Henry Cavill Explains Why He Wasn’t Cast As Casino Royale’s James Bond

Henry Cavill

It’s long since gone down in James Bond folklore that unknown 22 year-old actor Henry Cavill was one of the final two picks when Casino Royale was seeking a new 007. Cavill lost in the end to famed star Daniel Craig, as casting favored an older Bond.

As fate would have it, Cavill is now roughly the same age as Craig was when the latter was offered the opportunity to don the tux for the first time as cinema’s favorite secret agent. And the casting process for a new Bond is finally set to begin anew, now that Bond flick No Time to Die, which launches in October, will be Craig’s last appearance as the MI6 spy.

Nearly two decades later, The Witcher star is one of the front-runners for the prestigious role, something he admitted he’d jump at the chance to bring to life. In a new interview, Cavill explained why he missed out on Bond last time out, and once again it’s circled back around to his inability to convincingly pull of shirtless scenes at the time, something that seems inconceivable now looking at nothing but the sheer size of the man.

As he recalls hearing from director Martin Campbell:

“It was his tough love way of saying, ‘Look, mate, you’re in a Bond screen test. Next time you come to a screen test, really focus hard on making sure you lean up if it’s for something like Bond’. And I wasn’t by any means chubby, but I was probably overweight for taking my shirt off on camera.”

Even if Cavill doesn’t get to scratch that James Bond itch, he’ll be diving headfirst back into the world of espionage when Matthew Vaughn’s Argylle begins production later this ear. AppleTV Plus is shelling out $200 million to secure just the first installment in what’s poised to be a multi-film shared universe.

Add that to Enola Holmes 2, The Rosie Project, the Highlander reboot, and much more Witcher, and Cavill arguably doesn’t need James Bond in order for his career to continue thriving—or the DCEU’s Superman for that matter, with speculation on future Superman appearances continuing to bubble away in the background.