Follow TV Tropes


What Could Have Been / James Bond

Go To
Still from Henry Cavill's screen-test for the role of James Bond in Casino Royale.

    open/close all folders 

    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.
  • In the original script, Dr. No strikes Bond with his gauntlets after Bond taunts him by calling him "Hitler-cum-Al Capone." Following this, he says, "Forgive the coarseness, Dr. No" and spits in his face.
  • The original script had M, while ordering Bond to use the Walther, state that "A dead 00-agent is about as much use as a pair of football boots to my decrepit grandmother".
  • 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 non-Eon film Never Say Never Again).
  • Julie Christie was considered for Honey after Broccoli saw her in a television play. According to Broccoli, she was invited to a meeting, but arrived in jeans and "terribly dishevelled". Another version says that he rejected her for being "too flat chested".
  • Sylvia Trench was meant to be a Running Gag across the upcoming films, with Bond meeting up with her only to be called away. After another scene in From Russia With Love, this was dropped entirely.
  • The film originally re-created a scene from the novel where Honey is to be eaten alive by crabs. Unfortunately, the creatures proved to be unreliable, so it was changed to her being drowned instead.

    From Russia with Love 
  • Reportedly, Alfred Hitchcock was at one point interested in directing.
  • Len Deighton was the original screenwriter and actually accompanied the producer on location, but was replaced due to lack of progress.
  • Originally, Bond was supposed to kill the Russian agent in the mosque instead of Grant.
  • A young Faye Dunaway tried out for Tatiana Romanova.

  • 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).
  • Joan Collins told the Daily Mail that she turned down the role of Jill Masterson:
    I was asked to do the Shirley Eaton part in the Sean Connery Bond film Goldfinger - the classic role in which she is naked and sprayed from head to foot in gold paint. It's an amazing image and an amazing film but I turned it down. I was pregnant at the time with my son Sacha. Who knows? It could have altered the direction of my whole career and I sometimes wonder what would have happened if I had done it. I have never talked about it before and it's not in my new book because I didn't want to be bitchy to Shirley.
  • 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.
  • The unused special features on the Aston Martin were rams extending from the front and back bumpers, a nail dispenser (scrapped for fear that children might imitate it), a telephone in the driver's door and a weapons tray under the driver's seat.
  • 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 does not appear in the original novel for You Only Live Twice or On Her Majesty's Secret Service. He does appear in The Man with the Golden Gun, but this film was cancelled in favor of OHMSS and heavily reworked by the time it was adapted several films later).
  • Albert R. Broccoli originally wanted Julie Christie to play Domino after seeing her in Billy Liar. Upon meeting her, however, he was so disappointed that she didn't look how she did on screen. He then cast Raquel Welch after seeing her on the cover of Life magazine, until she had to drop out to star in Fantastic Voyage. A pre-stardom Faye Dunaway also auditioned, but her agent persuaded her to be in another film.
  • Burl Ives was considered for Emilio Largo.
  • 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.
  • In early scripts, Paula Caplan was originally Paula Roberts, Fiona Volpe was an Irish girl named Fiona Kelly, Jacques Bouvoir was named Boitier, Count Lippe was Lipson and Major Derval was Major Palazzi.
  • When Bond locks Count Lippe in the sauna, he was originally to have impersonated one of the cockney staff at Shrublands and was to sing "We're having a heatwave, a tropical heatwave" as he leaves him baking.
  • There were to be additional scenes between M and the Foreign Secretary involving the collection and delivery of the diamonds by armoured car.
  • 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. He would have had a supertanker equipped with a giant laser. This was scrapped when Tom Mankiewicz was brought in for rewrites.
  • Jane Fonda, Faye Dunaway and Raquel Welch were considered for Tiffany Case. Linda Thorson met with Cubby Broccoli, hoping to be considered for the part, but he never considered her for the role, although he did briefly list her as a possibility for Plenty O'Toole before the role went to Lana Wood. Some time later, Broccoli told Thorson she was never cast in a Bond film because she didn't have long hair. As a result, she is the only actor to have been a main cast member on The Avengers not to do a Bond film.note 
  • 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 a later film, which was eventually intended to be The Spy Who Loved Me, 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. This was changed for being too graphic.
  • Miss Moneypenny almost didn't appear in the film, partly because Lois Maxwell had held out for a pay increase.
  • 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.
  • Before Connery was brought back, EON approached Adam West to play Bond. He turned them down because he believed that it would be inappropriate for an American actor to play the role. Broccoli and Saltzman agreed with this sentiment.


