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What Could Have Been / James Bond

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Still from Henry Cavill's screen-test for James Bond in Casino Royale

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    Actors Who Could Have Been 007 

Sean Connery

    Dr. No 
  • Bond's original line was simply "I am James Bond", but Sean Connery felt it was rather weak and went off script, resulting in one of the most famous movie lines of all time. For the first few takes, he said "Bond, James Bond" without pausing. It was only when he paused for just a split second to light a cigarette between the "Bond" and the "James Bond" that the magic happened.
  • The first draft script strayed quite far from the book. In this version, Dr. No was a monkey god worshipped by native islanders, and the human villain was someone else. Saltzman and Broccoli were unsatisfied with this approach and got Richard Maibaum to rewrite it to be closer to the novel. The original screenwriter was not pleased with the rewrite and had his name removed from the script. Maibaum would have a hand in writing all but three Bond movies through Licence to Kill.
  • Potential actors to play Dr. No included Fleming's next-door neighbour Noël Coward, who famously responded to a telegram asking him to take the role with "Dr. No: No, no, no!" (and who later visited the set with Fleming, nearly disrupting shooting), Fleming's distant cousin Christopher Lee (who would finally get his chance to play a Bond villain in The Man with the Golden Gun), and Max von Sydow, who turned it down in order to star in The Greatest Story Ever Told (he would eventually play Blofeld in the unofficial Never Say Never Again).
  • Julie Christie was considered for Honey, but was too flat-chested.
  • Sylvia Trench was meant to be a Running Gag, with Bond meeting her only to be called away. After another scene in From Russia With Love, this was dropped entirely.

    From Russia with Love 

  • Originally, Orson Welles was considered for the Goldfinger role, but proved too expensive. He would later play Le Chiffre in the Bond satire Casino Royale (1967).
  • The original plan for the climax was to have the climactic battle happen on the gates of Fort Knox, similar to how it played out in the original novel, but it was decided that it would be much cooler to actually get to see the vault from the inside.
  • Sylvia Trench from the first two films was intended to be a Running Gag throughout the series, with Bond always about to get intimate with her when the office called. That stopped here, and she never appeared again.
  • In the original script, the laser scene had a spinning buzzsaw (as in the novel) until it was decided that such an image had become commonplace and unoriginal.
  • The original script saw Bond drive his Bentley from the novels. Before Aston Martin, Bond's car of choice for the film could have been a Jaguar E-Type, a Ferrari or an Alfa Romeo.
  • Anthony Newley recorded his own version of the title song.

  • The most well-known is that Tom Jones' "Thunderball" was the fourth attempt at a title theme. It was preceded by Shirley Bassey's "Mr Kiss Kiss Bang Bang", Dionne Warwick's take of the same song, and (of all people) country musician Johnny Cash's theme song, also called "Thunderball".
  • It was originally thought that the title would be too awkward to work into a song, so instead Barry and lyricist Leslie Bricusse wrote one called "Mr. Kiss Kiss Bang Bang", first recorded by Shirley Bassey, then, after some apparent problems with Bassey's singing, by Dionne Warwick. This is why the club Bond runs into to escape Fiona's goons is called The Kiss Kiss Club. The decision to replace it with the Tom Jones song was made relatively late in the production which is why the melody for "Mr. Kiss Kiss Bang Bang" is still part of the soundtrack.
  • Alfred Hitchcock briefly considered directing the film.
  • The original draft scripts did not involve SPECTRE, but Italian mobsters in the Sicilian Mafia, with Largo as a crime boss. This was the reason why many of the villains were played by Italian actors.
  • Rik Van Nutter had a contract to appear as Felix Leiter in the next several Bond films, but they couldn't figure a way to work the character into either of the next two (Leiter did not appear in either original novel).
  • Julie Christie was the original choice for Domino, but Cubby Broccoli decided she wasn't right. Raquel Welch was attached, before being let go to star in Fantastic Voyage. Faye Dunaway also auditioned, but her agent persuaded her to be in another film.
  • The scene where Bond arrives for his mission briefing with the other 00 agents was originally going to have cameos from the stars of other spy shows and films - Patrick Macnee as John Steed, Roger Moore as Simon Templar, Michael Caine as Harry Palmer, Robert Vaughn and David McCallum as Napoleon Solo and Illya Kuryakin, James Coburn as Derek Flint, Robert Culp and Bill Cosby as Kelly Robinson and Alexander "Scotty" Scott etc. Due to budgetary and logistics concerns, this was scrapped.
  • The opening sequence, in earlier versions of the script, was set in Hong Kong at a fan-tan parlor strip joint. The man in drag story element, was still the same though. He was dressed in a peacock outfit, and sat in a gold cage.
  • Bouvoir was originally to be strangled with his own bra, rather than the poker that was eventually used.
  • The original climax was much different - Having been rescued from the underwater cave, Bond joins Leiter on a hovercraft and they team up with the aquaparas for the final battle as SPECTRE try to drop the first bomb in a sunken wreck. Largo escapes to the 'Disco Volante', but before it leaves Bond gets on board. Largo is killed by Domino, and Bond and Domino jump to safety from the hydrofoil which is now out of control. Kutze is left on board and destroys the ship by detonating the fuel tanks. After Domino and Bond are picked up by Leiter in the hovercraft, there is a final scene shown as the credits roll: the ransom is dropped by an air force plane and the package sinks to the sea bed where it is intercepted by a two man SPECTRE sub. As the mechanical arm extends to grab the package, it explodes.
  • Originally, Bond and Pinder were to have descended on 'Palmyra' for the night sortie. They were to have gone to a boathouse, to see what had made two tracks in the sand. They find it is just a pedalo, but accidentally set off the alarm, and in the following gun battle on the beach, Pinder is killed. The scene would have ended in the same way as the film, with Bond jumping free of the shark pool - although the line he was to have said was: 'Sorry you'll have to order something else.'
  • Originally, Bond was to escape from Volpe, after bedding her, by escaping down his hotel corridor, dressed in costume for the Junkanoo. He was to pick up a cookstove from a nearby waiters trolley and use this is as a weapon, although Volpe did manage to get a shot at him - which would have led into the Junkanoo sequence.
  • When Bond and Domino meet underwater and disappear behind a rock, the scene was originally supposed to show Domino's bikini float out from behind the rock. Albert R. Broccoli vetoed this, because he felt it was too suggestive.

