List of actors considered for the James Bond character

Source: Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.

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

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

Actor Film Year Reason
Trevor Howard Dr. No 1961 Sean Connery was chosen.
Stanley Baker Would not commit to a three-picture contract.[1]
Rex Harrison 1962 Turned down in favour of Connery.[2]
David Niven Turned down in favour of Connery (later played Bond in the 1967 parody Casino Royale) (Fleming's personal choice).[2]
Richard Todd Ian Fleming's first choice for the role, but scheduling conflicts prevented him from getting it.[3]
Jeremy Brett On Her Majesty's Secret Service 1967 Feared the role would harm his career.[4]
Peter Purves Prior to becoming a Blue Peter presenter, Purves auditioned for the role of 007 but was unsuccessful and later dumped by his agent.[citation needed]
Michael Caine Didn't want typecasting in spy films, having previously starred in the three Harry Palmer spy films.
Robert Campbell George Lazenby won the role based on a screen-test fight scene.[5]
Dick Van Dyke His poor "English" accent failed to appeal to producer Albert R. Broccoli.[6]
Patrick Mower Reason unknown.[7]
Daniel Pilon Harry Saltzman felt he was too young, 27 years at time.[8]
John Richardson George Lazenby won the role based on a screen-test fight scene.[5]
Anthony Rogers
Terence Stamp His ideas for the future films felt too radical for producer Harry Saltzman.[9]
Hans De Vries 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] However Broccoli, who believed that no one from outside the Commonwealth would be suitable as James Bond, decided against him after finding he was German American.[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.
Roger Green Diamonds Are Forever 1970 Turned down in favour of Connery (auditioned and filmed for Diamonds Are Forever) (Filmed audition with Imogen Hassall).[2]
Simon Dee Live and Let Die 1971 Put forward to follow Sean Connery, despite being thought of by most people as a chat show host, rather than an actor.[citation needed]
William Gaunt Auditioned for the role as Bond for Live and Let Die but lost the role to Roger Moore.
John Gavin Diamonds Are Forever,

Live and Let Die

1971, 1973 Was signed as the first American Bond after George Lazenby quit, but 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 Was strongly considered but turned down when Sean Connery returned; was working on other projects when Roger Moore was selected.[13]
Ranulph Fiennes Live and Let Die 1972 For having "hands too big and a face like a farmer".[14]
Peter Laughton 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.[15]
Guy Peters The producers wanted to cast an actor with a "known face".[16]
Timothy Dalton For Your Eyes Only 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 Was under contract to Eon as a 'reserve Bond' in case Moore quit, but Moore returned.[17]
Michael Jayston 1980 Role up for grabs when Roger Moore was considering quitting but Moore returned.[18] Jayston eventually portrayed the character in 1990 for a two-part BBC radio drama.[19]
Patrick Mower Auditioned when Roger Moore was considering quitting, but Moore returned[18]
Lewis Collins Octopussy 1982 Collins claims the producers thought he was too aggressive.[20]
Ian Ogilvy 1983 Roger Moore agreed to return.
James Brolin 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 The Living Daylights 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 season 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 Timothy Dalton was chosen for the role.[21]
Sam Neill Although he impressed producers as Reilly, Ace of Spies, Neill lost out to Timothy Dalton for this iteration of Bond.
Antony Hamilton 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 French accent prevented him from being chosen.[22]
Neil Dickson Timothy Dalton was chosen.
Mark Greenstreet Told Terry Wogan in an interview that he was given a screen test for Bond but lost out to Timothy Dalton.
Finlay Light 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 One of the most popular Australian actors of the 1980s, Clarke was considered but lost out to Dalton.
Simon MacCorkindale Timothy Dalton was chosen.
Sean Bean GoldenEye 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 Alec Trevelyan, rewritten from the mentor part it originally was, to become a direct parallel of Bond as Agent 006.
Mark Frankel Pierce Brosnan was chosen for the role.[23]
Paul McGann 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 Pierce Brosnan was chosen for the role.[24]
Henry Cavill Casino Royale 2005 The preferred choice of director Martin Campbell; however, was deemed too young to portray Bond.[25]
Sam Worthington Daniel Craig was chosen for the role.[25]
Rupert Friend Daniel Craig was chosen for the role.[26]
Julian McMahon Daniel Craig was chosen for the role.[27]
Alex O'Loughlin 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.[28]
Clive Owen The producers were unwilling to provide gross profit points.[29]
Dougray Scott Reason unknown.[30]
Goran Višnjić Was reportedly unable to master a British accent.[25]

Considered but declined the role

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 Dr. No

On Her Majesty's Secret Service

1959, 1961, 1968 Felt the role was a new untested concept,[31] and wanted more than the producers would pay.[32]
Cary Grant Dr. No 1961 Felt he was too old at time being 58; also just wanted to do one film.[33]
Richard Johnson Terence Young's choice but did not want a contract, because he was under contract to MGM.[34]
James Mason 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 Felt the role was too promiscuous.
Rod Taylor Felt the role was beneath him.[35]
Steve Reeves[36] 1962 Wanted more money than the producers would offer.
John Bingham, 7th Earl of Lucan On Her Majesty's Secret Service 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 Diamonds Are Forever 1970 Felt Bond must be British.[37][38]
Michael Gambon Felt he did not have good enough looks to play Bond.[39]
Burt Reynolds Felt Bond must be British.[40]
Adam West 1970 Felt Bond must be British.[citation needed]
Jon Finch Live and Let Die 1972[41] Did not want to play the part.[41][42]
Liam Neeson GoldenEye 1994 Not interested in starring in action films at that time.[43] However, in reality, his girlfriend later wife Natasha Richardson wouldn't have married him if he took the role.[44]
Dominic West Casino Royale 2005 Heard a rumour that Pierce Brosnan would return and ruled himself out.[45]
Christian Bale Unknown Considered the franchise "very British" as well as having the opinion that the character represented "every despicable stereotype about England and British actors" and that he had "already played a serial killer" in American Psycho.[46]

