How Henry Cavill missed his chance to be James Bond twice, Martin Campbell reveals the reason

Jul 15, 2023 11:03 PM IST

Henry Cavill was rejected for the role of James Bond in Casino Royale for being too young.

Henry Cavill could have been James Bond instead of Daniel Craig, but he was rejected for being too young.

The Bond that never was(Warner Bros)
The Bond that never was(Warner Bros)

The Man of Steel and The Witcher star had auditioned for the role of 007 in Casino Royale, but the director Martin Campbell chose Craig over him.

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Casino Royale was the first film in the latest series of James Bond adventures. Craig played the iconic spy for five films over a span of fifteen years. His portrayal of Bond catapulted his career to new levels; before becoming Bond, Craig was mostly known for his TV and smaller film roles. Some of his notable pre-Bond appearances were in Lara Croft: Tomb Raider and Road to Perdition; after he became Bond, he also starred in Cowboys & Aliens, Logan Lucky, and - perhaps most famously - as Detective Benoit Blanc in Rian Johnson's Knives Out and Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery. Craig's talent as an actor is undeniable, but his stint as Bond is certainly a key factor in his success.

The British native’s fate could have been different, as well as Cavill's.

In an interview with Express UK, Campbell revealed why he picked Craig over Cavill for James Bond. "He looked great in the audition," Campbell said. "His acting was tremendous. And look, if Daniel didn’t exist Henry would have made an excellent Bond. He looked terrific, he was in great physical shape… very handsome, very chiseled. He just looked a little young at that time back then."

Now that Craig's era as James Bond has come to an end, the question is: who will be the next James Bond? Is there a chance for Cavill to take on the role?

Campbell answered whether Cavill still has a shot at 007. Sadly, his answer might disappoint those who want to see him as the suave and sophisticated agent. "I think they sign on for three Bonds, I’m not absolutely 100 percent certain of that. I know with Pierce he had to sign on to three when we did him. So that’s going to take, what, six years of your life maybe? I suspect Daniel [had] the same deal. And the next guy’s going to have to do that. Henry's 40, so by the time he’s done the third one he’s going to be 50 and anything beyond that’s two, three years per Bond. He’s in good shape Henry, he’s a good guy. He did very well in the audition, but ironically he was too young." While Campbell's answer wasn't a definitive no, it seems like Cavill is nearing the age where he'd be too old to play Bond.

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Even though he may have been too young and now too old to play James Bond, Cavill's career has flourished without the extra boost. His roles as Superman and Geralt of Rivia established him as a star in action and fantasy genres, and his upcoming projects reflect that. Cavill is set to produce and star in a Warhammer 40k movie. He will also star in Guy Ritchie's The Ministry of Ungentlemanly Warfare and Matthew Vaughn's Argylle. So, while his fans may have missed out on Cavill's version of James Bond, they will be treated to plenty of thrilling performances from him in the future.

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