    You Only Live Twice 

    Diamonds Are Forever 
  • In Richard Maibaum's original screenplay, the villain was not Blofeld, but Auric Goldfinger's vengeful twin brother, to be played again by Gert Fröbe. This was scrapped when Tom Mankiewicz was brought in for rewrites.
  • Jane Fonda, Faye Dunaway and Raquel Welch were considered for Tiffany Case.
  • Maibaum's original idea for the ending was a giant boat chase across Lake Mead with Blofeld being pursued by Bond and all the Las Vegas casino owners who would be sailing in their private yachts. Bond would rouse the allies into action with a spoof of Lord Nelson's famous cry, "Las Vegas expects every man to do his duty." Maibaum was misinformed; there were no Roman galleys or Chinese junks in Las Vegas, and the idea was too expensive to replicate, so it was dropped.
  • Maibaum may have thought the eventual oil rig finale a poor substitute, but it was originally intended to be much more spectacular. Armed frogmen would jump from the helicopters into the sea and attach limpet mines to the rig's legs (this explains why frogmen appear on the movie's poster). Blofeld would have escaped in his minisub and Bond would have pursued him hanging from a weather balloon. The chase would have then continued across a salt mine with the two mortal enemies scrambling over the pure white hills of salt before Blofeld would fall to his death in a salt granulator. Permission was not granted by the owners of the salt mine. It also made the sequence too long.
  • It was originally revealed that Blofeld survived the end of the film and the filmmakers were planning on bringing him back for one last outing in the next film, but the legal controversy made that impossible.
  • Irma Bunt was supposed to reappear in this film and presumably, Bond would extract revenge on her for Tracy's death, but Ilse Steppat died just days after On Her Majesty's Secret Service was released, making her one of the only Bond villains to get off completely scott free for what she did.
  • Mr. Wint originally killed Dr. Tynan by shoving the scorpion into his mouth.
  • Paul Williams was originally cast as Mr. Wint. When he couldn't agree with the producers on compensation, Bruce Glover replaced him.
  • Paul McCartney was the first choice to write the title song for this Bond movie but this did not eventuate until the next film.


George Lazenby

    On Her Majesty's Secret Service 
  • Peter R. Hunt originally wanted Brigitte Bardot for Tracy, but she ironically decided to star opposite Sean Connery in Shalako. Jacqueline Bisset and Catherine Deneuve were also considered.
  • Had George Lazenby's agent not convinced him to leave the series, his contract was for seven movies. Tracy's death would only occur in the follow-up, but since the main actor was leaving, the producers decided to keep it in just one movie—and Bond seeking revenge for Tracy's death was not (explicitly) addressed within the franchise until For Your Eyes Only. note 
  • In order to explain why Bond looks different, the original script explained that he had plastic surgery because he kept getting recognised by all his enemies. This was scrapped because they realised it was a terrible idea, dodging a continuity bullet when Connery later returned to the role; a continuity error, however is created as Blofeld fails to recognize Bond, despite the two having met face to face in the preceding film.
  • An entire action scene was cut due to time. Bond was originally supposed to catch one of Blofeld's henchmen spying on his meeting with Sir Hilary and give chase across the rooftops of London.
  • Lazenby suggested a scene where Bond skis off a cliff and opens a parachute. This was scrapped, as the filmmakers lacked the resources to pull it off. It was used as the opening for The Spy Who Loved Me.
  • Lyrics were originally intended for John Barry's main theme, but were later rejected in favor of "We Have All the Time in the World".
  • Ken Adam was unable to return as production designer, as he was working on Goodbye, Mr. Chips.

Roger Moore

    Live and Let Die 
  • The production crew originally wanted Solitaire to be black and the CIA contact/traitor to be white.
  • Diana Ross was considered for Solitaire (see above), as were Catherine Deneuve, Goldie Hawn and Helen Mirren.
  • Several scenes and lines in Tom Mankiewicz's screenplay were dropped from the film:
    • The most noticeable loss was of an opening scene in which James Bond was to have met an old man in a garden at night. The man was to have handed over a pair of special contact lenses. They are disturbed by the approach of enemy agents and Bond tries to help the man escape by assisting him over a high wall that surrounds the garden. But too late, Bond discovers that the garden is in fact on the top of a very high building and his contact falls to his death. Michael Sheard was cast as the man, but the scene was never filmed.
    • Quarrel Jr demonstrates the gas pellet gun that Bond will eventually use to kill Kananga while he and Bond are out shark fishing.
    • A dialogue reference to Quarrel's father and his encounter with Bond ["His father and I locked horns with a doctor named No several years ago"] was omitted.
    • A scene in which Kananga threatens to cut off Tee Hee's arms and feed it to the crocodiles when he harms Solitaire was also removed.
  • The speedboat chase was originally meant to feature a sequence wherein Bond and his pursuers run through a water skiing display team, causing their carefully balanced human pyramid to collapse and fall.
  • Harry Saltzman was originally interested in having Shirley Bassey perform the title song.

