Henry Cavill pursued the coveted part of Superman for years before he finally got it and starred in Man of Steel. He auditioned for the lead in JJ Abrams’ unmade feature Superman: Flyby and Superman Returns with little luck, which sadly is a normative experience for the actor to this day. Undeterred, however, he remained close to a number of major IPs.
Few knew until now that James Bond was one of those, but according to Casino Royale director Martin Campbell, Cavill also pursued 007 and nearly got the part. “He looked great in the audition. His acting was tremendous,” Campbell recalled when talking with Variety. But, as blown away as he was by Cavill, the filmmaker couldn’t deny Daniel Craig had something.
Cavill’s age at the time was also an issue. “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,” Campbell added. Along with those factors, there was another. The decision was up for a vote.
“The way they work with Bond, and it’s pretty terrific, is when they decide on the actor and you audition — in our case, it was eight people — it’s very democratic,” Campbell explained. “You sit around a table, eight or nine of you. It was myself and the producers, casting director, etc.” And they all have to agree.
“And you go through the eight people and you put your hand up as you talk through each person and ultimately everybody has to be unanimous in their decision if you see what I mean,” he continued. So Cavill did not impress everybody, but there is a chance for him to circle back and redeem himself – or at least there could be.
“By the time Daniel got to [No Time To Die], really he was at an age where one more would have been too old for him,” Campbell added. “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,” the director continued. “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…he’s a good guy. He did very well in the audition, but ironically he was too young.”
Cavill would be old enough now and his schedule opened up now that he is no longer Superman or Geralt of Rivia, albeit he is working on a Highlander film as well as his own Warhammer universe at Prime Video, but it’s up to Hollywood to give him another chance. Leave a prediction in the comments if you think they will.