only doubt I can think that may emerge from naysayers is Murphy's age.

He'll turn 48 later this year and even if Broccoli and co announced he'd bagged the role tomorrow, it's highly unlikely his first Bond film would be in cinemas before he hit the half-century mark.

But quite frankly, who cares?

Craig was 38 when his debut in Casino Royale was released and 51 when No Time to Die hit cinemas.

Brosnan's entire tenure as Bond took place when he was in his forties, as did Timothy Dalton's - albeit a lot shorter.

Roger Moore's debut in Live and Let Die hit theatres when he was 45 and he lasted all the way until he was 57 in A View To A Kill.

WATCH HERE: Cillian Murphy wins a Golden Globe for Oppenheimer

George Lazenby was an anomaly in more ways than one when he starred in his sole film, On Her Majesty's Secret Service, at 29 while Sean Connery was 32 in Dr No and 41 in his swansong, Diamonds Are Forever.

If we had Murphy tied into the franchise for the next decade, he'd still manage to match the record set by Moore for being the oldest Bond and I don't see that as a problem at all.

I can't think of a single Bond candidate who exhibits the same range as Murphy either - whether it be a Birmingham-based gangster (Peaky Blinders), a Gotham City villain (Batman Begins), or a cross-dressing Nebraskan sociopath (Peacock), Murphy's done it.

Murphy has previously been cited as claiming he too thinks he may be too old to play the part but to me, he's the only one man who can fill the void of the Bond-shaped hole - and Broccoli and co should do all they can to get him.

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