    The Man with the Golden Gun 
  • Alice Cooper wrote a theme song which was turned down in favor of Lulu's theme.
  • Mary Goodnight wasn't originally intended to be in the film but was added after Britt Ekland expressed interest in playing Mary Goodnight after reading the novel.
  • Jack Palance turned down the role of Scaramanga.
  • Harry Saltzman wanted an elephant stampede in the movie so Bond and Scaramanga could chase each other on elephant back. The rest of the creative team balked at the idea, but Saltzman went to see an elephant trainer. It turns out that elephants need a special shoe on their feet to protect them from rough surfaces when they work. A few months later, while filming in Thailand, Albert R. Broccoli got a call saying his elephant shoes were ready. Saltzman had ordered about 2,600 pairs of them. The sequence was not in the movie, but the man who made the shoe had not been paid. As of 1990, Eon Productions still owed him.
  • Two scenes written by Richard Maibaum were either eliminated or shortened before filming began:
    • The first had Q at Hong Kong airport trying to persuade Bond to use a gadget-laden camera on his trip to Thailand and being forced to admit that the one thing it couldn't do was take photographs.
    • The second set of changes were made to the climactic battle between Bond and Scaramanga which was originally planned to be much longer.
  • In earlier versions of the script, Nick Nack was originally called Demi Tasse and Hai Fat had a business partner called Lo Fat, a character which was scrapped.
  • Sammo Hung tried to audition for a part, but was turned down for being "too fat".

    The Spy Who Loved Me 
  • Stromberg was originally going to be Blofeld before the legal rights squashed that idea.
  • Reportedly, one script draft featured the arrival of a "new" SPECTRE, comprising former members of various real-life terrorist groups. The film would've opened with the new group raiding SPECTRE HQ and killing off the organization's old guard before taking over.
  • One of the first directors to be considered was Steven Spielberg. There was some worry about his inexperience, as he was caught up on an extremely lengthy pre-production schedule for a little film he was making at the time called Jaws, which ironically would provide inspiration for a major character in this film.
  • James Mason was considered to star as Stromberg, which may have invited comparisons between Stromberg and Captain Nemo; he was ironically considered for Drax in the next film as well.
  • Albert R. Broccoli wanted Lois Chiles to star as Anya, but she was taking a break from acting at the time. She would star as Holly Goodhead in the next movie, Moonraker. Catherine Deneuve wanted the role so much that she was willing to take a huge salary cut to do so. But it was still too much for Broccoli.
  • A fight sequence was originally envisaged in this movie for the Mummy Room of the Cairo Museum of Antiquities. This was scrapped, but the sequence resurfaced in the next Bond movie Moonraker as the fight between Chang and Bond in the Venini glass showroom.
  • After The Man with the Golden Gun and prior to work beginning on this film, writer Kingsley Amis (who had written a follow-up Bond novel, Colonel Sun, under the pen name Robert Markham) tried to interest EON Productions in adapting his novel next. No one was interested, and it wasn't until the Brosnan era that the slightest hints of Amis's book were borrowed for the films.
  • An alternate ending where Jaws died was filmed (Bond would use the magnet to drop him into a fire). Until the preview screening, Richard Kiel had no idea which one had ended up being used.

  • James Mason was considered for the part of Drax, but turned it down. Michael Lonsdale was likely selected due to the movie's French financing (and he does sound somewhat like Mason). Louis Jourdan was considered. He would later play Kamal Khan in Octopussy.
  • Carole Bouquet was slated to play Holly Goodhead before she had to turn it down, only to play the Bond girl in the next film, For Your Eyes Only.
  • Kate Bush and Frank Sinatra were asked to sing the title song, but they declined. Johnny Mathis was attached, but dropped out. Sinatra was also offered the role of Drax.
  • The woman with General Gogol was originally supposed to be Anya Amasova from The Spy Who Loved Me, but Barbara Bach declined to return.
  • The original script contained scenes that ended up in future Bond films - an Arcostar Minijet, knife throwing twins (Octopussy) and a parachute jump from the Eiffel Tower (A View to a Kill).
  • Early script and storyboards for the movie reveal another character who was ultimately dropped from the picture, a sidekick villain henchman called Ratz, who was involved in the cable car sequence with Jaws.

