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Henry Cavill Lost James Bond Because He Looked ‘Too Young’

Henry Cavill’s age worked against him when he auditioned to play James Bond.

The ‘Man of Steel’ actor was second-choice to play 007 in the 2006 franchise revamp ‘Casino Royale’, with director Martin Campbell now revealing Cavill would have been cast had he appeared older and had Daniel Craig had not been available.

“He was great at the audition. His acting was outstanding,” Campbell said in an interview with Express UK. “And look, if Daniel hadn’t existed, Henry would have been an excellent connection. He looked amazing, he was in great physical shape… very handsome, very chiseled. He looked just a little young at the time.

Sam Heughan and Matthew Rhys were also in the running to take on the role which ultimately went to Craig, who spearheaded the Bond film franchise until 2021’s ‘No Time to Die’.

Longtime casting director Debbie McWilliams, who has worked on the films since 1981, recently revealed that the next Bond actor will need to possess mature “gravitas” to play the part.

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“When we started, it was a little different feeling,” McWilliams said earlier this year. “We looked at a lot of younger actors, and I don’t think they had the gravitas. They didn’t have the experience, they didn’t have the mental capacity to take it, because it’s not just the part they’re taking, it’s a huge responsibility.

McWilliams added, “So we scraped that idea and went back to the drawing board and started over.”

While age is a key factor to consider in the casting process, international recognition is not. McWilliams said the next Bond doesn’t have to be world famous, recalling that Craig was a relatively unknown actor before ‘Casino Royale’.

“A certain audience had heard of Daniel Craig, but a lot more the independent cinema kind of audience,” he said. “He’d never actually done a big commercial film — ‘Layer Cake’ I suppose was the most popular, shall we say, of the things he’d done before Bond, but he wasn’t a very well known character actor.”

Producer Michael G. Wilson recently echoed McWilliams’ sentiments about casting an older actor, noting that the new Bond is “not some kid out of high school that you can bring in and start” and instead is a “veteran” of the British world of spies.

“That’s why it works for a 30-something,” Wilson said.