List of actors considered for the James Bond character

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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) but did not play the role of agent 007. The separate list of James Bond films details the actors who have played the role of agent 007.

Considered but not chosen[edit]

Actors who have come under consideration for the role of James Bond but were not chosen.

Actor Year Reason
Trevor Howard 1961 Sean Connery was chosen.
Stanley Baker 1961 Would not commit to a three-picture contract.[citation needed]
Rex Harrison 1962 Turned down in favour of Connery.[1]
David Niven 1962 Turned down in favour of Connery (later played Bond in the 1967 parody Casino Royale) (Fleming's personal choice).[1]
Richard Todd 1962 Ian Fleming's first choice for the role, but scheduling conflicts prevented him from getting it.[2]
Jeremy Brett 1967 Reason unknown.[3]
Peter Purves 1967 Prior to becoming a Blue Peter presenter, Purves auditioned for the role of 007 but was unsuccessful and later dumped by his agent.[4]
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.[5]
Dick van Dyke 1967 His poor "English" accent failed to appeal to producer Albert R. Broccoli.[6]
Patrick Mower 1967 Reason unknown.[7]
Daniel Pilon 1967 Harry Saltzman felt he was too young, 27 years at time.[8]
John Richardson 1967 George Lazenby won the role based on a screen-test fight scene.[5]
Anthony Rogers 1967 George Lazenby won the role based on a screen-test fight scene.[5]
Terence Stamp 1967 His ideas for the future films felt too radical for producer Harry Saltzman.[9]
Hans De Vries 1967 George Lazenby won the role based on a screen-test fight scene.[5]
Eric Braeden 1968 Albert R. Broccoli at first, thought he was British and so considered him.[clarification needed] But it was Broccoli's belief that no one from outside the Commonwealth would be suitable as James Bond.[10]
Peter Snow 1968 Auditioned for On Her Majesty's Secret Service but was rejected by Broccoli and Saltzman for being too tall (6 ft 5in).[11]
Oliver Reed 1969 Producers did not want to spend the time or money needed to reshape Reed's poor public image.[12]
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.
Cüneyt Arkın 1972 [13]
Roger Green 1970 Turned down in favour of Connery (auditioned and filmed for Diamonds Are Forever) (Filmed audition with Imogen Hassall).[1]
Simon Dee 1971 Put forward to follow Sean Connery, despite being thought of by most people as a chat show host, rather than an actor.[14]
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 Was offered the role as the first American Bond after George Lazenby quit, but lost out when Sean Connery decided to return to the role instead. Gavin was considered again for Live and Let Die, but was denied as producers felt Bond should remain 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.[15]
Ranulph Fiennes 1972 For having "hands too big and a face like a farmer".[16]
Peter Laughton 1972 Broccoli remarked that he would have been chosen had he auditioned for On Her Majesty's Secret Service. However, following the casting of Lazenby, the producers were wary of choosing actors with limited or no acting experience and decided to settle with Moore.[17]
Guy Peters 1972 The producers wanted to cast an actor with a "known face".[18]
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".[19]
Michael Jayston 1980 Role up for grabs when Roger Moore was considering quitting but Moore returned.[20] Jayston eventually portrayed the character in 1990 for a two-part BBC radio drama.[21]
Patrick Mower 1980 Auditioned when Roger Moore was considering quitting, but Moore returned[20]
Lewis Collins 1982 Collins claims the producers thought he was too aggressive.[22]
Ian Ogilvy 1983 Roger Moore agreed to return.
James Brolin 1983 Screen-tested for Octopussy, Was lined up for the part, even going so far as buying a house in London for the production, before Roger Moore once again 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.[23]
Sam Neill 1986 Although he impressed producers as Reilly, Ace of Spies, Neill lost out to Timothy Dalton for this iteration of Bond.
Antony Hamilton 1986 Was in negotiations with the producers before Timothy Dalton was chosen.
Mel Gibson 1987 Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer wanted 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.[24]
Neil Dickson 1987 Timothy Dalton was chosen.
Mark Greenstreet 1987 Told Terry Wogan in an interview that he was given a screen test for Bond but lost out to Timothy Dalton.
Finlay Light 1987 The little-known Australian model was one of the main contenders for the role in The Living Daylights, even signing a ten-year contract. Timothy Dalton was chosen anyway.
Andrew Clarke 1987 One of the most popular Australian actors of the 1980s, Clarke was considered but lost out to Dalton.
Simon MacCorkindale 1987 Timothy Dalton was 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.[25]
Paul McGann 1994 Was given an audition and did impress producers; however, MGM still insisted 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.[26]
Henry Cavill 2005 The preferred choice of director Martin Campbell; however, was deemed too young to portray Bond.[27]
Sam Worthington 2005 Daniel Craig was chosen for the role.[27]
Rupert Friend 2005 Daniel Craig was chosen for the role.[28]
Julian McMahon 2005 Daniel Craig was chosen for the role.[29]
Alex O'Loughlin 2005 Daniel Craig was chosen for the role. References to Bond were featured in the reboot of Hawaii Five-0 during the first season. The seventh and eighth seasons of the rebooted Hawaii Five-0 feature a recurring MI6 agent portrayed by Chris Vance (as MI6 agent Harry Langford) in 3 episodes.[30]
Clive Owen 2005 The producers were unwilling to provide gross profit points.[31]
Dougray Scott 2005 Reason unknown.[32]
Goran Višnjić 2005 Reason unknown.[27]

