It is widely known that after Pierce Brosnan’s last outing as James Bond in 2002’s Die Another Day, Eon Productions took the decision to reboot the franchise and set out in search of a new face to become the next 007. For two years, more than 200 actors across the globe were considered for the coveted role. Everyone from Henry Cavill, Croatian actor Goran Višnjić, Karl Urban, Sam Worthington, to Dougray Scott was considered for the part. Of them, Henry Cavill was the only serious contender for Bond before Craig when the auditions were taking place and almost got the part but lost it due to a weird reason.
Looking at Henry Cavill today, it is hard to imagine the actor ever losing out on a role because he isn’t buffed up enough. But that’s what the case was when Cavill was auditioning to be the next James Bond years ago at the young age of 21. In a chat with Insider, the Superman actor reminisced about being “a chubby kid” and shared that he takes pride as the fit action star he is today, possessing an envy-worthy physique. But in 2004, when he auditioned for Casino Royale, he had none of the bulging biceps for which he is now famous.
Henry Cavill revealed that at the time, Martin Campbell, the film’s director, gently told him that he didn’t possess the lean physique necessary to be a Bond and advised him to work hard on himself the next time he auditions for a similar role. While the comment might sound like Campbell body-shaming the actor who realized that he was “probably overweight” to take off his shirt in the film, Cavill assures that the director’s comments weren’t mean as they came from a place of “mentorship and guidance.”
This revelation is in stark contrast to what Campbell said was the reason behind Henry Cavill losing the role. He had shared that he found Cavill to be very good-looking, possessing a strong physique, and above all, a good actor when he auditioned for Casino Royale. But his young age and the fact that he had much less acting experience made him chose Craig who was perfect for the “much grittier and tougher” version of Bond.
But now, more than 15 years after Henry Cavill first auditioned for the role, there couldn’t be a better actor to take over the mantle of James Bond as Daniel Craig is retiring from the role post the upcoming No Time To Die. In all these years, Cavill has buffed up his portfolio with many critically lauded and commercially successful action-oriented roles whether it is his stint as Superman in the DC universe, his ongoing appearance as Geralt of Rivia in Netflix’s hit The Witcher series, playing Sherlock Holmes in Enola Holmes (a character he is all set to reprise in Enola Holmes 2), or being the perfect antagonist in Mission Impossible-Fallout.
Moreover, in the past, Henry Cavill has expressed the desire to be the next Bond once Craig steps down, citing that it would be a “wonderful challenge” to play the character now that Craig has set the “bar so high” with the excellence with which he brought 007 to life. Given Cavill’s impressive resume, it can be said with certainty that he is more than up for the challenge.