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.
  • Richard Maibaum originally envisioned Max von Sydow as Blofeld. He would play the role in the unofficial Never Say Never Again.
  • Had George Lazenby's agent not convinced him to leave the series, his contract was for seven movies. The film was supposed to end with Bond and Tracy driving off and her death open the next film, but since Lazenby 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 new continuity error, however, was created as Blofeld fails to recognize Bond, despite the two having met face to face in the preceding film. To be fair, Bond is meant to be in disguise during the meeting, but it's a Paper-Thin Disguise at best.
  • The Cresta Run at St. Moritz was originally supposed to be used for the bobsled run Bond pursues Blofeld down at the end. However, due to the renting costs and the fact they could only rent it for a limited time per day, they instead opted to use an old bobsledding run nearer to the Piz Gloria building. This is arguably a better move, since the bobsled run they wound up with is a lot closer to where most of the Swiss scenes take place, meaning the scenery is much more consistent than if they were to use the Cresta Run.
  • There was originally supposed to be an Establishing Shot of Mürren, the mountain village that was used as the film team's base of operations, as Bond flew to Piz Gloria. The art department even constructed a giant church tower to place in the village to make the skyline more interesting, but it was never used.
  • When this film was before You Only Live Twice, it was originally going to be revealed that Blofeld is Goldfinger's twin brother, with Gert Fröbe playing the role.
  • Gabriele Ferzetti was cast as Draco because the producers watched one of his Italian films to scout another performer for the role, but Peter Hunt was so impressed by Ferzetti's performance that they wound up contacting him instead.
  • An entire action scene was cut due to time. During Bond's meeting with Sir Hilary Bray, Bond picks up a statue on Sir Hilary's desk and notices that it has a microphone in it. Phidian, the young man who showed Bond his coat of arms, is an undercover SPECTRE agent. Bond chases him across the rooftops, streets and finally the London Underground, culminating in them falling near the rails and Bond kills Phidian by knocking him onto thoe electrified rails, in front of a postal car. To dispell Blofeld's fears when Phidian doesn't report in, a false train accident is cooked up (note that Campbell is reading a newspaper with the headline "19 People Killed in Rush Hour Train Crash"). The scene was at least partially filmed.
  • One of Ken Adam's unused ideas was that Draco had a portable base assembled from shipping containers.
    It was like a mobile office but quite sophisticated. It was a personal idea.
  • According to Desmond Llewelyn, earlier drafts were much more gadget-laden, until the decision was made to downplay that aspect. There was a scene where Q equips Bond with his Aston Martin DBS, but it was removed.
  • 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".
  • During the assault on Piz Gloria, Behind The Scenes footage shows Grunther dead on the floor with a spiked decoration through his back as Draco summons his henchmen through a door. Once he hits the floor in the final movie, he is not seen again which would make having his actor present pointless, meaning his dead body was originally supposed to be visible in subsequent scenes.
  • Harry Saltzman had a few people scouting areas in France to film the Swiss alpine scenes in. In the final film, Switzerland ended up being used for Piz Gloria and its surrounding areas instead.
  • While scouting for locations in 1968, producer Harry Saltzman used his French contacts to gain permission to use portions of the Maginot Line as SPECTRE headquarters in the film. Saltzman did provide the art director, Syd Cain, a tour of the complex, but the idea had be shelved when Cain said that not only would the location be difficult to light and film inside, but that artificial sets could be constructed at the studios for a fraction of the cost.

Roger Moore

    Live and Let Die 
  • Michael Winner claimed he was offered the chance to direct.
    I don't know why I turned down James Bond. I can't imagine. I took the call right there, 1971. "Are you interested in James Bond?" they said. "Harry Saltzman would like you to do it". I said, "No". I mean, it's not as if I was making Hamlet! Oh, no thanks, I only do Ibsen! I was only doing thrillers anyway. A moment of lunacy.
  • 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.
  • M was almost recast due to Bernard Lee having lost his wife Gladys Merredew in a housefire.
  • 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.
  • Harry Saltzman was originally interested in having Shirley Bassey perform the title song.
  • Originally the producers wanted to bring Baron Samedi back in another film in the franchise, which is why he reappears alive in the final scene. However, it never happened.
  • Inspired by the coffee plantations in Jamaica, Tom Mankiewicz originally wrote a scene where Bond is thrown into an industrial bean grinder.
  • According to Tom Mankiewicz, Harry Saltzman suggested a scene where Bond is asleep in bed, is awoken by a noise, looks over and discovers he's in bed with a crocodile.
  • Guy Hamilton wanted the boat chase to feature an Esther Williams-esque scene where Bond races up the bayou to be confronted by "a triangle of men on skis carrying the prettiest girls with little banners on top. Bond manages to swerve past the triangle but the villains come along and the whole triangle collapses in front of the audiences". It was scrapped because Cubby Broccoli felt that the scene was too long.
  • Salvador Dalí was approached to design a Surrealist tarot deck for the film. However his fee was too much for the budget. In the end, the deck used in the film was designed by Fergus Hall. Dalí kept working at the deck and released it in 1984.

    The Man with the Golden Gun 
  • The film was originally supposed to be made in 1967 with Roger Moore, in Cambodia.
  • Alice Cooper wrote a theme song which was turned down in favor of Lulu's theme. Tony Bramwell, who worked for Harry Saltzman's music publishing company Hilary Music, wanted Elton John or Cat Stevens to sing the title song.
  • 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".
  • In order to explain why Sheriff Pepper is in Bangkok, Clifton James suggested that he be taking boy scouts on a trip.
  • Colthorpe was originally named Boothroyd, until someone pointed out that it was already Q's name.

