The role of James Bond on the big screen is one of the most coveted in film. When the role is available, as it is now, the talk surrounding who it could be is nearly endless. Henry Cavill is one of the names that is being thrown around now as a potential successor for Daniel Craig, but Cavill competed with Craig for the role the last time it was up for grabs, and it sounds like he may have gotten closer to it than even he realized.
Cavill and his Argylle director Matthew Vaughn were interviewed by Sirius XM recently and asked about their respective Bond ambitions. Vaughn, like Cavill, has reportedly been considered to direct Bond films in the past, and possibly the future as well. Vaughn answered the question by revealing that he was working at Pinewood Studios around the time the Bond decision was being made, and the fact that Cavill was a finalist for the role led Vaughn to cast him in another movie. The director explained…
It was really bizarre because, when Henry was auditioning for Bond, I was at Pinewood [Studios], and Daniel was as well, at the same time, and I'd go off and meet with Daniel and he'd say what's going on. He says there’s this young guy Henry Cavill I think they're seeing as well. And we hadn't done Stardust yet. But that's how you came into my radar. I was thinking, well who's this guy who got down to the last two for Bond? So that's how I discovered you.
Henry Cavill’s role in Vaughn’s adaptation of Neil Gaiman’s Stardust, isn’t too big, but it was the actor’s most prominent role to that point, so it probably is fair to say that Vaughn “discovered” Cavill. However, it sounds like Casino Royale director Martin Campbell was almost the one to do the discovering, as Vaughn claims Campbell actually preferred Cavill to Craig, but it was franchise producer Barbara Broccoli who made the final call. Vaughn continued…
And I know that the director preferred your audition, but Barbara [Broccoli] preferred Layer Cake. And they decided you were too young. And I probably shouldn't have said that, but the Broccolis aren't that keen on me anyway, so what have I got to lose? But he would be excellent. But it's unfair for him to discuss about a project that he might be involved with or not and ruin it because of a question.
The idea that Henry Cavill was too young for Bond at the time has been said before. Cavill himself was told that he got close, but that his age was a factor. However, the idea that Campbell actually preferred Cavill, if true, is a bit of new information. It’s clear from watching Cavill in the interview that this is news to him.
Vaughn throws himself on the Bond question, and potentially ends any chance he has of directing a Bond movie in the process, specifically so that Henry Cavill doesn’t answer it, as it is possible that any answer Cavill gives on his Bond aspirations could have an impact on those aspirations. Cavill has indicated that he is still interested in playing Bond and if he got that close to being James Bond last time, he must have a strong shot at it now. We’re still waiting on that answer, but perhaps we’ll learn who the new James Bond will be in 2024.