The debate over who could take over as James Bond after Daniel Craig leaves has been raging for years now, with plenty of names bandied about regarding who could land the coveted role. One of those names has been Sam Heughan, the tall and very Scottish lead of Starz’s Outlander. Recently, Sam Heughan revealed on Live with Kelly and Ryan that he did actually audition for the popular gig at one point. When asked whether or not he had entertained the idea of playing James Bond, he said:
Bond 21 was quite a while ago. Casino Royale came out way back in 2006–so, well over a decade ago. Sam Heughan would have only been 26 at the time the movie came out and he wasn’t as well-known during that period as he is now. In fact, the Scottish actor at the time only had a few TV gigs under his belt, including River City and a guest stint on the popular crime drama Midsomer Murders. Although he revealed to Kelly Ripa and Ryan Seacrest that Bond was looking to go younger during the Casino Royale period, the role eventually went to Daniel Craig, who was 38 when his first Bond flick came out.
Originally, it wasn’t clear that Daniel Craig would be back for Bond 25, so the rumor mill has been talking about people who could potentially be a good fit for the role for quite a long while. Major names like Henry Cavill, Richard Madden, Idris Elba and Tom Hiddleston have been bandied about. However, Sam Heughan has also stood out among those names as a popular pick and it’s certainly interesting to learn that he did in fact try out for the role at one point. At this point, Sam Heughan is approaching 40, as well, which may actually be a point in his favor when casting for the next James Bond happens.
One issue to potentially signing on Sam Heughan as James Bond is his lengthy Outlander schedule. While Daniel Craig will likely be replaced as Bond after Bond 25 eventually hits theaters, Outlander has already been renewed for Seasons 5 and 6 on Starz and it’s likely the series will continue longer than that. For example, the books Diana Gabaldon has written in the series currently tally in at 8 and the author is working on a ninth. With roughly one book covered per season of the TV show, Sam Heughan will likely be employed by the pay cable network for some time to come. So, we’ll have to wait and see if James Bond is in the cards, as well.