    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.
  • Gerry Anderson wrote a seventy-page treatment with Anthony Barwick which featured an oil tanker which upended and fired atomic missiles and a villain named Zodiak - with albino henchmen named Tic, Tac and Toe - who threatens to destroy a fleet of nuclear submarines if the Western powers fail to surrender their art treasures.
  • New York comic book writer Cary Bates developed a submarine-themed story in which Bond teams up with Tatiana Romanova to thwart SPECTRE's plans to hijack a nuclear submarine. The Big Bad would have been Hugo Drax, who had a base under Loch Ness.
  • Anthony Burgess was hired to write a draft, which incorporated characters from his novel Tremor Of Intent. The pre-titles sequence featured Bond in Singapore, fighting a Chinese musical Tong society - drowning one member in a tub of shark-fin soup - before he's shot. Recuperating, he faces a Chinese surgeon who is about to remove the bullet using a form of acupuncture as an anasthetic. Bond later witnesses a terrorist attack at the Singapore airport and discovers that those responsible are CHAOS (the Consortium for the Hastening of the Annihilation of the Organized Society), led by "an Orson Welles monster, crippled and confined to a wheelchair". In a Swiss private clinic, devices are secretly inserted into the bodies of wealthy patient transforming them into human bombs. CHAOS plans to detonate one of these devices at Sydney Opera House while the Queen of England is in attendence. Bond uses his newly-acquired acupuncture skills to perform an emergency operation and defuse the bomb.
  • John Landis was briefly hired to work on the script. He wrote an opening scene where "James Bond comes into a room and this machine, this robot, which is unbelievably efficient, tries to kill him. Finally at the end you think Bond has been killed and it's revealed it was a training exercise".
    • He wrote another intro:
      We fade up and you are in a central square in some Latin American country. Violently staggering into the shot is James Bond, which is supposed to be Roger. I wanted him to have a deep cut in his forehead with blood running down his face. He's clearly in trouble. He looks and sees the cathedral and dashes up the stairs, opens the big door and goes inside. The troops go up and down every pew searching. They give up. On the altar is an enormous crucifix and on the back of it, hiding, is James Bond.
  • 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.
  • Sylvia Kristel was considered for Naomi.
  • According to stunt arranger Bob Simmons, following the parachute jump, Bond was to land on a lake behind a speedboat, where he fires a grappling iron which hooks onto the boat and turns himself into an instant water-skier. It was scrapped for being too outlandish.
  • 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 earlier draft of the screenplay finds 007 firing a single round from his pistol into Stromberg's harpoon gun itself, which backfires explosively in his face. "You should've checked your barrel," Bond comments wryly.
  • 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.
  • David Prowse was considered for Jaws.

  • Before Star Wars hit, there was an attempt to write a synopsis for an earlier version of For Your Eyes Only (either by Christopher Wood or Tom Mankiewicz). A treatment for this version was prepped, which would have had a number of differences:
    • Instead of Greece, most of the story was set in Central America (again, vestiges that ended up in Moonraker), Austria and Nepal.
    • The plot would have centred on a The Boys from Brazil-esque Nazi conspiracy and instead of an ATAC, the MacGuffin would have been the Sokol-17, a Skylab-type crashed Soviet space satellite/secret orbital weapons platform.
    • The villain would be Milton Krest (a character from the original For Your Eyes Only book, later reimagined in Licence to Kill), with Lee Van Cleef and Jack Palance considered. Here, Krest would be a former American Neo Nazi and George Lincoln Rockwell-type who is now the multi-millionaire head of the Krest Foundation, a multinational petroleum company and scientific research organisation based in Paraguay.
    • The Krest Foundation would partly act as a front for an ODESSA-type Nazi organisation called Zodiac, clearly intended as a Captain Ersatz / Suspiciously Similar Replacement of SPECTRE. Even, the briefly-glimpsed Zodiac Chief, disfigured hunchback ex-Gestapo Herr Von Hammerstein (also a character from the book) is clearly Blofeld in all but name.
    • The female lead would still have been called Judy Havelock (per the original story), but was here half-Mexican, half-English.
    • Judy/Melina's father Timothy Havelock would have had a larger role than in the finished film. In this version, Havelock is Bond's former sidekick/mentor, and would be introduced meeting Bond in London at a top secret meeting. He would also be killed not by Gonzales, but by a German female assassin named Hedy.
    • Gonzales would have a larger role. Introduced in the pre-credits as Bond's target, he would have been a flamboyant flute-playing Carlos the Jackal-type, who first meets Bond in Corsica, using explosives triggered by his flute. He would be the main henchman.
    • Jaws would possibly come back, perhaps killing off Gonzales.
  • Steven Spielberg offered to direct the film after the release of Close Encounters of the Third Kind, but Cubby Broccoli turned him down.
  • Broccoli asked Industrial Light & Magic to do the special effects. The negotiations went well, until they asked for 2% of the profits.
  • Tom Mankiewicz wrote a draft partially set in the Himalayas that featured a bow-and-arrow wielding heroine called "The Archer" and featured scenes in The Taj Mahal and Bombay. Producer William Cartlidge recalls scouting locations in Nepal and the Kashmir region looking for a monastry for the villains' lair and snow for a ski sequence. The Moonraker fleet was originally named Enterprise.
  • According to screenwriter Christopher Wood, there was going to be an action set-piece involving a Hawker jet, as well as a motorcycle chase through the walkways of Venice, but "Cubby was not convinced. To him, a motorcycle chase was too downmarket for Bond". Wood also recalled: "At one stage the boat was going to go underwater, then Bond comes up in a jetpack. Cubby has a jetpack fixation".
  • Several scenes were dropped from the script to appear in future films - a scene in the Eiffel Tower restaurant, Bond and Holly being keel-hauled by Drax's yacht in Guanabara Bay and aerial action above the Amazon using Acrostar Jets.
  • Wood had a different idea for the glassworks fight:
    I wanted 007 attacked with a white-hot poker that would be plunged into a padded chair just beside his head. The leather/straw filling would ignite, melt, shrivel, with flames scorching Bond's face as he struggled to twist away.
  • 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. Jaclyn Smith was offered the role, but turned it down due to scheduling conflicts with Charlie's Angels. Sylvia Kristel auditioned for the role.
  • Corinne Dufour was originally written as a "sassy" and "slightly ditzy, southern Californian valley girl" named Trudi Parker. This was changed when the production moved to France and Corinne Cleary was cast. Kim Basinger auditioned for the role, though she would later play Domino in Never Say Never Again.
  • 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.
  • 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 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, Melina was the daughter of 006.
  • 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.
  • Sylvia Kristel was originally considered for Melina Havelock, but she was busy filming Lady Chatterley's Lover in England.
  • 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.
  • The pre-titles sequence had music cue for when not-Blofeld takes over Bond's helicopter that went unused.
  • Apparently, there was a plan to make two Bond films simultaneously, with John Hough to direct David Warbeck in a film possibly entitled Quantum of Solace -or simply Quantum, to be shot in Italy (not to clash with the production of FYEO in Pinewood) and Asia. Apparently, this would have begun with the assassination of M by Asian assassins in a London department store, and Bond going on a Roaring Rampage of Revenge in the Far East, including Cambodia. Like in the short story, it would have had Milton Krest again as the baddie, here a decorated American WWII hero trying to blackmail the US to "return to Vietnam" via the hostage of several American POWs.