    For Your Eyes Only 
  • Steven Spielberg was reportedly interested in directing a Bond film and met with Broccoli regarding this film, but the producer explained he only wanted British directors; soon afterwards, with the help of George Lucas Spielberg started work on his own action franchise.
  • Director John Glen stated that there had been some discussion of bringing back Jaws for a third time, where he would have been shown married to Dolly, but eventually the idea was rejected as it they felt he did not fit the film's more serious tone.
  • The assassination of Melina Havelock's parents was first intended as part of the pre-credits sequence. The reaction shot of the murder was intended to cut to a close-up on her face whereby the look of anger and revenge in her eyes would then segue into the main titles.
  • In an original draft, Melina would have been 006's girlfriend, who would have been murdered early in the film.
  • In earlier drafts of the script, the chase sequence in the snow had James Bond pursued by bad guys in snowmobiles rather than on motorcycles.
  • Roger Moore had originally signed a three-film contract with Eon Productions, which covered his first three appearances up to The Spy Who Loved Me. Subsequent to this, the actor negotiated contracts on a film-by-film basis. Uncertainty surrounding his involvement in For Your Eyes Only, considering his age, led to other actors being considered to take over, and the pre-credit scene with Bond visiting Tracy was specially written to introduce the new Bond. Timothy Dalton was strongly considered. Eventually, Moore agreed to play Bond once again, and Dalton would become Bond six years later in The Living Daylights.
  • The producers, Glen, and Moore discussed whether Bond should kick the car with Locque inside or whether he should just push the dove lapel pin into the car, which would fall because of the weight. They finally decided it would be better for Bond to kick the car, although Roger Moore admitted discomfort about it, thinking it didn't match his version of Bond.
  • Blondie submitted a possible theme song, but they went with Sheena Easton instead. Bill Conti had originally written the song thinking about Donna Summer or Dusty Springfield, singers he thought "fit the Bond style". He originally wanted Barbra Streisand to do the song.

  • Following For Your Eyes Only, Roger Moore had expressed a desire to retire from the role of James Bond. Given his reluctance to return for Octopussy, the producers engaged in a semi-public quest for the next Bond, with Timothy Dalton being suggested as a replacement and screen tests carried out with both Michael Billington and American actor James Brolin. However, when rival Bond production Never Say Never Again was announced, the producers persuaded Moore to continue in the role as it was thought the established actor would fare better against former Bond Sean Connery. It has been reported that James Brolin was actually on the point of moving to London to begin work on Octopussy at the time.
  • The seach for the actress to play the title character was quite extensive.
    • Sybil Danning was announced in Prevue magazine in 1982 as being Octopussy, but was never actually cast, later explaining that Albert R. Broccoli felt "her personality was too strong".
    • Faye Dunaway was considered, but was deemed too expensive.
    • Grace Jones was also considered, but producers balked at the possible negative response to Bond having a black love interest. She would end up becoming a supporting Bond Girl in A View to a Kill.
    • Kathleen Turner was also considered.
    • Barbara Carrera said she turned down the role to take a part in the competing Bond film Never Say Never Again.
    • Casting director Jane Jenkins revealed that the Bond producers told her that they wanted a South Asian actress to play Octopussy, so she looked at the only two Indians in a then predominantly white Hollywood, Persis Khambatta and Susie Coelho. Afterward, she auditioned white actresses, like Barbara Parkins, who she felt could pass for Indian. Finally, the producers chose Maud Adams and the story was reworked to explain her appearance.
  • Rutger Hauer was considered for General Orlov.

    A View to a Kill 
  • George MacDonald Fraser, who co-wrote Octopussy, was asked to write this film, but he declined.
  • Zorin's scheme originally involved redirecting Haley's Comet. This was scrapped for being too ridiculous.
  • Originally, Bond was to have used the electronic snooping device created by Q to break into Zorin's pumping station. When the device is threatened by guard dogs, it sprays them, skunk-like, with a noxious liquid, and then gets stuck in a tunnel. Q later berates Bond for deserting "a fellow agent in the field."
  • Sir Godfrey Tibbett was originally a jockey rather than horse trainer.
  • David Bowie turned down the role of Zorin, which explains the presence of Grace Jones (the directors wanted to bring in a pop singer to attract young people to the film); ultimately, he chose Labyrinth instead. Bowie later explained that he thought the script was too "terrible" and "workmanlike" to spend much time working on and he told them so. He also said his directness wasn't received very well by them. The role was also offered to Sting, Rutger Hauer and Mick Jagger.
  • The producers wanted to bring back Barbara Bach as Major Anya Amasova from The Spy Who Loved Me. After Bach declined, the part was changed into Pola Ivanova, played by Fiona Fullerton.
  • Maryam d'Abo screen-tested for the role of Pola Ivanova, but was rejected for being too young for the part. She would be the main Bond girl as Kara Milovy in the next Bond film The Living Daylights.
  • Bo Derek was considered for the role of Stacey Sutton.
  • Felix Leiter was originally going to be Bond's contact in San Francisco. However, owing to Chinatown being such a prominent part of the city, Chuck Lee was created instead.
  • This was Lois Maxwell's final appearance as Miss Moneypenny. Apparently, after she was told that she would be retiring from the role, she thought that she could become the M character as a promotion. However, at the time producer Albert R. Broccoli believed that audiences would not accept James Bond being given orders by a woman. Maxwell also suggested that Moneypenny be killed off.

