Bond producers have always had a habit of returning to past actors when they are looking for a new man to don the famous tuxedo. Roger Moore was considered at the same time as Sean Connery. He was considered again when Lazenby took the role. They had conversations with Timothy Dalton back then too, but he thought himself too young and declined to be auditioned. Dalton eventually stepped into the role when Pierce Brosnan was forced to drop out due to a contract renewal on Remington Steele. Brosnan then scored the role himself when Dalton decided not to return after 6 years away from the role due to legal disputes about Bond copyright.
Which is why we said “Wait and see!” at the news that Tom Hardy was rumored to have been cast. Back when Casino Royale was spinning up there were three men in the final bracket. Daniel Craig, Henry Cavill and Alex O’Loughlin who was yet to be cast in Hawaii Five-Oh.
According to the stories, Craig was offered and declined the role. He was Barbara Broccoli’s favourite. Henry Cavill was rejected due to being too young at the time despite an apparently impressive audition. he was just 22.
O’ Laughlin was, for a few days, the new 007. Before he was announced Broccoli succeeded in changing Daniel Craig’s mind. He has now been the longest serving 007 in elapsed time, overtaking Roger Moore in October 2019.
Cavill went on to The Tudors and then made his breakthrough into movies, snagging the iconic role of Superman, among others. Cavill is now 37, the same age as Craig when he took over from Pierce Brosnan.
In an interview with GQ he was very clear that he still covets the role and he’s not shy about it:
“If Barbara and Mike were interested in that, I would absolutely jump at the opportunity. At this stage, it’s all up in the air. We’ll see what happens. But yes, I would love to play Bond, it would be very, very exciting.”
He doesn’t seem to think Hardy is a done deal. No Time To Die is currently still penciled in for November but with a second wave of COVID being reported globally and fresh restrictions flowing almost daily this seems highly unlikely.