  • 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 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 Brolin was actually on the point of moving to London to begin work on Octopussy at the time.
  • George MacDonald Fraser's early ideas included a pre-title sequence set during the Isle of Man's TT motorcycle race with a "duel-to-the-death sidecar race between Bond and a heavy", Bond being trapped in a cage with an angry gorilla, a supercharged tuk-tuk supplied by Q Branch with a bulletproof shield and other concealed weaponry, Bond driving a green Bentley which is destroyed in a fight with a gorilla and a cameo from Goldfinger outside the American airbase in Germany. Kamal Khan was originally described as "a striking figure in his wine coloured turban and forked beard". Miss Moneypenny originally didn't appear, her role going to Miss Penelope Smallbone. Octopussy's real name was originally October Debussy - because she was born in October and her mother liked Debussy.
  • 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.
    • Sylvia Kristel, Cybill Shepherd and Kathleen Turner were 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.
  • Mishka and Grishka were originally French, but the knife-throwers offered the parts didn't want to be killed off, so Brits were cast instead.
  • Moneypenny's assistant Miss Penelope Smallbone was introduced in the film as a potential replacement for Moneypenny herself in future installments as Lois Maxwell was visibly ageing. This was not followed upon, as Maxwell came back in the following film and Moneypenny remained in the films afterwards, with the younger Caroline Bliss replacing Maxwell.

    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.
  • In the original script, May Day is 28 years old. The script also never specifies that May Day is a black woman with a muscular body, suggesting that Grace Jones was not the first actress the screenwriters had in mind for the character.
  • 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.
  • In the script, Pan Ho gets all of Scarpine's lines up to "No, those are the servant’s quarters". She's also the one who pats Bond down and knocks him out. In the final film, she only speaks once.
  • 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, Sharon Stone and Priscilla Presley were considered for the role of Stacey Sutton before the casting of Tanya Roberts.
  • 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. (Gogol still appears, but only in a cameo at the end.)
  • Originally, Pet Shop Boys were 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. Elements from this premise would appear in other films: Casino Royale (2006) would depict Bond as a newly-promoted 00 agent but was a reboot; there was a Chinese agent named Kwang in Licence to Kill, again as an enemy of Bond; and the idea of Bond avenging a fallen mentor was in the initial drafts for GoldenEye, though the character was turned into a peer instead, and Sean Bean cast as Alec Trevelyan, 006.
  • Lee Van Cleef was considered for Whittaker.
  • Whitaker was originally named Krest, the name ending up in Licence to Kill.
  • 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 uncancelled 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 
  • Check out the original treatment here.
  • 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. Read the full story here.
  • 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.
  • Early in development, there were plans to recast Q with Dudley Moore. He turned it down, but not before he had shown enough interest in the role to travel to Mexico for a costume fitting.

Pierce Brosnan

  • 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.
    • The initial draft of Property of a Lady, featured a terrorist attack on a British nuclear facility in Scotland, leading Bond traveling to East Asia to investigate corrupt British-Chinese businessman Sir Henry Lee Ching along with jewel smuggler/CIA freelancer Connie Webb, and Bond fighting his former mentor Denholm Crisp, as well as crossing paths with the Chinese Ministry of State Security and fighting Ching's girlfriend, who is revealed to be a Terminator-esque security robot who Bond eventually fights.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
    • This draft opened with a wine auction onboard an high-speed train. The villain gives himself away by serving Bond before a lady. The scene culminates with Bond driving his Aston Martin from the car bay of the train to the top of the carriages and down the sleek nose cone.
  • 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.
  • There was originally a sequence where Zukovsky forces Bond to play Russian Roulette. Bond would cooly put the gun to his head and pull the trigger, prompting Zukovsky to declare:
    Bond, you are the only man I know who can tell the difference between a Walther PPK with one bullet in the chamber and a Walther PPK with no bullet in the chamber, just by the weight.
  • 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.
  • 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. Renny Harlin and Peter Medak were also considered.
  • Elizabeth Hurley and Elle MacPherson were considered for the part of Natalya Simonova before Izabella Scorupco was cast.
  • At one point, Courteney Cox was considered for the role of Xenia Onatopp, but she was turned down due to scheduling conflicts with Friends.
  • The Rolling Stones were offered the chance to sing the title song but declined. Ace of Base recorded a song that wasn't used. U2 recorded a version of the song, which was written by Bono and the Edge.
  • Some of Eric Serra's score was replaced:
  • As with the previous film, there were talks of recasting the role of Q with Dudley Moore.
  • The scene of the tank going through a truck full of drinks was storyboarded with a Pepsi truck, highlighting even more how capitalism entered Russia. Before filming happened, a Product Placement deal was struck with Perrier instead.

