Casino Royale director Martin Campbell has explained why Henry Cavill was overlooked for the role of James Bond for 2006's Casino Royale.
After the negative reception that the previous movie Die Another Day received in 2002, Bond producer Barbara Broccoli set out a plan to reboot the franchise to make it more gritty, taking inspiration from the Bourne series which had emerged at that time.
Pierce Brosnan retired from the role after Die Another Day so the casting process went underway, with Daniel Craig eventually selected to play Bond.
Craig would guide the series through its most financially successful period ever, with his tenure finishing with No Time to Die.
Campbell, who directed Casino Royale, says Cavill provided a fantastic audition but was simply too young at the time to play 007.
"He looked great in the audition. His acting was tremendous," the filmmaker told The Express.
"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 chiselled. He just looked a little young at that time back then.
"By the time Daniel got to really he was at an age where one more would have been too old for him. 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.”
Does Cavill want to play Bond?
There has been no confirmation yet as to who will succeed Craig as Bond, but the front-runner is believed to be Aaron Taylor-Johnson of Kick-Ass and Bullet Train fame.
However, Cavill still wants the opportunity despite being overlooked nearly 20 years ago.
Back in 2020, Cavill was asked about the Bond rumours and he told GQ:
"At this stage, it’s all up in the air. We’ll see what happens. But yes, I would love to play Bond, it would be very, very exciting. If Barbara and Michael were interested in that, I would absolutely jump at the opportunity."