Considered but declined the role[edit]

Actors who have come under consideration for the role of James Bond but have declined the offer for various reasons.

Actor Year considered Reason
Richard Burton 1959, 1961, 1968 Felt the role was a new untested concept,[33] and wanted more than the producers would pay.[34]
Cary Grant 1961 Felt he was too old at time being 58; also just wanted to do one film.[35]
Richard Johnson 1961 Terence Young's choice but did not want a contract, because he was under contract to MGM.[36]
James Mason 1961 Offered a three-picture contract but only agreed to do two; turned down the role. Mason was later selected to play the villain Hugo Drax in Moonraker, but the part eventually went to Michael Lonsdale in order to satisfy the requirements of an Anglo-French co-production under the 1965–79 film treaty.
Patrick McGoohan 1961 Felt the role was too promiscuous.
Rod Taylor 1961 Felt the role was beneath him.[37]
Steve Reeves[38] 1962 Wanted more money than the producers would offer.
John Bingham, 7th Earl of Lucan 1967 Declined an offer from Albert R. Broccoli to screen test him for the role after he decided not to pursue acting. Would later become infamous when he vanished after his children's nanny was murdered.
Clint Eastwood 1970 Felt Bond must be British.[39][40]
Michael Gambon 1970 Felt he did not have good enough looks to play Bond.[41]
Burt Reynolds 1970 Felt Bond must be British.[42]
Adam West 1970 Felt Bond must be British.
Jon Finch 1972[43] Did not want it[43][44]
Liam Neeson 1994 Not interested in starring in action movies at that time.[45] However, in reality, his girlfriend wouldn't have married him if he took the role.[46]
Dominic West 2005 Heard a rumour that Pierce Brosnan would return and ruled himself out[47]

Both Timothy Dalton and Pierce Brosnan were linked to the role at least a decade before taking it but declined for various reasons.

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.

Considered but chosen for a different role in a Bond film[edit]

The following actors were considered for the role of James Bond, but were cast as supporting or opposing characters; in the case of Colin Salmon, consideration as Bond came after his appearances in the films.

Actor Years auditioned/considered Film Character Affiliation
George Baker 1962 On Her Majesty’s Secret Service (1969)
The Spy Who Loved Me (1977)
Sir Hillary Bray
Captain Benson
College professor
Royal Navy
Michael Billington 1968, 1973, 1979, 1981, 1983 The Spy Who Loved Me (1977) Sergei Barsov (KGB agent Anya Amasova's lover) KGB
Julian Glover[48] 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[49] 2004 Tomorrow Never Dies (1997)
The World Is Not Enough (1999)
Die Another Day (2002)
Charles Robinson MI6