    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 trivialize 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 Death, 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.
  • Nicholas Meyer was brought in and concocted the idea Carver's true plan was to cull the world's population by at least half. Bond would appear to join his crusade, but truly working against him. It was quickly vetoed as too outlandish.
  • There were three songs written for the main theme. Two of them made it into the film as the main title and end 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.
  • The Cardigans were asked to submit a theme song, but rejected the request due to exhaustion that would be exacerbated by the potential added workload; Nina Persson has called her decision to turn down the offer "one of my biggest mistakes."
  • Monica Bellucci auditioned for Paris Carver. Bellucci would later appear in a small role in Spectre. Sela Ward had auditioned for the role, but lost out, reportedly being told that the producers wanted her but ten years younger.
  • 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 September 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".
  • In an earlier version of the script, the leading female characters are very different. Wai Lin doesn't exist. Instead, the female lead is an American salvage ship captain named Sidney Winch. She is the niece of Elliot Harmsway (Carver in the final version) and has no clue that her uncle is a villain. Natasha Henstridge was the top choice to play Sidney before the character was replaced by Wai Lin. Also, Paris isn't revealed to be Elliot's wife until later in the story, as a twist. She is also written as much less sympathetic and comes across as spoiled and weak.
  • There were plans to give Wai Lin her own movie.

    The World is Not Enough 
  • Among the ideas tossed around by the writers were "a villain who wants to play Russian Roulette with the Earth by blowing up the Moon to see where the pieces will land", a topical plot involving French nuclear testing and a genetically targeted virus that would kill one in ten people.
  • 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.
  • The opening sequence originally took place in Havana (hence why cigars feature) and later Switzerland (hence the presence of a Swiss banker).
  • 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. According to Robert Wade, Alfonso Cuarón was offered the job.
    They were genuinely interested in him directing it and this is well before he did Harry Potter. I'm not sure whether he quite got the Britishness of Bond because we had this boat chase on the Thames and he said, "Why can't we make that the Hudson River?" It's not quite the iconography, is it?
  • Peter Medak was considered to direct, but when Species II flopped, he was ruled out.
  • 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 canceled. 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. No such cameos were actually planned.
  • 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 (making her initial outfits comparison to Lara Croft possibly an orphaned reference) before becoming a nuclear physicist.
  • In early drafts, Renard had several female minions in his inner circle. In one draft, the scene that would ultimately become Renard's entrance at the Devil's Breath cave was originally took place at Zukovsky's Casino, in a champagne lounge, where Davidov would attempt to solicit a prostitute, who would then reveal herself as one of Renard's assassins as Renard and his men would appear from out of the shadows and ambush Davidov.
  • Monica Bellucci, Elizabeth Hurley, Milla Jovovich, Sharon Stone and Catherine Zeta-Jones were considered for Elektra King.
  • 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.
  • Renard was originally French and named Claude Zerault.
  • Natasha Henstridge and Tiffani Thiessen were considered for the role of Christmas Jones.
  • Early reports of the film in newspapers stated that Q was going to be killed off, presumably in the opening explosion. He survives and retires instead in the final version. The same articles also mentioned M getting taken hostage much earlier than she is in the actual film.
  • There was originally going to be a car chase in Istanbul, but it had to be scrapped due to civil unrest in the city.
  • There were brief talks of Mick Jagger and David Stewart doing the theme song.

    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. Alternativly, the idea was reported in tabloid newspapers at the time but with Connery as Bond's long lost father.
  • 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 (2004) 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).
  • At one point, Bond was to be attacked by a cadre of kung fu fighters on two rising glass elevators that were going up and down a thirty-storey building. Robert Wade recalled that it was, "Gravity defying Matrix-style stuff, done for real because in a confined space, you can actually run around the walls". It was eventually dropped because it didn't advance the story.
  • 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 and Olivia Williams were 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. Michael Bay was offered the job, but he did Bad Boys II instead. Ang Lee, John McTiernan, Bryan Singer, Martin Scorsese and 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.
  • David Arnold wrote a cue for Bond's arrival in London and Graves' introduction that was rejected in favour of "London Calling" by The Clash.

