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Actors considered for the role of James Bond.

BennyBenny Visiting Osato Chemicals later in 2019.
edited February 2016 in Actors Posts: 8,253
I'm sure there has been a discussion on this before. But I'll be stuffed if I can find it. (Where's Kyvan when you need him?)
Anyway if anyone knows of a similar thread please post a link and I'll merge them.
I was recently watching The Dambusters with Richard Todd and as I often do whilst watching a movie, I had a look on imdb to get some info and trivia. One of the items I noticed is apparently Richard Todd was Fleming's choice for James Bond in Doctor No, but couldn't due to scheduling conflicts.
I have to say based on his screen presence, I think he may have made a very good Bond under different circumstances.
A very credible 60's Bond anyway.
As for other actors, I found a list on Wikipedia as follows. So take it how you will..

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_actors_considered_for_the_James_Bond_character


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 parody 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 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.

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.

Roger Green 1970 Turned down in favour of Connery (Auditioned and filmed for Diamonds Are Forever) (Filmed audition with Imogen Hassall).

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".

Michael Jayston 1980 Role up for grabs when Roger Moore was considering quitting but Moore returned. Jayston eventually portrayed the character in 1990 for a two-part BBC radio drama.

Patrick Mower 1980 Role up for grabs when Roger Moore was considering quitting but Moore returned.

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.

Antony Hamilton 1986 Was in negotiations with the producers before Timothy Dalton was chosen.

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.

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 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.

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.

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.


Thoughts or link to previous discussion.
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Comments

  • Posts: 6,547
    That is pretty comprehensive Ben. I didn't know a few of those.
  • Posts: 10,503
    Very interesting reading @Benny. Many were news to me as well.
  • DragonpolDragonpol Schloss Drache. Writer/Director @ The Bondologist Blog.
    Posts: 12,547
    Great list - thank you for this service @Benny.
  • edited February 2016 Posts: 6,547
    Just remembered - Patrick MacGoohan of Danger Man fame was approached, and he declined due to the violence in the Bond films. Possibly after Connery quit
  • bondjamesbondjames You were expecting someone else?
    Posts: 23,883
    Ian Ogilvy could have been interesting. I always like the suave chaps. However, to be frank, seeing all those names bandied about to replace Rog, I'm quite relieved he chose to come back several times. Brolin? Neill? Lightweights I tell you.

    Dalton turned it down so many times when he was first choice, then ended up being second choice to Brosnan, and when he finally got it only did two. Strange how it goes.

    Goran Visnjic? Dougray Scott? Please no!
  • BennyBenny Visiting Osato Chemicals later in 2019.
    Posts: 8,253
    NicNac wrote: »
    Just remembered - Patrick MacGoohan of Danger Man fame was approached, and he declined due to the violence in the Bond films. Possibly after Connery quit

    Well as luck would have it, the list also contains actors considered for the role of James Bond who declined.


    Richard Burton 1959, 1961, 1968 Felt the role was a new untested concept, and 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. Mason was later selected to play the villain Hugo Drax in Moonraker (film), 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 Role too promiscuous.

    Rod Taylor 1961 Felt the role was beneath him.

    Steve Reeves1962 Wanted more money than the producers would offer.

    John Bingham, 7th Earl of Lucan 1967 Declined an offer from Cubby 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.

    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.

    Dominic West 2005 Heard rumors that Pierce Brosnan got the role and ruled himself out.


    There is also a list of actors considered (apparently) but offered a different role in the Bond series.

    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) Charles Robinson MI6

    I'm quite happy that many of the above never took on the role.
    Some of them are shockers. Burt Reynolds, Adam West and dear lord...Mel Gibson.



  • bondjamesbondjames You were expecting someone else?
    edited February 2016 Posts: 23,883
    Benny wrote: »
    Rod Taylor 1961 Felt the role was beneath him.
    An unfortunate and incorrect perception on his part imho.
    Benny wrote: »
    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.
    These are all smart men, unlike James Brolin
    Benny wrote: »
    Liam Neeson 1994 Not interested in starring in action movies.
    Haha. How times change.
  • I really want to see Fassbender as Bond- he is wonderful actor, but also has that good looks and sexiness that no one other choises does not in same level- he could change womans ovulation cycle just by his presence;);)
  • Wrong topic, should have put it that another one..
  • Posts: 6,985
    Benny wrote: »
    NicNac wrote: »
    Just remembered - Patrick MacGoohan of Danger Man fame was approached, and he declined due to the violence in the Bond films. Possibly after Connery quit

    Well as luck would have it, the list also contains actors considered for the role of James Bond who declined.


    Richard Burton 1959, 1961, 1968 Felt the role was a new untested concept, and 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. Mason was later selected to play the villain Hugo Drax in Moonraker (film), 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 Role too promiscuous.

    Rod Taylor 1961 Felt the role was beneath him.

    Steve Reeves1962 Wanted more money than the producers would offer.

    John Bingham, 7th Earl of Lucan 1967 Declined an offer from Cubby 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.

    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.

    Dominic West 2005 Heard rumors that Pierce Brosnan got the role and ruled himself out.


