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20 years on from his James Bond audition, Henry Cavill discovers the Casino Royale director preferred him over Daniel Craig

 Henry Cavill and Daniel Craig.
Henry Cavill and Daniel Craig.

Almost 20 years on from losing out on the role of James Bond, Henry Cavill has discovered that the Casino Royale director supposedly "preferred" him over Daniel Craig to start off with.

"When Henry was auditioning for Bond [in 2005], I was at Pinewood [Studios] and Daniel [Craig] was as well," Argylle director Matthew Vaughn said during an interview with SiriusXM.

"I’d go off and meet with Daniel and he said, 'There's this young guy called Henry Cavill who I think they're seeing as well'... We hadn't done Stardust yet, and that's how you came onto my radar."

Vaughn then drops a bombshell that even MI6 would have done well to cover up after all this time: Casino Royale director Martin Campbell seemingly preferred Henry Cavill's audition over Daniel Craig's – but producer Barbara Broccoli had other ideas.

"I know that the director preferred your audition, but Barbara preferred [Daniel Craig's 2004 film] Layer Cake," Vaughn reveals. "Then they decided you were too young. I probably shouldn't have said that, but the Broccolis aren't too keen on me anyway, so what have I got to lose?"

Previously, Martin Campbell told CinemaBlend that he was more concerned with Cavill's experience, or lack thereof, when it came to casting the next Bond for Casino Royale.

"I did test him for Bond, as you know. He did a very good test, [but] he was too young, and also he wasn't as experienced as Daniel," Campbell explained. "Daniel just fitted the part from being a superb actor, and probably the best actor amongst them all."

For more on Bond and Matthew Vaughn, read our own Inside Total Film podcast interview with the Argylle director on why there is “no one on this planet” is a better fit for 007 than Henry Cavill – who has long been a frontrunner to play the next James Bond.