Timothy Dalton

    The Living Daylights 
  • Recurring character General Gogol was originally going to fill the role that Pushkin plays in the final film, but his actor Walter Gotell was too ill to play the part, so Gogol was replaced by the new character Pushkin. (Gotell still appears, but only in a cameo.)
  • Originally, Pet Shop Boys was asked to compose the soundtrack, but backed down when they learned that they should not provide a complete soundtrack but merely the opening theme song.
  • An earlier draft of the script featured several scenes and developments that failed to make it to the finished film:
    • Bond and Kara were originally going to escape from Kara's apartment by stealing the car belonging to one of the KGB agents supposedly keeping an eye on her. The KGB agents give chase and Bond rides the car along the ice of a frozen lake, the couple continuing their flight aboard a hijacked ice schooner.
    • On escaping from the air base in Afghanistan, Bond and Kara were to have been taken to Landi- Kotal by Ranjit Khan [who later became Kamran Shah] where they witness a massive arms bazaar. They are pursued by jailers from the air base and Bond disposes of one of them by pitching him into a pit full of yarn dye. He eludes his other pursuers by using his exploding key ring to set off the contents of a Chinese fireworks warehouse. The arms bazaar sequence would eventually turn up in the teaser to Tomorrow Never Dies.
    • Originally, Bond and Kara did not escape from Koskov's Hercules on a jeep, but actually flew with the aircraft to a US aircraft carrier which Bond was going to attempt a landing on, despite the US navy's attempts to shoot them down. When M and Moneypenny step in to confirm the identity of the pilot, the carrier captain was to have allowed Bond to make his landing but the oversized aircraft careers off the end of the deck and Bond and Kara survive only by clinging to a cargo net.
  • The film was originally going to be a prequel. In the original version, a twenty-something James Bond teams up with a senior agent named Burton Trevor on a mission to infiltrate the jungle compound of a Chinese warlord named Kwang. Trevor would die helping Bond escape, Bond would hunt down and kill Kwang and subsequently be promoted to the Double-0 section, taking Trevor's old number "007". The story would end with Bond getting the mission for Dr. No. Cubby Broccoli rejected this, claiming that no-one wanted to see James Bond as a rookie. Casino Royale (2006) would depict Bond as a newly-promoted 00 agent but was a reboot.
  • This film could've been Pierce Brosnan's debut as Bond. Brosnan was cast after Remington Steele had been cancelled, but as soon as the announcement had been made, NBC uncanceled the show at the very last minute, using contractual obligation to force Brosnan to give up the role and return to the show.

    Licence to Kill 
  • The film had several beautiful poster arts designed when it was still known as Licence Revoked. The name change meant that the posters had to be scrapped.
  • The film was originally set in China and had such setpieces as a fight in a museum and a chase along the Great Wall. However, following The Last Emperor, the novelty of filming there had worn off.
  • Eric Clapton was asked to write and perform the theme song. He and Vic Flick, who had played lead guitar on Monty Norman's original 007 theme, produced a theme to match Timothy Dalton's gritty performance, but the producers turned it down.
  • John Rhys-Davies was offered a cameo role as General Pushkin but declined the offer, as he was filming Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade.
  • Gene Simmons was allegedly offered a role, but due to commitments with KISS, he declined.

Pierce Brosnan

    Golden Eye 
  • Elizabeth Hurley, Elle MacPherson, and Angie Everhart were considered for the part of Natalya Simonova before Izabella Scorupco was cast.
  • John Rhys-Davies was set to reprise his role as General Pushkin from The Living Daylights when Dalton was still on, but the character was replaced with Defense Minister Mishkin.
  • The producers originally asked John Woo to direct, as early drafts had a significant number of action scenes. Woo declined, though said he felt honored by the offer. The action scenes from those drafts were recycled throughout Pierce Brosnan's run as the character.
  • Even after a six-year hiatus between this film and Licence to Kill, Timothy Dalton was initially interested in reprising the role of James Bond for just GoldenEye and not for any further films. Despite their great working relationship and friendship, producer Albert "Cubby" Broccoli wanted Dalton to commit to a four to five-film contract, which Dalton was unwilling to do. Not wanting to be contractually obligated to stick around for longer than he was willing to, Dalton announced his resignation from the role in April 1994.
  • In Michael France's first draft, Xenia was much less overtly psycho. She was more subtle and collected, killed her foes with a theatrical Pressure Point instead of a bodyscissors hold, and had actual sex with Bond to feed him false information instead of trying to kill him. Elements of this draft were carried over to the next and the eventual film; their first meeting in France's draft takes place in a sauna, and her eventual attempt to kill Bond with Natalya present became their final fight in the jungle; Bond and Xenia also had sex in the sauna right up to the final shooting script, which is also present in John Gardner's novelisation, before it was reworked to achieve a lower rating. Brosnan himself mentioned in interviews that he found the initial version more interesting.
  • Reportedly, the part of Trevelyan was originally written to be an older character, a mentor to Bond who went to the dark side. Apparently the producers wanted to cast either Anthony Hopkins or Alan Rickman in the part, but both turned it down. An older character would make sense, given the timeline for the execution of the Lienz Cossacks in the wake of the Second World War. (When the part was re-written for a younger actor, the script skirted the issue by suggesting that Alec's family survived the massacre, with his father committing suicide years later. “But my father couldn’t let himself or my mother live with the shame of it.”) There was also talk of the older Augustus Trevelyan as having been a previous M, rather than an equal 00 agent.
  • The Rolling Stones were offered the chance to sing the title song, but declined. Ace of Base recorded a song that wasn't used.
  • Loelia Ponsonby, James Bond's secretary in the early novels, was written in the first draft. Miss Moneypenny originally was not meant to be in this film.
  • Prior to the production delays that resulted in the film not being released until six years later, it was originally assumed that the next Bond film after 1989's Licence to Kill would have been released in 1991 or 1992. According to the book The Bond Files, the film, had it been made at that time, may have carried the title Property of a Lady. Presumably the film would have had a completely different storyline given that GoldenEye was informed by the collapse of the Soviet Union and the end of the Cold War, events that wouldn't have truly kicked in yet at the time the 1991-92 film entered production.
  • To bring the series into The '90s, the producers thought of new concepts for the series, such as a period piece set in the 1960s, a female 007, or a black James Bond. Ultimately, they chose to return to the basics of the series, not following the sensitive and caring Bond of the Dalton films or the political correctness that started to permeate the decade.