Daniel Craig

    Casino Royale 

    Quantum of Solace 
  • The original outline had Mr. White being handed over to the CIA for questioning. Unbeknownst to Bond, he allows White to escape and follows him to his employers. White goes to the Palio in Siera - a passion of his - knowing he is to be killed by his own organisation. Bond turns up and witnesses White being shot by his own outfit. Bond pursuses the killer across the Palio, ending in a vertiginous rope fight where Bond shoots the hitman. M reprimands Bond, as a vital lead is now dead. The money that White collected at the end of the previous film is being used by a mysterious organisation called Quantum, which is hiding in plain sight as OPEC. The villain, named Dante, is in league with Vesper's boyfriend, Yusuf Kabira. Bond infiltrates the organisation and takes on the job of the assassin he killed in Siera, a woman in Libya who is trading trafficked antiquities that have been looted from Iraq. Bond captures and tortures Yusef over a prolonged period of time, extracting information from him, but also out of rage for Vesper. Bond later goes rogue from MI6 and the CIA. The coda takes place at the Bregenz opera, where Quantum are using earpieces and hiding in plain sight to have secret meetings within meetings. Bond catches up with Dante, only to discover that he's been killed by Quantum, leaving Bond to chase further up the Quantum hierarchy. There was a symbolic ending where Bond walks in front of a giant eye "and he's just a sillhouette again".
  • According to Wade, some drafts featured Moneypenny, but killed off M.
  • Roger Michell (who had worked with Daniel Craig on Enduring Love) was briefly attached to direct. His story went "through the hymn sheet of a Bond film".
    It was a multi-city quest - Bombay, Berlin, Istanbul - with a great bad guy who had figured out a way to bring the internet down. Planes would have fallen out of the sky, nuclear reactors would have stopped reacting and the world would have gone into meltdown. It started off with Bond drunk, driving through Rome with somebody in his boot. I typed this up and presented it to the Brocs. I could see it wasn't overwhelming them.
  • Writer Paul Haggis suggested a startling ending which the filmmakers rejected:
    What Bond wants to know when he's interrogating [Greene] is, "Where is she?" He gives him the information he wants, which is strictly personal. We find Bond in Albania at an old Soviet-type orphanage. It's run by a religious order and he goes back there and he finds that there's a child and he takes the money and he hands it over to the nuns. "Take care of her" and walks away, realising that Vesper had betrayed him because there was a child. She had a child with this man she was in love with. We know that she was in love and this man betrayed her in Casino Royale. But then I thought that was not a strong enough reason to betray Bond. If there was a child involved that they'd taken from her and were holding, then that's a compelling reason to betray someone. We expect Bond to come and keep the child but he doesn't. Bond realises he's just trying to give this child the best life he possibly can and walks away. And that's where M meets him, out front, afterwards, in Albania when he's walking away from the orphanage.
  • Felix Leiter had a bigger role in early drafts, but this was changed due to on-set re-writes.
  • The Title Theme Tune was originally going to be the song "No Good About Goodbye" written by Bond series composer David Arnold and performed by Shirley Bassey, singer of the themes for Goldfinger, Moonraker and Diamonds Are Forever. Arnold seems to have been quite upset by the change, as the real theme song barely makes an appearance in the score, while "No Good About Goodbye" appears several times during emotional moments. (He did the same thing with "Surrender" in Tomorrow Never Dies)
  • Paul McCartney turned down the chance to do the theme song.
  • Amy Winehouse and producer Mark Ronson recorded a demo track for the title song, but due to Winehouse's ongoing legal and personal troubles, no further progress was made on the song.
  • Originally the climax was planned to happen in the Swiss alps.
  • Bruno Ganz was considered for the role of Greene.
  • Jessica Biel auditioned for Strawberry Fields. Keira Knightley was also considered.
  • The film wasn't originally a direct sequel to Casino Royale, but seeing as the 2007 Writer's Strike left them with the "bare bones of a script" according to Daniel Craig, it was given stronger connections to the preceding movie, to the point of making it an Immediate Sequel.
  • Al Pacino was reportedly considered for General Medrano.
  • Gal Gadot auditioned for Camille. She did not get the part, but the casting director then had her try for Fast & Furious which did her much better (though her true Star-Making Role was yet to come).
  • Alex Proyas and Tony Scott were considered to direct.

  • Peter Morgan wrote a treatment entitled Once Upon a Spy. It started during the Cold War, where M had been an MI6 agent stationed in Berlin, where she had an affair with a KGB spy. Thirty years later, following the man's death, his unscrupulous son, a corrupt Russian oligarch, blackmails M, casting a dark shadow over her career. She sends Bond on a mission to make a payoff. At the end of the film, Bond would be forced to kill M.
    Robert Wade: We always found that really, really difficult to make credible or satisfying. It was very dark and frankly, I don't think it really worked. The only thing that really remained was M's past comes back to haunt her and she dies at the end.
  • The original screenplay would have more closely followed the story arc of the books, with Bond becoming an amnesiac and unknowingly impregnating his lover Lily in Turkey, who would have tracked him down to London after he returned to MI6. It would have featured Bond tracking down a Francisco Scaramanga-esque villain into the Andes Mountains, and would have had a "Heart of Darkness feel".
  • 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 he 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.
  • One 2010 article by CinemaBlend reported that a tentative plot for the then-unnamed third Daniel Craig Bond film, which would have still been about Quantum, would've had Bond finally meeting the leader of Quantum,note  with the plot twist that it was a woman, to be played by Rachel Weisz.note  Amusingly enough, the article was published roughly a year before Craig married Weisz in real life.
  • 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).
  • In the original draft, Q was a more shabby character, potentially to be played by Simon Russell Beale. He originally met Bond in a greasy spoon in the East End of London.
  • Moneypenny was originally introduced with Bond informing her that her boyfriend is a traitor, a scene taken from the short story "007 in New York".
  • 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.)
  • Kevin Spacey was the first choice for Raoul Silva, but he was busy running the Globe Theatre in London.
  • Rhys Ifans was the first choice for Patrice.

