Movies

How Does Aaron Taylor-Johnson’s 28 Years Later Casting Play Into Those James Bond Rumors?

Wow. Just…wow. As someone who remembers the days when Danny Boyle and Alex Garland’s 28 Days Later was an indie upstart, I never would have imagined the series becoming a full on blockbuster. Yet that’s where we are today, as the first castings for the upcoming horror movie 28 Years Later have allegedly come through.

And surprise surprise, actor Aaron Taylor-Johnson is only the beginning of the pleasantly surprising star power. But how does what we know about 28 Years Later  play into those constant rumors that The Fall Guy actor is practically the next James Bond? 

Jodie Comer in The Bikeriders, Aaron Taylor-Johnson in The Fall Guy, and Ralph Fiennes in No Time To Die, pictured side-by-side.

(Image credit: Focus Features / Universal / Danjaq LLC and MGM)

The First Rumored 28 Years Later Castings, Including Aaron Taylor-Johnson

Johnson, along with Jodie Comer and Ralph Fiennes, have been announced as the first trio of cast mates, per Deadline. At least, that’s what the publication’s sources are reporting at this moment. So perhaps we may need to hold off on raiding abandoned supermarkets for scotch in celebration.

As the report above mentions, the first two installments helped introduce the world to talent like Cillian Murphy, Naomie Harris, Rose Byrne, and even Jeremy Renner is more than valid. Right out of the gate, 28 Years Later has three actors with insanely hot pedigrees; and Aaron Taylor-Johnson is probably the one that’s white hot right now. 

At this point, this isn’t the type of role you take to audition for another franchise with: this is a stone cold potential commitment. Considering Barbara Broccoli and the EON Productions brass seem to be aiming to get James Bond back on a regular schedule, this could be a big bump in the road.

Which means it’s once again time to turn our eyes to the gun barrel, and discuss what this could mean for Johnson’s 007 chances. Though it is also worth mentioning that not only is Aaron reuniting with his The King’s Man co-star Ralph Fiennes, this also means he’s working alongside the most recent M from the James Bond series yet again.

Brad Pitt and Aaron Taylor-Johnson flanked by henchmen at a train station in Bullet Train.

(Image credit: Sony Pictures Entertainment)

What Could 28 Years Later Mean For Aaron Taylor-Johnson’s James Bond Odds?

If Sony were still the studio distributor for the James Bond movies, I would think that Aaron Taylor-Johnson’s potential casting in 28 Years Later would have been a huge help. Enlisting his services on the lot would already put him closer than most other hopefuls, and a long term contract could not only secure him as Commander Bond, it would also keep him in the 28 Years Later sequels being planned.

However, since we saw No Time To Die mark the beginning of the post-Sony era of 007, I think this could potentially complicate things. Again, this is a potential commitment that would take Aaron away from devoting most of, if not his full attention, to Bond. That’s not going to be a positive with fans already clamoring for the new era to start, and on a more clockwork release schedule.

The one wild card that works in Aaron Taylor-Johnson’s favor is that there’s apparently plans to film the first two installments of the 28 Years Later trilogy back to back. With Nia DaCosta tipped as the sequel’s director, that project already seems to be advanced enough that Johnson could fulfill most of his commitment pretty quickly. Or, depending on where his character ends up, he might be free after part two, and ready for duty with His Majesty’s Secret Service.

It’s certainly a lot to talk about, and I’m very curious to see if Aaron will be taking part in two franchises that helped shape my moviegoing tastes. However, if Sony thinks I’m going to let my theory about Jodie Comer playing the adult Hannah go, they’ve got another thing coming. Though if the studio wants to break an announcement of remastered, bonus feature laden re-releases of 28 Days Later and 28 Weeks Later, I suppose that might distract me enough.

While we’re still waiting to hear when 28 Years Later is aiming to hit theaters, you can see two of its potential cast members on the 2024 movie schedule. Aaron Taylor-Johnson will be returning in The Fall Guy, which opens on May 3rd, while Jodie Comer’s The Bikeriders will rev its engines at the movies on June 21st. 

And for you nostalgic 28 Franchise fans in the audience, you’re in luck! You can currently stream 28 Days Later through a free ad-supported stream from Sling, whereas 28 Weeks Later is still available for those with a Hulu subscription.

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