Aaron Taylor-Johnson has his fingerprints all over the comic book movie genre. The actor had his breakthrough playing the lead in 2010’s Kick-Ass, an adaptation of Mark Millar’s popular Image comic series, and it’s 2013 sequel, before quickly moving on to portray the speedster Pietro Maximoff in 2015’s Avengers: Age of Ultron. While Taylor-Johnson has yet to reprise that role, he is set to bring the title character to life in next year’s Kraven the Hunter, marking his fourth overall foray into the genre and putting him on a possible collision course with Spider-Man himself. If all that wasn’t enough, the actor recently revealed that he also had an opportunity to join Fox’s now-defunct X-Men universe in 2018.
Speaking with The Hollywood Reporter in support of his new film Bullet Train, Taylor-Johnson admitted he landed his new role partly because he was already familiar with director David Leitch. The filmmaker had previously helmed Deadpool 2, and supposedly, had once reached out to Taylor-Johnson in hopes he’d join the cast. THR got the surprising scoop while the action star was explaining why he wanted to work on Bullet Train:
Well, I don’t think it’s autopilot by any means, so I do believe in a bit of fate and luck. I feel fortunate and lucky that we were able to make this movie during a pandemic. I’ve always wanted to work with Brad Pitt. I’ve always wanted to make a movie on a Los Angeles soundstage. This was yet another movie I fought for. This was one of those hot scripts around town, and David Leitch actually asked me to be in ‘Deadpool 2’ ages ago.
While he never gave any indication of which character he might have been up for, he did state that it was ultimately his decision not to do the acclaimed sequel. Comically, Taylor-Johnson also adds that the meeting with Leitch wasn’t enough to book his Bullet Train role, but it did get him a spot in the line to audition. He explained:
So I met him, but I didn’t do that. So when this came around, I was like, “Hey, do you remember me?” And he was like, “Of course. I like you as an actor.” So I was like, “Cool, what about this character?” And he was like, “Get in line, buddy. There’s like ten other actors who want this job and they’ve got a bigger name than you do.” (Laughs.) So I don’t expect these roles to be handed out, and I’m willing to fight for them, which is what I had to do for this. So I think I’m in the driver’s seat because I’m working hard. I also try to manifest what I feel, and sometimes, the universe brings it back my way. But you still have to actively go out and get it.
Taylor-Johnson’s celebrity is on the rise, so expect to see a lot more of the former Godzilla star in the years to come. Bullet Train is now in theaters, while Kraven the Hunter is scheduled to release on January 13, 2023.