The number of bond contenders Martin Campbell tested for Casino Royale before picking Daniel Craig


When Martin Campbell re-engaged in the James Bond franchise with Casino Royale, he arrived on board just at the right time. Entered as the film’s director in February 2005, Campbell would be part of the eventual set-up that would make Daniel Craig the sixth actor to play James Bond in the official franchise. As the rumor mill got out of hand, with as many names as possible vying for it, Martin Campbell only ever tested eight people for the job.

This information was provided during our conversation as Mr. Campbell was promoting his work on The protected. However, thinking back to the film and television director’s resume, something interesting appeared. It turns out that Martin Campbell led a previous contender for the role of James Bond in the ’80s, while his work on the miniseries Reilly, ace of spies saw him team up with the future jurassic park star Sam Neill. When I asked Campbell if he had any particular feelings about his former collaborator missing the 007 coat, here is his response:

To be completely honest, I didn’t even know he had tested. I had no idea. And don’t forget, when you test Bond, at Casino [Royale] I tested eight people. And don’t ask me who they were, I’m not going to tell you.

On the one hand, Martin Campbell vowing to keep the secret on who he tested for Casino Royale lead is a bummer. However, looking at the reports, we can say that there are at least half of these names that could be confirmed, if not strongly implied. Starting with the obvious, we know Daniel Craig was screen tested, and despite Campbell’s reservations about his casting, he landed the role.

That being said, three other names appeared in contemporary Variety reporting (via the BBC), which came at the end of Casino Royale big screen tests. Along with Craig’s ultimately winning bid, Man of steel Henri Cavill, emergency room Goran Visnjic and Avatar Sam Worthington all emerged as the supposed finalists in the James Bond Olympics. And that’s without counting other names that have been the subject of many rumors, like Hugh Jackman and Ewan McGregor.

But as for Sam Neill’s screen test for Daylight aliveMartin Campbell would not see the results until years later. Curiously, the Golden eye The director probably saw these images in the same way as the general public. Which, as you’ll see below, is quite rare:

I think I saw … I saw his test. And I’m not sure I haven’t seen it on YouTube. I saw him somewhere. … You don’t often see the tests. They keep them locked up.

If you were hoping that maybe somewhere on the internet you could find the auditions of Henry Cavill or Goran Visnjic for Casino Royale, I’m afraid that’s not the case. Unless the EON Productions team decides to release this footage as an additional DVD, much like they ultimately did with Sam Neill, this footage will likely be locked in the company vault. As we move towards No time to die promotional window, all we know right now is that the results speak for themselves. Daniel Craig reinvented James Bond for a modern era, Martin Campbell was there to help him do it and the world of 007 will never be the same again.

No time to die The Daniel Craig era of James Bond ends on September 30 or October 8, depending on whether you are a British or American movie buff. And don’t forget to check out Martin Campbell’s The protected, because it’s currently in theaters. However, if you’re nostalgic for all things Craig and want a little more of a taste of what No time to die has to offer, you’re in luck. Discover the documentary Being James Bond: The Story of Daniel Craig, which is currently available for free rental on Apple TV +, and you can see behind-the-scenes footage of this ongoing historic occasion.


Comments are closed.