    Tomorrow Never Dies 
  • The writers originally wanted to base a story off of Hong Kong's turnover from British to Chinese control. But since the event happened (1 July 1997) too soon for them to finish the movie, and it happened without a hitch, they decided not to trivialise it or appear irrelevant. This plot was instead the basis for the Raymond Benson James Bond novel Zero Minus Ten.
    • Donald E Westlake was engaged to write a story using the Hong Kong handover premise which was rejected; he later retooled it as his original novel Forever and a Day, in which an American construction tycoon who was ruined by the handover plans to use a machine which dissolves landfill to literally sink the entire city into the sea.
  • There were three songs wrote up for the main theme. Two of them made it into the film as the main and credits music, respectively; the third, also titled "Tomorrow Never Dies" by Danish band Swan Lee, was later used for Hitman: Blood Money. It's the song which plays during the game's credits, and also sung (badly) by the Ax-Crazy female assassin in the "Heaven and Hell" level. Pulp also wrote a proposed theme (which had the film's original title, "Tomorrow Never Lies"), later issued as a b-side. Saint Etienne also wrote a version.
  • Monica Bellucci auditioned for Paris Carver. Bellucci would later appeared in a small role in Spectre.
  • Anthony Hopkins turned down the role of Elliot Carver to star in The Mask of Zorro instead, directed by GoldenEye alumnus Martin Campbell.
  • In the original drafts of the script Stamper was to have suffered a brain injury that caused pleasure to be registered as pain (and vice versa). The idea was dropped, but a version of it made it into the next film The World Is Not Enough, where Renard is unable to feel pain.
  • The original script had a reappearance from Valentin Zukovsky from GoldenEye. He would appear in the next film The World Is Not Enough.
  • In early drafts of the film's screenplay, Elliot Carver was originally named Elliot Harmsway.
  • According to Ricky Jay, the role of Henry Gupta was originally written as an Indian man in his late twenties. He apparently told the writers not to change the character's name. Additionally, scenes were filmed but cut in which Jay would have used his famous card-throwing skills in a fight scene with Bond.
  • According to screenwriter Bruce Fierstein, Q was originally going to be written out, explaining that he had now retired.
    Between January and Septemper of 1996 there were conversations about Desmond We all came to the agreement that we would introduce a new Q. We were going to do something where Bond jumps onto some yacht in the South China Sea and there is Desmond fully retired with three gorgeous women. Bond was going to say, "You're doing well in your retirement" and Q was going to look at him and say, "They are my granddaughters".

    The World is Not Enough 
  • You know how the Cold Open in this movie is the longest in the whole series? It was originally supposed to end after the bank scene in Spain, but test audiences thought that was too short.
  • Peter Jackson was considered to direct, as Barbara Broccoli was a big fan of Heavenly Creatures. However, when she saw The Frighteners, she was put off by his style. Joe Dante was another director possibility.
  • There had also been a plan for Elektra to survive and for Bond to visit her in the hospital where she was being treated for Stockholm Syndrome, but this was considered too downbeat.
  • Video game tie-ins for PlayStation 2 and PC were planned but cancelled. There were, however, versions on both the N64 and the PS1 and the engine developed for the PS2 version was used for Agent Under Fire.
  • When the film was in production, a number of media outlets reported that the film was to have featured cameo appearances by every surviving Bond girl actress.
  • Jamiroquai turned down the offer to write and sing the song of the film because they weren't interested. The band Straw submitted a song that wasn't used.
  • In early drafts of the script, the character that became Christmas Jones was a Polynesian insurance investigator. This was changed to avoid confusion with Pierce Brosnan's female foil in The Thomas Crown Affair. She was then a Bounty Hunter before becoming a nuclear physisist.
  • Sharon Stone was briefly considered for Elektra King, as was Catherine Zeta-Jones.
  • Javier Bardem was considered for Renard. He would later play Raoul Silva in Skyfall. Jean Reno was offered the role, but had to turn it down due to personal problems.
  • Geri Halliwell unsuccessfully auditioned for a part.
  • At one point, Tiffani Thiessen was considered for the role of Christmas Jones.