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

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 Dr. No 1962 On Her Majesty’s Secret Service (1969)
The Spy Who Loved Me (1977)
Sir Hillary Bray
Captain Benson
College of Arms
Royal Navy
Michael Billington On Her Majesty's Secret Service

Live and Let Die

For Your Eyes Only

Moonraker

Octopussy

1968, 1973, 1979, 1981, 1983 The Spy Who Loved Me (1977) Sergei Barsov (KGB agent Anya Amasova's lover) KGB
Julian Glover[47] For Your Eyes Only 1979 For Your Eyes Only (1981) Aristotle Kristatos MI6/KGB (double agent)
Sean Bean The Living Daylights

GoldenEye

1987, 1994 GoldenEye (1995) Alec Trevelyan Former MI6 agent 006 turned villain
Ralph Fiennes GoldenEye

Casino Royale

1994, 2004 Skyfall (2012)
Spectre (2015)
No Time to Die (2021)
Gareth Mallory/M MI6
Colin Salmon[48] Casino Royale 2004 Tomorrow Never Dies (1997)
The World Is Not Enough (1999)
Die Another Day (2002)
Charles Robinson MI6

Potential successors to Pierce Brosnan and Daniel Craig

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. In 2013 Brosnan backed Salmon as a possible successor to Craig,[49] but Craig kept the role until 2021. As Craig exited, Brosnan endorsed Regé-Jean Page, who if contracted would be the first actor of colour to portray Bond; white British actors Henry Cavill and George MacKay were reportedly also being considered to succeed Craig.[50]

See also

References

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  2. ^ a b c "James Bond: every man's fantasy". The National. 31 March 2010. Retrieved 26 August 2013.
  3. ^ "Richard Todd". The Daily Telegraph. London. 4 December 2009. Retrieved 8 May 2010.
  4. ^ https://sabotagetimes.com/tv-film/james-bond-the-men-who-couldve-been-007</
  5. ^ a b c "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. 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. ^ "The Avengers Declassified: The Stage Show". Declassified.theavengers.tv. Archived from the original on 5 November 2012. Retrieved 8 November 2012.
  14. ^ "Ranulph Fiennes - Ranulph Fiennes Biography, Explorer, Information, Profile, History". Famouspeople.co.uk. 7 March 1944. Archived from the original on 9 December 2012. Retrieved 8 November 2012.
  15. ^ "The Man Who Could Have Been Bond". Alternative007.co.uk. 2001. Retrieved 17 March 2016.
  16. ^ Robert. "The Man Who Could Have Been Bond". Alternative 007. Retrieved 12 July 2016.
  17. ^ "David Warbeck considered as James Bond". Alternative 007.
  18. ^ a b "INTERVIEWS Michael Jayston". jayston.awardspace.com.
  19. ^ "James Bond - You Only Live Twice - BBC Radio 4 Extra". BBC.
  20. ^ Hill, Valerie (2004) "Lewis Collins", Liverpool Daily Post, 4 June 2004
  21. ^ "Daniel Pilon Interview in French about James Bond". Telequebec.tv.
  22. ^ "Christopher Lambert biography in French". Nanarland.
  23. ^ "Alternative007". Alternative007. Retrieved 8 November 2012.
  24. ^ "Lambert Wilson". wordiQ.
  25. ^ a b c "Bond race 'entering final stages'". BBC News. 29 September 2005.
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  33. ^ "Cary Grant as James Bond". YouTube. Retrieved 2012-11-08.
  34. ^ Richard Johnson Interview Cinema Retro #10
  35. ^ "Rod Taylor :: Updates". Rodtaylorsite.com. Retrieved 2009-06-22.
  36. ^ "Steve Reeves Secrets of a Mr. America Physique". Criticalbench.com. Retrieved 2009-06-22.
  37. ^ McGilligan, Patrick (1999). Clint: The Life and Legend. Harper Collins. ISBN 978-0-00-638354-3.
  38. ^ "Eastwood James Bond". Entertainment One India. 2010-02-11. Retrieved July 16, 2010.
  39. ^ "Michael Gambon Interview about James Bond audition". Youtube.
  40. ^ Reynolds, Burt My Life 1994 Hyperion Books.
  41. ^ a b "HOME - NEWS - OBITUARIES - Jon Finch - 5:54PM GMT 14 Jan 2013 - Jon Finch, born March 2, 1941, found dead December 28, 2012". www.telegraph.co.uk. London. 2013-01-14. Retrieved 2013-03-01.
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  43. ^ "Neeson spurned Bond". Breaking News. 2005-02-21.
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  46. ^ "Why Christian Bale Turned Down Playing James Bond". 29 March 2020.
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  49. ^ James Lachno and PA (13 April 2013). "Pierce Brosnan backs first black James Bond". The Daily Telegraph. London.
  50. ^ Armecin, Catherine (1 September 2021). "Pierce Brosnan On Regé-Jean Page As The Next James Bond Rumors: 'Good Luck'". www.ibtimes.com. Retrieved 1 September 2021.