AARON Taylor-Johnson is reportedly set to be the next actor to play fictional spy James Bond.

The 33-year-old British star, who rose to fame as a superhero in Kick-Ass and played John Lennon in Nowhere Boy, has been touted as the next 007 for some time after Chester-born Daniel Craig stepped down.

He also starred as James Douglas in the Netflix Film Outlaw King about Robert the Bruce. 

The Sun reported that Eon Productions, which has made most of the films in the series adapted from Ian Fleming’s novels, has offered Taylor-Johnson the main role.

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The newspaper said he is likely to sign the contract and start filming this year at Pinewood Studios in Buckinghamshire.

On Monday, Ladbrokes said the actor, from High Wycombe, is still favourite to replace Craig, who bowed out of the franchise in 2021’s No Time To Die.

The odds put him ahead of Man Of Steel and The Witcher star Henry Cavill, Snowfall actor Damson Idris, and have added Lady Macbeth star Cosmo Jarvis after he starred in Disney+ Japan-set mini series Shogun.

Alex Apati, of Ladbrokes, said: “As expected, we’ve seen plenty of interest in Cosmo Jarvis over the last few days, and he’s fast becoming a genuine contender to take over from Daniel Craig as 007.”

Taylor-Johnson  has just finished Marvel superhero film Kraven The Hunter after playing the title character and Spider-Man villain. He is also set to appear in The Fall Guy, starring Ryan Gosling.

Last week, he was asked about Bond by Numero Magazine and said: “I find it charming and wonderful that people see me in that role. I take it as a great compliment.”

Previously, 007 film series actor Rory Kinnear and young Bond author Charlie Higson have rubbished the idea of a “frontrunner” for Bond being the person who ends up playing them.

Kinnear, 46, has starred in the last four Bond films, first appearing in Quantum Of Solace in 2008 as MI6 chief of staff Bill Tanner.

He told The One Show in January last year: “I always feel slightly bad for the people who are being highlighted, because that never tends to be them. They (Eon) are very good at keeping the real person secret.”

Higson, who is also an actor and has written the young Bond series, told the PA news agency in May 2023 that if an actor is talked about as “being considered” as the next 007 “you know that they’ve been rejected”.

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He also said: “Eon (Productions), who make the films, play their cards very close to the chest and a lot of times they really surprise people… in particular, Daniel Craig. Nobody had any idea at all that he might be Bond and, if you’d been asked in advance, you’d have said ‘Daniel Craig, James Bond? Surely not’.”

Taylor-Johnson previously appeared in Avengers: Age Of Ultron and Nocturnal Animals.