    Die Another Day 
  • The infamous (at least among fans) "James Bond codename theory" was actually being considered as a plot point. The theory states the name James Bond isn't a man, but actually a codename given to agents by MI-6 explaining why 6 different guys have played 007. The theory has thoroughly been discredited, however director Lee Tamahori thought of putting it in the movie in form of Sean Connery making a Remake Cameo and speaking with Brosnan.
  • There were talks of doing a movie spinoff with Jinx, but this film's reception meant those plans started off on the back foot, and then the even worse reaction to Catwoman buried it altogether. Apparently, the script for the first Jinx movie was surprisingly down-to-earth and even gritty, with a focus on Jinx's background of how she became an NSA agent. Even if the Jinx franchise was scrapped, this helped inspire EON to take a similar route with Bond for Casino Royale (2006).
  • Originally, the main Bond girl was to be Gala Brand from Moonraker, and Jinx was going to be The Mole (See why she's named Jinx?). This was turned on its head once Halle Berry got involved, though, with Jinx becoming the main Bond girl and Brand becoming the mole (and getting a name change to Miranda Frost, to avoid displeasing fans of the novel).
  • Wai Lin from Tomorrow Never Dies was set to return and give Bond a hand in Hong Kong. Michelle Yeoh was unavailable though, so a new Chinese Intelligence character named Mr. Chang was written to fill her role.
  • A video game tie-in was planned but never made. It would eventually get its own level in 007 Legends a decade later.
  • Salma Hayek and Whitney Houston were considered for Jinx.
  • Catherine Zeta-Jones was considered for Miranda Frost.
  • Saffron Burrows and Alicia Silverstone were considered for both Jinx and Miranda.
  • Pierce Brosnan reportedly lobbied the Broccolis to hire Brett Ratner as director, but they didn't like his previous work and nixed the idea. Tony Scott was also considered.
  • According to a report printed in the Daily Mirror newspaper on January 6, 2001, Edward Woodward was being "lined up" to take over the role of M. According to the Mirror article, a subplot was planned for the film which would have seen Judi Dench's M retiring. (Such a plot point would later be used in Skyfall when this M was killed and Ralph Fiennes took over the role)
  • The final showdown between Bond and Graves originally took place in an indoor beach resort in Japan. Lee Tamahori changed it to a plane.

Daniel Craig

    Casino Royale 

    Quantum of Solace 

  • Sean Connery was the director's first choice to play Kincade, but he ultimately wasn't approached for fear that it would take the viewers out of the movie [though given Connery had not come out of retirement for Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull, it's doubtful Connery would have accepted the role if he had been approached]. Some of Kincaid's lines suddenly take a whole new meaning when one realises Connery was envisioned for the role, especially the one where Bond asks him if he's ready, and Kincaid replies "I was ready before you were born". Daniel Craig was indeed born 6 years after 1962's Dr. No.
  • Sam Mendes has stated he originally planned to open the film with the Bond Gun Barrel sequence, but realized it would have conflicted with the shot of Bond walking into focus in the first scene. (In a case of making lemonade from lemons, placing it at the end allowed the film to pay tribute to the 50th anniversary of the franchise.)
  • An early script had Bond as the one to kill M, as a Mercy Kill.
  • Danny Boyle was once touted in the media as having being asked to direct this film, although this was later denied. (Incidentally, Boyle was later signed on to direct No Time to Die, only to leave that film due to Creative Differences.)

  • Nicolas Winding Refn would later reveal that he turned down an offer to direct the movie. Cary Fukunaga (who would go on to direct No Time to Die) and Christopher Nolan were also considered before Mendes returned.
  • Dwayne Johnson (whose grandfather Peter Maivia played a minor baddie in You Only Live Twice) pursued the role of Mr. Hinx, but MGM and Eon thought he seemed too expensive. So they went with another former WWE Champion turned action movie star.
  • Early drafts of the film had Q being kidnapped—he would have been snatched by the mooks we see stalking him in the finished film. Bond and Madeline would have gotten to his hotel room to find it in disarray. He and Bond would have been held in adjoining cells and essentially Forced to Watch as the other died—Q from his injuries incurred in a beating, and Bond from heatstroke as his cell got increasingly hotter as the sun rose. They'd have escaped after Q alerted Bond to the explosive properties of his watch. This was ultimately left on the cutting room floor likely due to the similarities with the climax of Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation, in which Benji is abducted, and most of Q's scenes were replaced with Dr. Swann. Some fans have lamented this change, claiming that it would've been far more interesting and original to see a close friend of Bond's being in danger than yet another Girl of the Week, especially after M's death in Skyfall.
  • Contenders to sing the theme song were Lana Del Rey, Rihanna, Sia, Ed Sheeran, and Radiohead. Radiohead in particular loved the song they wrote so much that they released it for free on Christmas Day.
  • Chiwetel Ejiofor was considered for the role of either Oberhauser or "C".
  • Gary Oldman was also considered for the role of Oberhauser.
  • Penélope Cruz was considered for the role of Lucia Sciarra.
  • Ingrid Bolsø Berdal and Birgitte Hjort Sørensen were considered for the role of Madeline.
  • An early draft had a completely different torture scene for James Bond where he would have been restrained in a chair, in a room with a glass roof; when the sun came up and the temperature rose, it would have burnt Bond alive.
  • The first scene after the intro would have been Bond walking into M's office to be reprimanded, noting various new security cameras along the way (this is still in the teaser) . The dialogue in the scene was to be slightly different, with him commenting on this to M and C.
  • The scene where Moneypenny visits Bond at his apartment was going to be slightly different:
    • A shot of Bond watching from the window as she approached his apartment, rather than the reverse as shown in the completed film.
    • Even more similarities to Live and Let Die—Bond would have already been in his bathrobe (this too is still present in the teaser) and we would have heard a woman's voice coming from the bedroom after she left, indicating that she'd accidentally interrupted a liaison.
  • In the final scene, Bond was reportedly going to tell Madeleine "We have all the time in the world."
  • In an early version of the script, Bond was going to shoot Oberhauser/Blofeld on the bridge at the film's end. This was changed, as it was felt this ending would have been anti-climatic, and presumably also would have prevented Blofeld coming back in another film. Blofeld was a regular Bond villain in the 1960s movies, being the arch-nemesis of Bond, and a major character in three pictures. Blofeld regularly escaped from Bond at the end of these 60s Bond films. Moreover, in early draft(s) of the script, when Bond drives off with Madeleine, it was written that Bond threw his gun into the river, and another alias name of Blofeld/Oberhauser was Heinrich Bochmann.

