Greetings ladies and gents. This isn't another vs. thread as we're comparing two films that never were and I don't think this would go under the "your ideal Bond timeline" as the point of this thread is to choose one and only one. If a Bond genie appeared in your home and allowed you to choose between a George Lazenby/Peter Hunt helmed Diamonds Are Forever that would've followed the ending of OHMSS or a third Timothy Dalton Bond film, whether it be the proposed Bond 17 slated for an early 90s release or a Timothy Dalton starring Goldeneye, which would you choose?
For the longest time I've always said that EON never producing a third Timothy Dalton Bond film was the greatest missed opportunity in the franchise. My second choice being a George Lazenby starring DAF that would function as a revenge story after the events of OHMSS. But as time has gone on I'm just not sure anymore. Yes, I know I'm starting a thread asking board members to make a choice while I can't seem to make one but maybe your opinions and comments will sway me over to one side. Let's examine both possibilities.
OHMSS is rightfully regarded as one the best Bond films in the series. What Lazenby lacked in acting chops, Peter Hunt made up for with focus and an interesting new style of direction for the Bond films. And the fact that the gut-punch of an ending for OHMSS never received a proper follow-up is a crime. I also believe that Lazenby's physicality (his best attribute) would've meshed well for the purposes of a revenge story. We would've been dealing with a pissed off Bond which would have opened up possibilities for some even more kinetic and personal fight scenes. And remind yourself, no matter what you thought of Lazenby could his version of DAF possibly be worse than the one we got? Diamonds Are Forever stands as one of the most bizarre viewing experiences in the franchise as it's essentially a Roger Moore Bond film starring a fat past his Bondian prime Sean Connery who was only there for a paycheck. I love Roger Moore Bond movies but only when they actually star Roger Moore.
Now onto Timothy Dalton's Bond 17. As most of you know back in 1986 Timothy Dalton signed a contract with EON for 3 Bond films with an option of a 4th. And EON had every intention of honoring that contract. I'll post the link for the Bond 17 page below. Now unlike George Lazenby and OHMSS, Timothy Dalton and his films won me over as a fan immediately. After viewing both of his films I just couldn't figure out why his Bond wasn't held in a higher regard. Needless to say I would've happily traded one of the Connery, Moore, or Brosnan films for another Timothy Dalton entry. But after reading what was being planned as Dalton 3rd film let's take a closer look. First let's address the elephant in the room. Bond fighting robots? I have a feeling this could've gone down as an embarrassing and cringe-worthy moment. This might've (and I stress the word "might've") worked in a Roger Moore film but it was all wrong for Dalton. Ofcourse it's all about execution. This could've been Dalton's TSWLM but it also could've been his MR. Another concern I have would be the film's budget. Would it continue to drop after the less than stellar box-office performance of LTK and would it still have that cheap made-for-tv look? But ofcourse there were still positives. I loved the fact that it would've been a proto-Skyfall with MI6 battling political forces that view them as antiquated. And there are scenes such as Bond faking his death so the "mission can really begin" that I'm sure Dalton would've nailed. But it just seems like less of a sure thing than Lazenby's DAF.
Now onto Dalton's Goldeneye. IMO just as DAF was a Roger Moore film starring Sean Connery, GE was a Timothy Dalton film starring Pierce Brosnan. In alot of ways TND was more of a debut for Brosnan than his actual debut was. Everything from the personal relationship to his villain, to Bond's vendetta, to the themes of a post Cold War world just screamed Dalton. Afterall the first few drafts of the script were written with the impression that Dalton would return. And in many ways I feel their initial concept for GE was better. The purposes of the story call for an older, burnt out Bond who's been 007 for many years and is around 50 rather a baby-faced Brosnan who looks far too young and fresh to have "toppled all those dictators" and "undermined all those regimes". The same could be said for a 34 year old Sean Bean harboring grudges from half a century ago. Their original concept with Anthony Hopkins starring as an older Trevelyn who was Bond's mentor rather than a partner held the promise of great things. Especially considering how Dalton and Hopkins are frankly superior actors to Brosnan and Bean. And I would've loved to have seen the relationship between Dalton's Bond and Dench's M. But there's one thing that has be on the fence. Had Dalton starred in GE he would've gone on to play the role atleast once of twice after that. Which means no Brosnan Era. With no Brosnan Era we'd have no DAD. And with no DAD we'd have no CR and James Bond would not currently be experiencing this renaissance it is with the Craig Era. It just feels like the timeline would be effected least with Lazman's DAF.
So what do you think? Which of the two least popular Bonds deserved another film more?