Avatar Star Almost Wrecked The Entire James Bond Franchise

Sam Worthington, star of the Avatar franchise, tried to take James Bond after Pierce Brosnan left but he bombed the audition.

By Phillip Moyer | Published

James Cameron Avatar 4

Was the world ready for another Australian James BondAvatar star Sam Worthington tried to find out — but he was so awful at the role that he never made it past the early stages of the audition. In an interview on the Fitzy and Wippa podcast, Worthington described his disastrous attempt to fill the role.

In an appearance intended to promote the Avatar lead’s other recently-released film, Transfusion, Sam Worthington got sidetracked after one of the hosts said that he’d make an awesome James Bond. Unbeknownst to the hosts, he’d already tried out for the role — and he quickly put their suspicions to rest with his tale of completely botching the audition. 

“I did go for Bond,” said Worthington. “I went and did the audition with Martin Campbell, who ended up directing Casino Royale.” 

Back in the mid-2000s, years before the original Avatar was released, Sam Worthington auditioned to replace Pierce Brosnan as the iconic British spy. But the Australian-raised actor said that he couldn’t get the British accent right. A screen test also made it clear that he absolutely didn’t have the right presence to fill the role.

“You do a screen test from the movie From Russia with Love,” Worthington described. “You walk in, there’s the girl in the bed, you charm her.”

As any James Bond aficionado knows, James Bond is known for two things: a deadly presence and unmistakable sex appeal. If you’ve seen Avatar or one of his other action-focused films, you probably already know that Sam Worthington can pull off being a dangerous man. But according to Worthington, he wasn’t able to pull off being a sex object. 

“I could get the killer one down, but I just couldn’t get the charm,” said Worthington.

The Avatar star also apparently has a thing for unusual color schemes, as Sam Worthington apparently told Campbell that he wanted to bring back the white tuxedo that Roger Moore wore in several of his films. That comment probably didn’t help Campbell’s chances at the role, however, since the crew apparently all looked at him like he was crazy.

daniel craig james bond
Daniel Craig as James Bond

As everyone knows, Daniel Craig eventually landed the role, meaning that Avatar wouldn’t have to compete with the long-running James Bond franchise to land Sam Worthington as the lead. Instead, Worthington ended up getting cast in an adaptation of Macbeth that was released the same year as Casino Royale

Since he ended up starring in Avatar, the most successful movie of all time, his failure at becoming Bond probably worked out better for Sam Worthington in the long run. If you add up the box office receipts of all six James Bond films that Daniel Craig has starred in, you get roughly $4.5 billion. That’s an impressive number — but with the original Avatar raking in $2.9 billion on its own, and Avatar 2 already reaching $1.9 billion at the box office, those two films have already surpassed the entirety of Craig’s Jame Bond filmography. 

With three more Avatar films on the way, it’s not hard to see Avatar becoming one of the most successful film franchises ever made. Avatar 2 has already made its way into being the sixth-most-successful movie of all time, and might just beat out Avengers: Infinity War for the #5 spot. Assuming that the next three sequels are even half as successful as Avatar 2, we’re looking at a whole decade of box office domination.