  • Nicolas Winding Refn would later reveal that he turned down an offer to direct the movie. Shane Black, Danny Boyle, Cary Fukunaga (who would go on to direct No Time to Die), Tom Hooper, Ang Lee, Christopher Nolan and David Yates were also considered before Mendes returned.
  • According to assistant director Michael Lerman, the pre-titles sequence was different:
    At first, it was set in Cuba at another type of festival. There was a car chase and Bond's car went off the side of a dock and landed on a yacht with a beautiful woman lying there. It had more of a comedic ending.
  • In an early draft, Bond stumbles into a weird schoolroom where he discovers a message that is being given to an unknown terrorist by a shady figure, who is later revealed to be Blofeld. Bond is rescued by a British Embassy figure, "a sweaty linen-suited Brit, written with actor Toby Jones in mind".
  • At least two drafts of the script had the common element of having Bill Tanner being revealed as a traitor.
    • Sam Mendes sent writer John Logan research material concerning "smartblood" that could be used to track people and transmit information. This would be used as the villain's plot in No Time to Die.
      The hook in my version was that a traitor, who was Tanner, downloaded all the files of MI6 and all the NATO powers into Bond's smartblood. Blofeld was to capture Bond and drain his blood.
    • Another draft attempt had Moneypenny "very badly wounded [in the pre-title sequence]. The rest of the movie is about her recovering and figuring out Tanner is a traitor".
  • One draft involved MI6 vs CIA in which Felix Leiter played "a major part".
  • At one time, the finale involved "a conference gathering of intelligence personnel targeted by a ship of toxic waste with a bomb on board sailing up the Thames".
  • Logan devised an ending which included "a debate in the Houses of Parliament, a lot of gunplay outside which eventually ended in the tower of Big Ben. It was very British".
  • 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. Q is forced to kill a man, prompting Bond to quip, "Sometimes a trigger has to be pulled", echoing Q's putdown in Skyfall. 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.
  • Robert Wade mentioned Moneypenny's role:
    At one stage, we had her going into the paper archives, a very tense scene where she's going to find a file which connects C and Oberhauser. It was a nice scene because everything in the movie is about digital and modernity but actually the streets are still hidden in these paper files. Originally, the scene when Bond asks Moneypenny to work against Ralph's orders took place in Highgate Cemetery by Judi's grave. As Moneypenny leaves, Bond says, "Do you think she'd have liked the irony?" Moneypenny asks, "What irony?" Bond says, "Her ending up to the left of Karl Marx?"
  • Originally, Bond and Blofeld were to play a childhood card game in an oak-panelled study, with hazelnuts as chips, which young Bond had consistently won.
  • The screenwriters created a backstory for SPECTRE — Blofeld, Mr. White and C served in the French Foreign Legion, which had become a criminal organistation in the desert. In order to survive, they killed everyone else in their unit and ate them. The ruins of an old Foreign Legion fort were once to have been a setting.
  • Blofeld was originally named Heinrich Stockman, then Ernst Serban.
  • Contenders to sing the theme song were Lana Del Rey, Rihanna, Sia, Ed Sheeran, and Radiohead. Radiohead's involvement was particularly storied: they initially sent in the OK Computer outtake "Man of War" (first heard in Meeting People is Easy as "Big Boots"), but the idea was immediately shot down as the song wasn't written specifically for Spectre, making it ineligible for a "Best Original Song" Oscar. Then Radiohead put together a new song — a Title Track for the film — during the sessions for A Moon Shaped Pool, only for this to also be turned down on the grounds that it was unfitting, leading to the band parting ways with MGM. Radiohead would ultimately release "Spectre" for free that Christmas, later including it as the B-side to "Burn the Witch" and on the bonus CD single in the special edition of A Moon Shaped Pool.
  • Chiwetel Ejiofor was initially considered for C, who originally had a more expanded role in the story. However, the role was reduced and made younger, thus removing his connection to Mr. White.
  • M's message from beyond the grave was originally supposed to be her sending Bond a letter. Mendes wanted the audience to be reminded of Judi Dench, so it was changed to a video will.
  • According to visual effects supervisor Steve Begg:
    Originally, the SPECTRE base was to be underneath this massive crater out in the desert and at the climax of that particular action sequencce the whole place exploded and then imploded downwards into this subterranean base. That was written out after Sam fet it was a bit too like a Marvel comic piece of action.
  • Gary Oldman was 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." This would be later said from Bond to Madeleine at the beginning of No Time to Die.
  • 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.
  • Ralph Fiennes revealed in an interview that the writers pitched the idea of having M turn out to be Blofeld and that he himself was considered for Bond when he was younger (it's not clear what time period he's referring to).

