List of actors considered for the James Bond character
This is a list of actors who were considered for the role of James Bond, both officially (auditioned by the film producers) and unofficially (supported by fans and celebrities) considered for the role of agent 007.
|Stanley Baker||1961||Would not commit to a three picture contract.|
|Rex Harrison||1962||Turned down in favour of Connery.|
|David Niven||1962||Turned down in favour of Connery (later played Bond in the 1967 film Casino Royale) (Fleming's personal choice).|
|Richard Todd||1962||Ian Fleming's first choice for the role, but scheduling conflicts prevented him from getting it.|
|Jeremy Brett||1967||Reason unknown.|
|Michael Caine||1967||Didn't want typecasting in spy films, having previously starred in the three "Harry Palmer" spy films.|
|Robert Campbell||1967||George Lazenby won the role based on a screen-test fight scene.|
|Dick van Dyke||1967||His "English" accent failed to appeal to producer Albert R. Broccoli.|
|Patrick Mower||1967||Reason unknown.|
|Daniel Pilon||1967||Harry Saltzman felt he was too young, 27 years at time.|
|John Richardson||1967||George Lazenby won the role based on a screen-test fight scene.|
|Anthony Rogers||1967||George Lazenby won the role based on a screen-test fight scene.|
|Terence Stamp||1967||His ideas for the future films felt too radical for producer Harry Saltzman.|
|Hans De Vries||1967||George Lazenby won the role based on a screen-test fight scene.|
|Eric Braeden||1968||Albert R. Broccoli thought he was British[clarification needed] and told him that no one from outside the Commonwealth would be suitable as James Bond.|
|Oliver Reed||1969||Unknown reason.|
|Timothy Dalton||1969-1972||He thought himself too young and did not wish to follow Connery. Would decline the role again in 1979, before finally being cast in 1986.|
|Simon Dee||1971||Put forward to follow Sean Connery, despite thought by most people as a chat show host, rather than an actor.|
|William Gaunt||1971||Auditioned for the role as Bond for Live and Let Die but lost the role to Roger Moore.|
|John Gavin||1971, 1973||Left the role the first time when Sean Connery returned, and was denied the second time because he was not English.|
|Simon Oates||1971, 1973||Was strongly considered but turned down when Sean Connery returned; was working on other projects when Roger Moore was selected.|
|Ranulph Fiennes||1972||For having "hands too big and a face like a farmer".|
|Timothy Dalton||1979||Turned the role down for a second time as he did not like the direction the series was taking. Would eventually be cast in 1986 for The Living Daylights.|
|David Warbeck||1979||Acting considered too "wooden".|
|Lewis Collins||1982||Collins claims the producers thought he was too aggressive.|
|Ian Ogilvy||1983||Roger Moore agreed to return.|
|James Brolin||1983||Was lined up for the part, even going so far as buying a house in London for the production, before Roger Moore agreed to return.|
|Pierce Brosnan||1986||Became front runner for The Living Daylights after Timothy Dalton could not take the part due to his commitment to Brenda Starr. However, Brosnan's option to star in a further series of Remington Steele was taken up by NBC, and EON refused to have him do both Steele and Bond at the same time. Fortuitously, Dalton became freed up at just that time, and so reaccepted the role, which he played until 1989. Brosnan would later play Bond from GoldenEye through to Die Another Day.|
|Daniel Pilon||1986||Timothy Dalton was chosen for the role.|
|Sam Neill||1986||Although he impressed producers as Reilly, Ace of Spies, Neill lost out to Timothy Dalton for this iteration of Bond.|
|Mel Gibson||1987||MGM suggested him for the role, but was rejected by Albert. R. Broccoli for not being British.|
|Christopher Lambert||1987||French accent prevented him from being chosen.|
|Sean Bean||1994||Was the second choice for EON if Timothy Dalton did not return; however, MGM overruled on both counts, and Pierce Brosnan was given the part. The producers were still impressed, and gave him the part of the villain Trevelyan, rewritten from the mentor part it originally was to become a direct parallel of Bond as Agent 006.|
|Mark Frankel||1994||Pierce Brosnan was chosen for the role.|
|Paul McGann||1994||Was given an audition and did impress producers, however, MGM insisted still on Pierce Brosnan for the role, but it was believed that McGann would have stepped in if Brosnan turned down the role.|
|Lambert Wilson||1994||Pierce Brosnan was chosen for the role.|
|Robbie Williams||2001||Considered to replace Pierce Brosnan after Williams parodied James Bond in his music video "Millenium" which was actually shot at Pinewood Studios. Ultimately, he was not what the casting director was looking for. Robbie also declined the role feeling he himself was not refined enough to play the character.|
|Henry Cavill||2005||The preferred choice of director Martin Campbell; however, was deemed too young to portray Bond.|
|Rupert Friend||2005||Daniel Craig was chosen for the role.|
|Julian McMahon||2005||Daniel Craig was chosen for the role.|
|Alex O'Loughlin||2005||Daniel Craig was chosen for the role. References to Bond was featured in the reboot of Hawaii Five-0 during the first season.|
|Clive Owen||2005||The producers were unwilling to provide gross profit points.|
|Dougray Scott||2005||Reason unknown.|
|Goran Višnjić||2005||Reason unknown.|
Declined the role
A number of actors who have come under consideration for the role of James Bond have declined the offer for various reasons.