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.[50]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c "James Bond: every man's fantasy". The National. 31 March 2010. Retrieved 26 August 2013.
  2. ^ "Richard Todd". The Daily Telegraph. London. 4 December 2009. Retrieved 8 May 2010.
  3. ^ "Jeremy Brett bio + info". Wanderings.
  4. ^ Purves, Peter (February 12, 2009). "Peter Purves: Affairs, drugs and a stalker - how I put the blue in Blue Peter". Daily Mail.
  5. ^ a b c d "The 5 finalists of 1967". Universal Exports.
  6. ^ Deming, Mark (August 30, 2013). "Van Dyke…Dick Van Dyke Could Have Been James Bond". Yahoo! Movies. Retrieved September 15, 2013.
  7. ^ "Alternative 007".
  8. ^ CanalD, Episode: Daniel Pilon
  9. ^ Foster, Alistair (9 May 2013). "Terence Stamp: I blew the chance to play James Bond". London Evening Standard. Evening Standard Limited. Retrieved 17 May 2013.
  10. ^ pp. 18-19 Weaver, Tom Eric Braeden Interview in I Talked with a Zombie: Interviews with 23 veterans of Horror and Sci-fi Films and Television McFarland, 2009.
  11. ^ "The name's Snow, Peter Snow: 18 Bonds who never were". The Daily Telegraph. The Telegraph. 2015-10-05. Retrieved 5 October 2015.
  12. ^ "The name's Snow, Peter Snow: 18 Bonds who never were". The Telegraph. 2015-10-05. Retrieved 7 September 2016.
  13. ^ [1]
  14. ^ "First TV chat king Simon Dee dies from bone cancer". Daily Mail. London.
  15. ^ "The Avengers Declassified: The Stage Show". Archived from the original on 5 November 2012. Retrieved 8 November 2012.
  16. ^ "Ranulph Fiennes - Ranulph Fiennes Biography, Explorer, Information, Profile, History". 7 March 1944. Archived from the original on 9 December 2012. Retrieved 8 November 2012.
  17. ^ "The Man Who Could Have Been Bond". 2001. Retrieved 17 March 2016.
  18. ^ Robert. "The Man Who Could Have Been Bond". Alternative 007. Retrieved 12 July 2016.
  19. ^ "David Warbeck considered as James Bond". Alternative 007.
  20. ^ a b "INTERVIEWS Michael Jayston".
  21. ^ "James Bond - You Only Live Twice - BBC Radio 4 Extra". BBC.
  22. ^ Hill, Valerie (2004) "Lewis Collins", Liverpool Daily Post, 4 June 2004
  23. ^ "Daniel Pilon Interview in French about James Bond".
  24. ^ "Christopher Lambert biography in French". Nanarland.
  25. ^ "Alternative007". Alternative007. Retrieved 8 November 2012.
  26. ^ "Lambert Wilson". wordiQ.
  27. ^ a b c "Bond race 'entering final stages'". BBC News. 29 September 2005.
  28. ^ "Rupert Friend". NetGlimse. Archived from the original on 2011-06-19.
  29. ^ "Julian McMahon says he is a final candidate for James Bond #6 role, decision in a couple of months". MI6. Archived from the original on 16 December 2005.
  30. ^ "Alex O'Loughlin". StarPulse.
  31. ^ "James Bond Producers Lose Clive Owen Over Contract Points". Movies Online.
  32. ^ "Dougray Scott rumored Next James Bond". Movies Online.
  33. ^ "Richard Burton could have been the first Bond star | Hollywood News - Yahoo! India Movies". Retrieved 2009-06-22.[dead link]
  34. ^ "The World Is Never Enough - The Moonraker Bond Station Where All Other Bond Sites End This One Begins". 1939-09-05. Archived from the original on 2010-01-20. Retrieved 2009-06-22.
  35. ^ "Cary Grant as James Bond". YouTube. Retrieved 2012-11-08.
  36. ^ Richard Johnson Interview Cinema Retro #10
  37. ^ "Rod Taylor :: Updates". Retrieved 2009-06-22.
  38. ^ "Steve Reeves Secrets of a Mr. America Physique". Retrieved 2009-06-22.
  39. ^ McGilligan, Patrick (1999). Clint: The Life and Legend. Harper Collins. ISBN 978-0-00-638354-3.
  40. ^ "Eastwood James Bond". Entertainment One India. 2010-02-11. Retrieved July 16, 2010.
  41. ^ "Michael Gambon Interview about James Bond audition". Youtube.
  42. ^ Reynolds, Burt My Life 1994 Hyperion Books.
  43. ^ a b "HOME - NEWS - OBITUARIES - Jon Finch - 5:54PM GMT 14 Jan 2013 - Jon Finch, born March 2, 1941, found dead December 28, 2012". London. 2013-01-14. Retrieved 2013-03-01.
  44. ^ "Actor turned his back on fame, James Bond role". The Sydney Morning Herald.
  45. ^ "Neeson spurned Bond". Breaking News. 2005-02-21.
  46. ^ "Liam Neeson turned down 007 role to marry Natasha Richardson". The Independent. 2014-03-07. Retrieved 2017-11-30.
  47. ^ "British actor Dominic West rules himself out of James Bond role despite audition". MI6. Archived from the original on 2006-03-04.
  48. ^ "Sam Neill and Julian Glover Were Almost James Bond". Cinematical.
  49. ^ "Salmon Reignites Black Bond Speculation". Contact Music. 2005-10-05.
  50. ^ James Lachno and PA (13 April 2013). "Pierce Brosnan backs first black James Bond". The Daily Telegraph. London.