Daniel Craig undeniably transformed the role when he took on the mantle of James Bond back in 2006, and after his departure, producers are looking to cast the next 007, someone who will commit to at least a decade and several films, and Craig has left some impossibly big shoes to fill.
One of the biggest names in entertainment today, and one of the top contenders for the role of James Bond at present, is British actor and Hollywood heartthrob Henry Cavill. Back when producers were looking to cast the next Bond for Casino Royale, Cavill and Craig were tied for the top two places for the role. It was reportedly a toss-up between the two actors, but it apparently came down to Cavill’s age – he says he was about 21 at the time, and producers wanted someone with more experience. Although he lost the iconic role to Craig, Cavill is now beloved by moviegoers around the globe and has gone on to have a highly successful career, starring in numerous movies and TV shows.
What Will the Next James Bond Be Like?
Daniel Craig transformed the role in a way audiences previously had never seen before. With blonde hair, he didn’t look the part of a classic James Bond, and his portrayal brought more humanity to the character, along with a gritter, ruthless edge. But will his approach be the exception?
Although they will keep Bond more human, producers want to re-invent the character, and the Bond franchise tends to lean more towards tradition, casting classic-looking movie stars like Sean Connery and would-be Bond, Cary Grant. Could this mean a move away from the heavy action-based, Bourne-like approach and a return to the full-on Ian Fleming Bond, smoking and all? Perhaps more glamorous locations, attire, and escapism, more drinking and gambling, more spies and intrigue? Cavill has previously said he’d like to play a “classic James Bond” if given the opportunity. Without further ado, here are a few reasons Henry Cavill should inherit the license to kill, if producers do go the route of a classic reinvention:
He Has the Looks
There’s no denying Henry Cavill has the looks for James Bond. Standing at 6’1” and in his late thirties, with chiseled features, piercing blue eyes, dark hair, and an incredible physique, Cavill emulates the qualities of not only Bond, but many of the leading men of Old Hollywood.
James Bond is an undeniably masculine icon. Irresistibly handsome, charismatic, clever, and intelligent, he’s a ladies’ man, and yet so much more. He can fight, think fast, he’s quick on his feet, he’s fearless, a dead shot, and a force to be reckoned with. Connery’s portrayal was described as, “tall, with a strong physical presence…and just the right hint of threat” and he “looked like he could kill somebody,” which is exactly what Bond should be like.
Like Bond, Cavill tends to keep to himself and has an air of mystery about him. Ever the elegant gentleman, he looks like a natural in a tuxedo and always dresses the part.
He Has the Acting Talent and Experience
While the physical image of Bond is important, acting talent is equally so. British actors are highly revered for their acting ability, and Cavill is no exception. He has had an extremely successful career, getting his start in The Count of Monte Cristo at 17, and later notoriety for his role in The Tudors. Although I don’t love him in the Superman movies, as I don’t feel it does Cavill’s acting ability justice, he shot to global stardom for his role in the franchise. He’s also starred in countless other movies, including Immortals, I Capture the Castle, and Tristan and Isolde.
His more recent roles as Sherlock Holmes, Geralt of Rivia, August Walker, and Napoleon Solo prove his wide range of talent. His role as Solo in The Man from U.N.C.L.E. was widely seen to have established his capability to play a Bond-esque character, and he all but became Bond, minus the American accent, in the film. He’s extremely dedicated to his craft and has shown he’s always up for the challenge, doing many of his own, very difficult stunts in Mission: Impossible - Fallout, as well as other roles.
Highly popular, Cavill has proved he has what it takes to be a leading man and draw the crowds. He’s come a long way from his early days of acting and is more equipped to take on the role of Bond now that he has more experience and believes he could do the role more justice.
He’s a Gentleman
You could argue an actor shouldn’t have to possess the traits of the character he’s playing in real life; after all, isn’t that the point of acting? But James Bond is someone who embodies class, charm, character, courage, sophistication, patriotism…all the qualities of a gentleman. It’s a decidedly gentlemanly role, in the DNA of Bond, so as to speak, so who better to fill these shoes than Henry Cavill, the perfect English gentleman?
Cavill is old-school and says his father modeled a set of guidelines for him – “the gentleman’s code” – on how to behave. Co-workers have described him as polite and caring, disciplined, and dedicated to his work. He has a traditional view of relationships as well, saying, “There's something wonderful about a man chasing a woman. There's a traditional approach to that, which is nice. I think a woman should be wooed and chased, but maybe I'm old-fashioned for thinking that.”
He has said he doesn’t date much and that he’s more of a relationship man. He has also talked about his desire to settle down, saying he wants to “find a wife and raise a family,” and that he prefers the British way of dating one woman at a time compared to the American way of dating several at once. It’s rare to see a truly authentic man in Hollywood these days with values and morals, making Cavill all the more attractive.
He’s British (and a Man)
I know it may seem painfully obvious to acknowledge the fact that Cavill is British and a man, as well as the fact that James Bond is a British character. However, Bond was almost made into an American franchise with Cary Grant at the helm years ago (he turned it down due to age and commitment issues), and there has been talk of casting not only an American for the role, but also a woman now. Both Daniel Craig and Ana de Armas have previously admitted they do not want to see the next James Bond cast as a woman, and many agree with them.
Part of the attraction of Bond is his masculinity and the fact that he’s British. It would be hard to imagine the iconic role without these attributes, and it undoubtedly raises the question of whether any role in Hollywood can be changed from its core into something completely unrecognizable. Luckily, things will probably stay relatively the same in these departments under the watchful eye of Barbara Broccoli, one of the Bond producers. She has said Bond “can be of any color, but he is male,” as well as reiterated the fact that Bond stays British. According to Pierce Brosnan, she has also crushed any idea that Bond will ever be gay as well, and Craig agrees that it will never happen, as that isn’t who the character is.
James Bond is one the most iconic and sought-after roles in Hollywood today with many actors in the running to play the next 007. From Tom Hardy, Idris Alba, Michael Fassbender, and Richard Madden to Aidan Turner, Tom Hiddleston, Henry Golding, and Cillian Murphy, there’s no shortage of highly qualified potential James Bonds. Even Bridgerton’s Duke of Hastings, Regé-Jean Page, has been added to the list of front-runners. (I would personally love to see him cast as James Bond, just maybe later down the road). Cavill, at present, seems to be leading the list of potential candidates to take on the mantle of James Bond. He’s said several times he’d be more than willing to take on the role, and he has numerous fans who would like nothing better than to see this happen.
Don’t miss anything! Sign up for our weekly newsletter and get curated content weekly!