It’s an exciting time to be a James Bond fan, as we’re all sitting on the border between two unique eras. As Daniel Craig’s time as 007 comes to an end with No Time To Die, we still don’t know who’s going to be his successor as the Bond who will lead the next chapter of franchise history. So what’s a fan to do in such a fun, yet uncertain time? Apparently make a deepfake that puts frequently mentioned contender Henry Cavill into Timothy Dalton’s performance in The Living Daylights.
The results of this latest thought experiment realized through technology are surprisingly fitting. Thanks to deepfake artist extraordinaire Stryder HD, we have this look at what Henry Cavill would have looked like in Dalton’s first outing as James Bond. As you’ll see in the video below, even the most hardcore fans of The Living Daylights are going to be hard pressed to argue that Cavill doesn’t look absolutely at home in the stoic presence of Timothy Dalton.
Right off the bat, some moments definitely work better than others, though the overall effect is still very impressive. Watching Henry Cavill’s face during M’s briefing and other stern conversational moments in The Living Daylights, it feels like a perfect fit for Timothy Dalton’s reserved delivery. As a more serious James Bond that marked a return to Ian Fleming’s source material, Cavill’s facial expressions match the concerned air of Dalton’s 007.
As an added surprise, this reel of Timothy Dalton/Henry Cavill deepfakery also includes moments from License To Kill. Here, we see some more consistent results, as Cavill’s face is better blended with the harder edged adventure in the Dalton duology. There is one constant drawback, and it’s the fact that Timothy Dalton’s hairstyle doesn’t really mesh well with Cavill’s features; though that could be a bias based on what we’ve seen the actor rock in the past. Take another look, courtesy of the screencap from The Living Daylights deepfake shown below:
Examining the total range of Henry Cavill’s facial expressions on Timothy Dalton’s portrayal of James Bond, those who are pulling for The Witcher star to be cast as the next Bond are going to be pleasantly pleased. Though if you’re a 007 loyalist who wants to see a more comedic James Bond, this shouldn’t put you off of Cavill’s casting entirely. In fact, there’s an opportunity for aspiring deepfake artists to push the case for the actor’s casting further.
Dare it be said, if someone really wanted to test Henry Cavill as a new James Bond, they’d be well off trying to deepfake him into some of the lighter moments of humor shared by Roger Moore or Pierce Brosnan. As seen in his performance as Napoleon Solo in The Man From U.N.C.L.E., Cavill is absolutely cut out to deliver pithy conversation, while still holding himself with a deadly yet carefree air. This is especially important when considering we don’t know which direction the next James Bond era will take in terms of its tone, and Henry Cavill splits the difference with his charm and his fists.
Henry Cavill’s potential casting as James Bond is further bolstered by this impressive presentation of action and conversation. While it might not be as polished as that time Harrison Ford was deepfaked with Daniel Craig, it’s certainly not as jarring as the scenario that saw Jim Carrey subbing for Pierce Brosnan. But, of course, your mileage will vary, so try to keep an open mind when you’re perusing the multiverse of 007 portrayals.
As of this moment, the one true James Bond is still Daniel Craig. So if you haven’t seen it yet or if you’re looking to get in another round of No Time To Die action, check your local listings and plan accordingly. Meanwhile, Henry Cavill fans will get to see him return to Netflix’s The Witcher, which is set to debut Season 2 in its entirety on December 17.