Outlander’s Sam Heughan Opened Up About His Early Audition For James Bond, And Whether Or Not He’d Still Be Up To Play 007

Sam Heughan dressed in a tuxedo and looking serious in The Spy Who Dumped Me.
(Image credit: Lionsgate)

Before Daniel Craig had even said goodbye to his time as the face of the James Bond movies, several actors kept cropping up as periodic favorites to replace him. One such candidate was none other than Outlander’s Sam Heughan, who up until recently still seemed pretty keen on landing the role. That outlook may have changed, as Heughan has recently revisited his memories of that early 007 audition.

How Sam Heughan Feels About His Casino Royale Audition

While talking to EW about his new memoir, Waypoints: My Scottish Journey, the Scottish actor once again confirmed that he was actually one of the eight actors that tried out for Casino Royale. Reflecting further on that experience, Sam Heughan offered this take on competing to become 007:

It was quite an experience. It was a stage in my life where I probably wasn't ready for it, but I wonder what would have happened if I had got it.

Though it was known that eight actors auditioned for Martin Campbell on the 2006 James Bond reboot, not all of those names are nailed down. However, Heughan’s previous brush with 007 fame has been mentioned before. The new piece to the puzzle is why the Men in Kilts star feels he missed out on that golden opportunity.  

It sounds like Sam Heughan thinks he lost out on Casino Royale for the same reason Henry Cavill wasn’t cast as Bond, which is a youthful lack of experience. That’s a fair assessment, and he wouldn’t be the first person to admit to such a fate. In an odd twist of fate, Heughan’s comments on his future 007 chances seem to skew in the other direction of the timeline.

How Sam Heughan Feels About Playing James Bond Now

An excerpt from Waypoints that’s included in the reporting above saw Sam Heughan talking out what seems to be the future of James Bond. It sounds like the man who the world tends to recognize as Jamie Fraser has been listening to those remarks about the next James Bond’s age we’ve all been hearing. As such, here are Heughan’s current thoughts on the matter: 

Look, every British actor certainly has been talked about for the role. I would love to see a Scottish Bond. Maybe I'm too old now. I know that they've been talking about making him younger. I feel like that's where they're gonna go, but who knows what's in their mind. … I feel like maybe I've had my taste of that world.

That “taste of that world” he’s mentioned is none other than the film SAS: Rise of the Black Swan, which was once known as SAS: Red Notice. No matter what name you know it by, the all star action-adventure vehicle might be the best chance we have at seeing Sam Heughan playing the role of an ass kicking operative. While nothing is certain until the announcement has been made, the push towards a “thirty-something” James Bond seems to have unofficially removed another player from the game.

If you’re a Sam Heughan fan who wants to see something remotely close to his potential in a James Bond movie, you’re in luck. SAS: Rise of the Black Swan is still streaming at the time of this writing, provided you have a Netflix subscription. Or if you’re looking for anything new starring the Outlander heartthrob, you can catch his rom-com It’s All Coming Back To Me, which will be released as part of 2023’s new movie releases on February 10th.

Mike Reyes
Senior Movies Contributor

CinemaBlend's James Bond (expert). Also versed in Large Scale Aggressors, time travel, and Guillermo del Toro. He fights for The User.