    No Time to Die 


    The Novels 
  • Ian Fleming was originally going to kill off Felix Leiter in Live and Let Die, but he was talked out of it by his American publisher.
  • The Climax! TV special adaptation of Casino Royale lead to Fleming being offered a hand in developing a Bond TV series (Working title: James Bond, Secret Agent). Fleming wrote a series of outlines for the show but negotiations fell through and it didn't get made. However, Fleming salvaged the outlines and used them to create the eighth Bond book, the short story collection For Your Eyes Only.
  • Per Fine Ounce by Geoffrey Jenkins was supposed to be the first Bond continuation novel after Fleming's death. It was rejected for publication, and, aside from few excerpts, remains unpublished to this day.
  • After writing Colonel Sun, Kingsley Amis planned to write a Bond novel of him in a train to Mexico with assassins in it.

    Casino Royale (1967) 
  • The producer had intended to cast Sean Connery as Bond, but balked at the star's paycheck demands ($1 million, which wasn't cheap back then). It is assumed that had Connery been cast, it would have been a straight 007 film rather than the parody it would eventually become. Years later, Connery ran into the producer and told him it would have been much better if he had agreed to the million-dollar paycheck.
  • Capucine, Joan Collins, Sophia Loren, Shirley MacLaine and Elizabeth Taylor turned down the role of Vesper Lynd.
    • Collins also turned down the role of Giovanna Goodthighs.
  • Frank Sinatra was considered for Cooper.
  • Barbra Streisand was considered for a cameo, while Jack Lemmon refused a role.
  • Charles K. Feldman wanted Brigitte Bardot for the role of Mata Bond.
  • An entire sequence involving Tremble going to the front for the underground James Bond Training School (which turns out to be under Harrods, of which the training area was the lowest level) was never shot, thus creating an abrupt cut from Vesper announcing that Tremble will be James Bond to Tremble exiting the elevator into the Training School.
  • At the start of The '60s, Feldman was able to get Howard Hawks interested in the novel, and there were some initial talks between Feldman, Hawks and Leigh Brackett about adapting it, with Cary Grant floated as a possibility to play Bond. Then they saw a preview screening of Dr. No and Hawks decided it would be pointless to even try doing Casino Royale, so he completely dropped the idea.

    Never Say Never Again 
  • Peter Hunt, who edited the first five Bond films and directed On Her Majesty's Secret Service, was approached to direct this movie, but declined as he thought Albert R. Broccoli would think of him as a "traitor" if he accepted the offer. Richard Donner was also asked to direct.
  • McClory wanted George Lazenby to return as Bond, but he was dropped from consideration when Connery confirmed he wanted the role.
  • Roger Moore was to appear in a cameo alongside Connery at the end. The decision was scrapped most likely for the same reason as Peter Hunt.
  • John Barry was invited to do the music for this film, but he politely declined, out of respect for Broccoli and his association with EON Productions. James Horner was also offered the job.
  • Orson Welles was considered for Blofeld.
  • After Sony acquired the Thunderball remake rights from Kevin McClory, Sony hoped to parlay them into its own Bond franchise to compete with MGM's, with Roland Emmerich and Dean Devlin at the helm. However, legal action by MGM blocked this attempt. As part of the legal action, MGM bought out Never Say Never Again and the 1967 Casino Royale as a result of the settlement with Sony, uniting the entire Bond canon under one single roof (Sony in return got the rights to Spider-Man). Sony later led a group that would own MGM for a time, resulting in them releasing the Craig-era Bond films up until Spectre.
  • The Roland Emmerich and Dean Devlin effort actually got as far as a script draft, titled Warhead 2000 and still lurking around the internet. No potential Bond ever reached official consideration though.note 
  • Kevin McClory sought to make yet another independent film remake of Thunderball with Timothy Dalton as the lead, but these plans were eventually scrapped. As such, the rival Bond series McClory sought to produce never materialized, and his demands for the rights to Thunderball were again torpedoed in 2001 when his suit was rejected. Any further ideas of a rival Bond movie died with McClory in 2006, and his family did not share the same desire to go forward with a Bond series as he did, selling the rights back to EON in 2013 and removing the remaining legal snags between the official Bond series and SPECTRE, which led to the organization as a whole returning in 2015.
  • For the theme song "Never Say Never Again," Bonnie Tyler was intended to sing the tune but she disliked the song, so she declined. Additionally, singer Phyllis Hyman recorded a version of the song (written by Stephen Forsyth and Jim Ryan), but this was rejected because of contractual issues (it would later be released by Forsyth in 2008, 25 years after the film came out and 12 years after Hyman's passing).

    James Bond Jr. 
  • An early attempt at doing an animated series on James' nephew occured during The '70s when Bond co-producer Harry Saltzman had reportedly considered adapting the 1967 spinoff 003½: The Adventures of James Bond Junior into the television series, but it was discarded early on.


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