    There is also a list of actors considered (apparently) but offered a different role in the Bond series.

    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) Charles Robinson MI6

    I'm quite happy that many of the above never took on the role.
    Some of them are shockers. Burt Reynolds, Adam West and dear lord...Mel Gibson.



    I was just going to point out you missed Neeson and West

    Neeson actually turned down the role of 007 due to his wife not wanting to be married to 007.


    a few more I believed you missed out on (but you might have them added in)


    Frank Sinatra 1967 Was offered but he turned it down feeling Bond should be british

    Jason Isaacs 1994 was deemed to close to Dalton's portrayal and the role went to Brosnan

    Hugh Grant he claims he was up for the role in the mid 90's but unsure what happened... (my guess is producers passed)

    Adrian Paul 2005 was considered briefly but was deemed to old

    Joseph Fiennes 2005 was not interested in the part

    Sean "puff Daddy" Combs 2010 did a bunch of elaborate ads to try and get the producers interest in him playing 007 but they weren't and neither were fans


    although I did create a thread years ago about an American 007 and I swear watch the Jackal and tell me Richard Gere couldn't of been a good 007 he sounds more Irish then Pierce Brosnan who was from Ireland!
  • bondjamesbondjames You were expecting someone else?
    Posts: 23,883
    Risico007 wrote: »
    although I did create a thread years ago about an American 007 and I swear watch the Jackal and tell me Richard Gere couldn't of been a good 007 he sounds more Irish then Pierce Brosnan who was from Ireland!
    Richard Gere can be excellent when playing against type. Watch him in Internal Affairs (1990). The guy has an edge which he doesn't show too often.
  • BMW_with_missilesBMW_with_missiles All the usual refinements.
    edited March 2016 Posts: 2,698
    Benny wrote:
    Clive Owen 2005 The producers were unwilling to provide gross profit points.

    When I first read that, I was thinking Owen Wilson. Now that would have been bad.
  • Posts: 1,295
    Man, I think Clive Owen would have been great now that I think about it / I've seen some of his more "Bond esque" stuff.
  • edited March 2016 Posts: 1,378
    Robert Wagner was considered but felt the role should be played by an English actor:
    "Around the time I got back together with Natalie (Wood) in 1971, the producer Cubby Broccoli did me the great honour of suggesting that I play James Bond.

    George Lazenby had replaced Sean Connery, but while his film, "On Her Majesty's Secret Service", had been a good picture, it hadn't done anywhere near the business that the Connery films had.

    There was no formal offer but Cubby thought that I was a viable candidate to replace Lazenby. I thought about Cubby's suggestion for about two seconds, but realised it just wasn't a good fit.
    'I'm too American,' I told Cubby. 'James Bond has to be English. Roger Moore is your guy.'
    I had known Roger ever since I was under contract at Fox and he was with MGM. Roger has always been blithe, charming, hilariously funny. So Roger, if you're reading this, please make the cheque out to cash ..."



  • SzonanaSzonana Mexico
    Posts: 1,104
    From the previous considered actors the one who intrigues me the most is Liam Neeson since his Taken films he showed he is great in action but his bond would nit be what it was needed in 1996 which is the more classic look however maybe with his screen presence he could have convinced people he is Bond.

    His Bond would have been pretty similar to Craig rough and edgy which oculd have worked iwth him but not sure maybe we needed a comeback of the classier more light hearted gentleman Bond.

  • Posts: 10,503
    Neeson would have been a great Bond, the guy can act and do action. Usually
    most actors can only really do one at the expense of the other.
  • TheWizardOfIceTheWizardOfIce 'One of the Internet's more toxic individuals'
    Posts: 9,117
    Some of these are so bad they can't be genuine surely?

    Michael Caine? A legend but would have been an awful choice for Bond.

    Ranulph Fiennes? Based on what exactly?

    Christopher Lambert? You can't be seriously telling me that Cubby ever even entertained the idea?
  • Posts: 582
    is there a difference in being considered and being in the running? Because this list is massive its like every person that had an English accent was considered at one point.
  • edited March 2016 Posts: 582

    Christopher Lambert? You can't be seriously telling me that Cubby ever even entertained the idea?
    [/quote]

    ya I love highlander but he would not have worked at all who brought that up because they should have been fired on the spot lol.
  • edited March 2016 Posts: 1,378
    Christopher Lambert? You can't be seriously telling me that Cubby ever even entertained the idea?

    Yes, many names on the list seem very unlikely. A French accent James Bond - hmm. ;))
    Mel Gibson 1987 MGM suggested him for the role, but was rejected by Albert. R. Broccoli for not being British.

    I doubt that was the real reason! If that were true then actors like Eastwood, Gavin (signed up for DAF!), Wagner, West, Brolin etc wouldn't have been considered. Clearly EON or MGM felt an American actor could play James Bond.

    Was John Gavin going to play the role with his American accent? Was Cubby really going to risk that? Who knows! @-)
  • DJCLE84DJCLE84 formerly HASEROT ---has returned like the tedious inevitability of an unloved season---
    edited March 2016 Posts: 4,258
    James Purefroy was considered twice... not sure to what stage (if at all) that he got to - but his was a name that was bandied about back in 1994, as well as 2004.

