Just How Close Were We to Henry Cavill Playing James Bond?

Pretty close, says "Casino Royale" director Martin Campbell

Henry Cavill
Cavill...Henry Cavill.

Over the course of his career in film and television, Martin Campbell has the distinction of being the director of two different actors’ first films playing James Bond. In 1995, he directed Pierce Brosnan in GoldenEye; in 2006, he did the same for Daniel Craig in Casino Royale. That’s made Campbell something of an expert in Bond’s cinematic side, and he’s provided some insightful reminiscences about his time working on the series over the years.

As The Hollywood Reporter notes, the latest of these involved the casting process for Casino Royale — and an actor who auditioned for the role then and is rumored to be in the running for it again. That would be Henry Cavill, whose work in the last decade has included stints as both Superman and Gerald of Rivia, as well as a memorable turn in 2018’s Mission: Impossible — Fallout.

As Campbell told Express UK, Cavill auditioned and did a fine job – but had the misfortune of not being Daniel Craig. “His acting was tremendous,” Campbell recalled. “And look, if Daniel didn’t exist Henry would have made an excellent Bond.”

Campbell went on to state that Cavill “just looked a little young at that time back then” — though Campbell also felt that Cavill was of an age where he could still be cast for the role now.

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It’s fascinating to imagine what a younger Cavill might have done with the role — and how the last 15 years of Bond films might have changed with him in the role instead of Daniel Craig. And if Cavill does end up succeeding Craig in the role, he won’t be the first actor for whom the second time was the charm; Pierce Brosnan was in the running for the role after Roger Moore’s time as Bond ended, though he later ended up succeeding Timothy Dalton.

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