    No Time to Die 
  • Writer John Logan was originally slated to write Bond 24 and Bond 25 as a two-film arc.
  • Danny Boyle was first tapped to direct and co-write (with John Hodge) the film in early 2018, then he left the project six months later, due to Creative Differences with the producers (after the film ultimately came out, some sources claimed he refused to have Bond die), and Cary Fukunaga was eventually hired. Boyle later said that the experience was so bad that it had completely soured him on doing any more major blockbusters and he'd be sticking purely with his own work.
  • Christopher McQuarrie, Jean-Marc Vallée, Edgar Wright, David Mackenzie, S. J. Clarkson, Yann Demange and Denis Villeneuve were considered to direct the film after Boyle left, while Christopher Nolan ruled himself out.
  • During the time Danny Boyle was attached to direct, a leaked casting sheet described the male leading role as a "cold and charismatic Russian" and the female leading role as a "witty and skillful survivor". The production also sought male supporting roles of Māori descent with "advanced combat skills". This version would have reportedly had 007 die. The last plot point ends up making it into the final cut.
  • Dan Romer (Cary Fukunaga's Associated Composer) was replaced by Hans Zimmer just under four months before the originally-scheduled premiere, allegedly due to Creative Differences.
  • Grace Jones, who played May Day in A View to a Kill, was intended to make a cameo in the film's Jamaica scenes; however, she quit within minutes of seeing how small her part was.
  • Cary Fukunaga pitched the idea of the entire film taking place in Bond's head, namely during the torture sequence in Spectre. Interestingly, the idea that the final act of Spectre was indeed a Dying Dream of Bond's was speculated at the time the movie came out.
  • Originally, Safin and his henchman would wear masks based on Siberian bear-hunting armour. The henchman character was written out before filming, and Fukunaga requested changes to Safin's costume, resulting in the Noh theatre mask.
  • Ana de Armas' one-scene role as Paloma was apparently going to be even smaller originally. Neal Purvis and Robert Wade stated in an interview that they originally conceived Paloma's role as limited only to being a contact to pass info to Bond, but that Cary Fukunaga wanted the role to be expanded, and Purvis and Wade speculated that expanding the role was one of Phoebe Waller-Bridge's jobs when she joined the film to do rewrites.
  • Several possible alternate endings were considered for the film. Specifically, while Bond dying was determined very in advance, how Bond was going to die was a big question. Fukunaga toyed with the idea of 007 being shot by an unknown assailant, before deciding that that would have been too run-of-the-mill.
  • Prince Charles entertained the idea of making a cameo in the film, but that didn't go through. He had previously visited the set of The Living Daylights alongside his then-wife Diana, leading to a joking moment (albeit awkward in hindsight) of Diana testing a prop bottle by smashing it over Charles's head.

Non-Eon Productions films and miscellaneous

    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.
  • In Diamonds Are Forever, Kidd was originally named Dolly, then Gore. Fleming changed it at the request of his wife's cousin, who was nicknamed "Boofy" Gore.
  • The first draft of From Russia with Love ended with Bond and Romanova enjoying a romance. Something similar would be used in the film adaptation, due to it being filmed out of order after Dr. No.
  • 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.
  • The short story "From a View to a Kill" was initially intended to be the backstory for Hugo Drax, the villain of Moonraker. The story would have taken place during World War II, and featured Drax as the motorcycle assassin who crashes his bike and is taken to an American field hospital. Later, the hospital is bombed, leaving Drax with amnesia and a disfigured face.
  • 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 on a train to Mexico with assassins in it.
  • In 1985, Raymond Benson, who would write six Bond novels, planned to adapt Casino Royale for the stage in America.

    Casino Royale (1967) 
  • The project didn't start as a spoof/comedy but evolved into one for various reasons. This didn't please Peter Sellers one bit.
  • 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.
  • Laurence Harvey was considered for James Bond.
  • 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. As Hitchcock notes, when MGM first had the rights, they also considered Alfred Hitchcock to direct, also with Grant as Bond, but that fell through. And then Columbia Pictures got the rights and did this film...

    Never Say Never Again 
  • The film was not Kevin McClory's first attempt at remaking Thunderball: in 1975, with the help of Sean Connery and writer Len Deighton, he created a very insane script called Warhead, which included SPECTRE shooting down airplanes over the Bermuda Triangle, and Bond deactivating a robot shark carrying an atom bomb in the sewers of Manhattan.
  • Peter R. 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. Terence Young, who helmed Dr. No, From Russia With Love and Thunderball, was also asked, but turned it down. Richard Donner was also considered.
  • 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, but Sean Connery vetoed it after hearing his score for 48 Hours and deciding it was "too tacky" — reportedly he later regretted this decision and said that had he heard Horner's score for Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan, he would have been fine with hiring him. Michel Legrand was hired instead.
  • Orson Welles was considered for Blofeld.
  • 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).
  • In the early 1990s, producer Jack Schwartzman was supposedly planning a Special Edition LaserDisc, with an all-new extended cut of this movie [with talk of having this movie re-scored] which failed to materialise.
  • Kevin McClory purchased a full-page ad in 1984 that he would do a rival Bond series starting with S.P.E.C.T.R.E.. This never came to be. So he sought to make yet another independent film remake of Thunderball, first announcing in 1989 Atomic Warfare, which he wanted Pierce Brosnan for (as he was the first option before Timothy Dalton came in, and ended up his replacement), and then by the following decade trying to get Warhead 2000 off the ground, reportedly with Dalton or Liam Neeson as the lead. To do that, he partnered with Columbia Pictures, who still had the rights to Casino Royale and thus could use two Ian Fleming novels to start a rival Bond franchise (the rumours even claimed Columbia had brought in Roland Emmerich and Dean Devlin to work in Warhead 2000). However, legal action by MGM blocked this attempt. As part of the legal action, MGM bought out the 1967 Casino Royale as a result of the settlement with Columbia's parent Sony, and given they had purchased Never Say Never Again from Schwartzman shortly prior, this united the entire Bond canon under one single roof (Sony in return got the rights to Spider-Man, which they had inherited from The Cannon Group - they would also later lead a group that would own MGM for a time, resulting in them releasing the Craig-era Bond films up until Spectre). McClory in turn tried an extreme measure: suing MGM and Eon claiming the cinematic Bond character is not only separate from the literary secret agent, but was partly his creation, and therefore co-owned by him - which was dismissed in 2001 as a Frivolous Lawsuit with claims made too late to be taken seriously. 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.

    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.