When Mufasa spoke to Simba about the circle of life in The Lion King, I doubt that he realized how applicable the metaphor was to the role of James Bond. Every generation has its own Bond; it's just a practice that's interwoven into the franchise. However, even though Bond actors have come and gone over the years, the essential core of the character has remained untouched. Well, at least, that used to be the case.
One of the reasons Daniel Craig's era of Bond became so popular was beautifully the franchise was able to retrofit its conventions to keep pace with modern spy thrillers. It's easy to forget, but post Bourne Identity, many fans believed that Bond's exploding pens and rocket shoes were a bit too silly to work in modernity. Craig's grounded version of the character served as a perfect seachange that carried Bond into the 21st century.
Now that Craig has left the role, the Bond franchise desperately needs another rebrand for the modern era. According to AVClub, Bond producers believe that Aaron Taylor-Johnson might be the man to help them in Bond's inevitable repackaging. Having just watched Taylor-Johnson in Bullet Train, I'd say that he definitely has the goods to play 007.
British, male, thirty-something: these are the bare minimum requirements for the next James Bond, which has been described as a "reinvention" by producer Barbara Broccoli. This doesn't quite narrow down the numerous possibilities for a new 007, but it hasn't stopped those meticulous bookies from laying odds on the casting process. If we turn our attention to that arena, one Aaron Taylor-Johnson has emerged as a favorite in recent months (per NME).
In November, The Sun reported that the Bullet Train star had impressed producers in a "secret audition" for the role. Now, Puck News' Matthew Belloni writes that Taylor-Johnson did indeed sit with Broccoli "and the meeting went well." He reportedly checks all the boxes—beyond those listed above, he's also a "great actor" and "accomplished but not particularly famous." However, as Puck News notes, he's about to re-enter the Marvel Universe (on the Sony side) as the lead in Kraven The Hunter and star alongside Ryan Gosling in The Fall Guyfilm. So it's possible that in short order he might become "too famous to take on Bond."