The casting process for determining the next James Bond always generates plenty of headlines, even when there’s already somebody in the role. For years we’ve been hearing about potential successors to Daniel Craig, something that started from the second it was announced that No Time to Die would be his final outing as 007.
Once the Pierce Brosnan era drew to a close, the decision was made to rebuild Bond from the ground up and wipe the slate clean with a reboot, which made the choice of leading man one of the franchise’s most important ever. Hugh Jackman famously turned it down, while both established and future stars like Clive Owen, Sam Worthington, Dougray Scott, Ewan McGregor, Rupert Friend and Antony Starr were either considered or screen-tested.
At this stage, everyone knows that the final two came down to Craig and 22 year-old unknown Henry Cavill, with the former winning out after it was deemed the latter was a touch on the young side. However, Craig revealed in an interview during the BAFTA: Life in Pictures event that he considered declining the opportunity.
“I just said I can’t, I mean; I think you got the wrong guy. People used to say, ‘Oh you must have always wanted to be James Bond’. I went well, yeah, as a kid I kind of thought about it. I wanted to be Spider-Man as well, but I just thought it was never going to happen. I just realized I’ve been working with these people, some of them for nearly thirty years because there’s a lot of people I just worked with in the film industry. It’s just always about the team and you know, Barbara makes an atmosphere on set where we’re a family.”
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It worked out very well for both parties in the end, though, with Craig steering James Bond to record box office figures and widespread enthusiasm from critics and fans. No Time to Die will be looking to send him out in a blaze of glory, and then the search begins anew.