|Richard Burton||1959, 1961, 1968||Felt the role was a new untested concept/wanted more than the producers would pay.|
|Cary Grant||1961||Felt he was too old at time being 58; also just wanted to do one film.|
|Richard Johnson||1961||Terence Young's choice but did not want a contract, because he was under contract to MGM.|
|James Mason||1961||Offered a three-picture contract but only agreed to do two; turned down the role.|
|Patrick McGoohan||1961||Role too promiscuous.|
|Rod Taylor||1961||Felt the role was beneath him.|
|Steve Reeves||1962||Wanted more money than the producers would offer.|
|Clint Eastwood||1970||Felt Bond must be British.|
|Michael Gambon||1970||Felt he did not have good enough looks to play Bond.|
|Burt Reynolds||1970||Felt Bond must be British.|
|Adam West||1970||Felt Bond must be British.|
|Jon Finch||1972||Didn't want it|
|Liam Neeson||1994||Not interested in starring in action movies.|
|Robbie Williams||2001||Apart from not being ultimately what the studio was looking for, Williams also declined the role feeling he himself was not refined enough to play the character.|
|Hugh Jackman||2005||Not satisfied with plot direction |
|Ewan McGregor||2005||Fear of typecasting|
|Dominic West||2005||Heard rumors that Pierce Brosnan got the role and ruled himself out|
Dalton was offered the role in 1967 at the age of 21 and finally took the role 20 years later. Dalton denied the offer again in 1979 because he felt the plot directions of the Bond films were becoming less realistic and more dependent on gadgetry and repeated plot formulas.
Both Roger Moore and Dalton also did not accept the role for On Her Majesty's Secret Service, feeling that they did not want to be viewed as the man who replaced Sean Connery. Pierce Brosnan was chosen as Bond for The Living Daylights, but had to leave the role because the show Remington Steele had been renewed, as Brosnan played the lead role. The role then went to Dalton. Brosnan made his debut as Bond in GoldenEye.
Some actors have filmed screen tests using the bedroom scene in From Russia with Love (1963). Although not picked, their screen tests show some insights into how they would have portrayed Bond. Of the three, only Pierce Brosnan was eventually cast as Bond, eight years after testing.
|Actor (playing Bond)||Actress (playing Romanova)||Year|
|James Brolin||Maud Adams||1983|
|Pierce Brosnan||Maryam d'Abo||1986|
|Sam Neill||Fiona Fullerton||1986|
In Bond films
The following actors were considered for the role of James Bond, but were cast supporting or opposing characters.
|George Baker||1962||On Her Majesty’s Secret Service (1969)||Sir Hillary Bray||College professor|
|Michael Billington||1973, 1979, 1983||The Spy Who Loved Me (1977)||Sergei Barsov (KGB agent Anya Amasova's lover)||KGB|
|Julian Glover||1979||For Your Eyes Only (1981)||Aristotle Kristatos||MI6/KGB (double agent)|
|Sean Bean||1987, 1994||GoldenEye (1995)||Alec Trevelyan||Former MI6 agent 006 turned villain|
|Ralph Fiennes||1994, 2004||Skyfall (2012)||Gareth Mallory/M||MI6|
|Colin Salmon||2004||Tomorrow Never Dies (1997)
The World Is Not Enough (1999)
Die Another Day (2002)
Colin Salmon was also rumoured to be one of many actors to replace Pierce Brosnan as James Bond, a role that would go to Daniel Craig. Had he been chosen for the role, Salmon would have been the first black Bond. Brosnan has backed Salmon as a possible successor to Craig.
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