    Ewan McGreggor was a name i heard tossed around by the media back in 2004/2005 - and even Sir Sean himself gave a vote of confidence to the fellow Scot.
  • DJCLE84DJCLE84 formerly HASEROT ---has returned like the tedious inevitability of an unloved season---
    Posts: 4,258
    fanbond123 wrote: »
    Was John Gavin going to play the role with his American accent? Was Cubby really going to risk that? Who knows! @-)

    Gavin had already passed his screen tests and was ready to be introduced as the next Bond - but the studio struck a last minute deal with Connery to have him return for a (at the time) whopper of a contract.
  • TheWizardOfIceTheWizardOfIce 'One of the Internet's more toxic individuals'
    Posts: 9,117
    haserot wrote: »
    fanbond123 wrote: »
    Was John Gavin going to play the role with his American accent? Was Cubby really going to risk that? Who knows! @-)

    Gavin had already passed his screen tests and was ready to be introduced as the next Bond - but the studio struck a last minute deal with Connery to have him return for a (at the time) whopper of a contract.

    He was beyond passing screen tests. He had a signed contract. Which Cubby being the gent paid up when they got Sean.

    And I think I'm right in saying that it was David Picker or someone at the studio who realised it would be a disaster and insisted on paying whatever it took to get Sean back. Had it just been up to EON I think Gavin would have gone ahead and made DAF.
  • Posts: 10,503
    Agreed, I think the deal was a big surprise to Harry and Cubby.
  • BondJasonBond006BondJasonBond006 on fb and ajb
    Posts: 9,029
    Imagine both Simon Templar's having played Bond!
    I liked Ian Ogilvy a lot. He was brilliant in everything.
  • bondjamesbondjames You were expecting someone else?
    Posts: 23,883
    Yes, I'm a big fan of Ogilvy as the Saint. Silky smooth. Loved the car too.
  • Posts: 582
    haserot wrote: »
    fanbond123 wrote: »
    Was John Gavin going to play the role with his American accent? Was Cubby really going to risk that? Who knows! @-)

    Gavin had already passed his screen tests and was ready to be introduced as the next Bond - but the studio struck a last minute deal with Connery to have him return for a (at the time) whopper of a contract.

    I was just looking him up and it turns out he went to school in my hometown. That's pretty cool.
  • M_BaljeM_Balje Amsterdam, Netherlands
    edited March 2016 Posts: 2,999
    Hugh Jackman, Dougrey Scott (Mission Impossible 2) and Jeremy Northam (The Net) too as replacement of Brosnan. Problem be with last one that he possible not make more then 2 movies, whyle Clive Owen can have made 3.

    Also Ioan Gruffudd was considerd, some people mabey will know him from Fantastic Four (2005).

    I was suporter of Clive Owen starting with Bond 22 or Bond 23, but first thing first: Bond 21 with Brosnan.. Also from the moment there choose for Daniel Craig, i suport him and not be in part of anti Blond Bond. Whyle iam not big fan of his introduction in Casino Royale.
  • BondJasonBond006BondJasonBond006 on fb and ajb
    Posts: 9,029
    M_Balje wrote: »
    Hugh Jackman, Dougrey Scott (Mission Impossible 2) and Jeremy Northam (The Net) too as replacement of Brosnan. Problem be with last one that he possible not make more then 2 movies, whyle Clive Owen can have made 3.

    Also Ioan Gruffudd was considerd, some people mabey will know him from Fantastic Four (2005).

    Ioan Gruffudd did some great work, FOREVER was a great tv-show, sadly cancelled after only one season. He played Sarah Michelle Gellar's husband in the short-lived tv-show Ringer which was awesome too.

    Personally, I never thought of him as a potential Bond actor.
  • DJCLE84DJCLE84 formerly HASEROT ---has returned like the tedious inevitability of an unloved season---
    edited March 2016 Posts: 4,258
    haserot wrote: »
    fanbond123 wrote: »
    Was John Gavin going to play the role with his American accent? Was Cubby really going to risk that? Who knows! @-)

    Gavin had already passed his screen tests and was ready to be introduced as the next Bond - but the studio struck a last minute deal with Connery to have him return for a (at the time) whopper of a contract.

    He was beyond passing screen tests. He had a signed contract. Which Cubby being the gent paid up when they got Sean.

    And I think I'm right in saying that it was David Picker or someone at the studio who realised it would be a disaster and insisted on paying whatever it took to get Sean back. Had it just been up to EON I think Gavin would have gone ahead and made DAF.

    i am very intrigued on what a John Gavin Bond film would've been like.... out of all the American actors who were touted over the years, i think he certainly had the look, and screen presence to pull it off... it would've all just boiled down to could be do a good enough accent - which if it was true that his accent wasn't that good, then things could've been disastrous.... but i always felt bad for him.... was this close, and got the rug pulled out from under him (could it have been the same rug Sean wore in DAF????)..
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