8 Actors Screen Tested for Casino Royale

Hi everyone.

Martin Campbell has been doing some promotion for his new movie the Protégé. When speaking with Cinemablend he noted they screen tested 8 people for Bond. Here is the quote:

“on Casino [Royale] I tested eight people. And don’t ask me who they were, I’m not going to tell you.”

I recall there being a lot of actors being discussed for Bond at the time but I am surprised that 8 actually did screen tests. I would have assumed they would only do that for the final 2 or 3 actors.

All the best.


Eight contenders seem like a vast field even if one may assume some of them to have been mainly there as ‘filler’. I think I remember three or four names in the final draw. Of which I can only recall Henry Cavill now.

Interesting the other candidates seem to have kept mum about this.

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BB said she wanted DC from the start. These screen tests must have been conducted just for MGM.

See also Benedict Cumberbatch as Sherlock Holmes and Peter Capaldi as The 12th Doctor.

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I wonder, what exactly is the reasoning behind those other unknown contenders not to talk about having auditioned for 007?

Cavill may probably be regarded as a missed opportunity (always assuming he doesn’t get the role in the future). But it cannot be said it hurt his career, can it? He’s been in a number of major productions and, regardless of their fate, remains a strong casting choice for a host of genre and mainstream productions on Netflix and the big screen.

Admittedly, Visnic and Worthington are not nearly as often talked about when Bond is the topic. The general feeling - perhaps even shared by themselves - seems to be that it just wasn’t in the cards for them.

But that would still leave four other actors whose almost-connection to Bond might have been an asset these last 15 years. I could understand that a reasonably well known name like, say, Colin Farrell or Clive Owen or Eric Bana (to name but a few of those in the casting stew brewed by us fans) might not want to see ‘Missed 007 role’ in their Wikipedia entries.

However, chances are these and other high-profile fan suggestions were never in the closer circle considered by Eon house. So the ‘unknown four’ of 2006 will likely have been actors on the lower ranks of celebrity then. Whose possible Bond role might have influenced their careers to a considerable extent.

Would the one or the other hope to land the role in the future? Keeping mum about it so as not to jinx it?

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It is, unfortunately, common practice for the casting process to include choices nobody wants and therefore everyone can easily agree on rejecting. Studio executives will hate them and producers will nod: okay, we don‘t think he’s right either. Which will give them more wriggle room to fight for their choice.

In this case, BB knew that DC was a controversial idea, so she grouped him with others which could not top him.

Those will probably not wish to be regarded as „oh, of course, he would not have been as good as Craig, no way“.

Cavill, as you point out, would have been the fallback as the more conventional choice if MGM had boycotted Craig. But he might still be the Moore/Dalton/Brosnan candidate, the guy who came close before and stillhas a chance.

I just wonder which actor wants to follow Craig, now that BB cannot imagine anyone else in the role.

Either they will put Bond on a long hiatus to put enough distance between Craig and the new guy.

Or a young, gung ho actor who sees this as his big break will throw caution to the wind.

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To go back to the Capaldi as The Doctor casting, it is always clear when it’s the studio/network/channel who are second guessing the casting by the people who actually are making it. 12 was Capaldi’s role, as was Sherlock for Cumberbatch. Those testing knew we were there as a safety net.


Besides Goran Visnjic and Sam Worthington, the other lesser-known names I remember being bandied about for James Bond #6 circa 2005 were Alex O’Loughlin and Julian McMahon.

I, personally, preferred Hugh Jackman for the role. I think he would have been great, but c’est la vie.


I love Jackman‘s work. But he is just too nice for the kind of Bond EON wanted.

Craig had the edge because he immediately projected danger.

I wonder what the next actor needs to be chosen.


I too would have liked to see Hugh Jackman give it a shot.

And no, he is not too nice for Bond. Swordfish being a good example…


Not to mention his tenure as Wolverine. He can do rough and tough, belligerent and aggressive, commanding and authoritative. He also moves really well and is very charismatic. I have no doubt he would have nailed it.

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A lightness of touch perhaps, with excellent comic timing. Above all innate self confidence