What if Moore became Bond earlier?

As many of you may know, Roger Moore was scouted two times to play Bond before he actually did in Live and Let Die. Connery was growing tired of the role by Thunderball, and definitively so by You Only Live Twice, the latter of which he considered not appearing in.

So what if he quit early, and Moore was chosen to pick up the slack and play Bond earlier in either YOLT, or OHMSS? What would those films have been like, and how would they have done? Where would the series go/end up?


  • Posts: 19,339
    Well Sir Rog was slotted in for 'TMWTGG' but Cambodia was in civil turmoil and the delay was too long ,so he signed up for more of 'The Saint'.....if he was in YOLT he could have just managed it...OHMSS would have been a disaster....i think TMWTGG as it was planned,while Sir Rog had not spoofed later Saint's and 'The Persuaders' would have been tailored made......serious and probably accurate to the book...shame
  • Posts: 15,676
    I wonder if there is access to that early treatment of TMWTGG? I'd love to know what was in store for that film.
  • stagstag In the thick of it!
    Posts: 1,053
    Personally & although I like Sir Rog, I don't think he could have done OHMSS any justice whatsoever.
  • BMW_with_missilesBMW_with_missiles All the usual refinements.
    edited August 2016 Posts: 3,000
    To see what Roger's YOLT and OHMSS would have looked like, I think we have to look at his most serious Bond film; FYEO. The camp style of Moore's films was a product of the campy decade that was the 70's. The style of his fictional 60's Bond movies would likely have resembled his style in FYEO, except with some added 60's class and flavor.
  • What if he was a flying fish? Flip flop flip.
  • Posts: 4
    Moore could play a more serious Bond, and I think he actually could have worked in OHMSS, especially if he was in YOLT as a way to set him up for such an emotionally heavy role.

    And I don't think that the rumor about TMWTGG going first is accurate, by that point OHMSS had already been promised as the next Bond adventure 3 times, and as early as 1967, the director was named, Peter Hunt, and he always pushed for OHMSS being made.

    I think the difference would have been in the movie after a Moore OHMSS, it would be a strict follow-up to OHMSS and more of a serious revenge flick against Blofeld.
  • pachazopachazo Make Your Choice
    Posts: 7,314
    They would've made adjustments to the films to suit his style and/or made them in a different order. No question it was a tall task to have to follow Connery in the 60's but I think eventually he would have won the public's acceptance. In this scenario he probably retires in the late 70's.
  • talos7talos7 New Orleans
    Posts: 7,443
    Watching some of his his non-Bond films such as Gold and The Wild Geese give a hint at how he could have played a tougher 007.
  • Posts: 19,339
    He was excellent in those films,Talos,I agree.
  • Posts: 6,377
    Love 'The Wild Geese! I havent watched 'North Sea Hijack' in a while, he was great in that too, and he was rather Bond like in his Naval uniform! Except for the beard of course!(Though his character was anti-woman!)
  • edited August 2016 Posts: 19,339
    Actually,thinking about it,he plays it straight in 'Shout at the Devil' and 'Escape to Athena as well..... :-?
  • Posts: 6,377
    I forgot about 'Escape to Athena'. Great cast, and it has a cracking motorcycle chase towards the end!
  • edited August 2016 Posts: 3,333
    talos7 wrote: »
    Watching some of his his non-Bond films such as Gold and The Wild Geese give a hint at how he could have played a tougher 007.
    Coincidentally Gold was released in the same year as TMWTGG (74) and fared moderately well at the BO due to Moore's rising popularity as the new Bond. I do recall the clever Gold TV campaign ads that were shown constantly between programs; they were edited in such a way as to make it look like another Bond movie. But hey, let's not forget it was Moore himself that felt that he shouldn't be playing 007 as this tough-guy-Connery-type but instead play it much lighter, which he got to do from TSWLM onwards.

    Moore wasn't interested in the role so much in the Sixties, he seemed to prefer his million Pound Saint/Persuaders TV contracts to the shrunken salary of what the Bond producers were offering him at the time. He also got to direct a few of the episodes for both series and was involved creatively in their development. After the cancellation of The Saint and The Persuaders the timing was right for Moore in 72-3, as with I think it would've been a mistake had he come any earlier. You have to remember that for most people back then Bond was Connery and the idea of any other actor taking over the role was considered professional suicide. Basically the planets aligned at the right moment for Moore, though I admit TMWTGG's lacklustre performance was considered a major setback at the time and almost cost Moore the job. TSWLM was his last role of the dice. The only thing I'm truly curious about is the original script set in Cambodia and how it differed from the 74 version. Now that's a discussion topic worth having.
  • ThunderfingerThunderfinger Das Boot Hill
    edited October 2016 Posts: 45,489
    The rumour that he was considered for Bond as early as the first film have been denied, but had that happened, I think he would have been just as popular as Connery. The Saint became a huge hit very much due to Moore and his charm, I think.
  • Posts: 11,188
    I must be the only one that finds Moore too smarmy in The Saint.
  • Posts: 14,654
    Had he started with OHMSS my bet is that it would have modified his tenure, or at least its first half, making the movies much darker. And that he would have been more accepted than Lazenby.
  • MooseWithFleasMooseWithFleas Philadelphia
    Posts: 3,302
    Moore could have played OHMSS straight if it was his first entry to the series. Once he established his Bond in stride during TSWLM and MR, it obviously wouldn't have suited the style his Bond evolved into. Similarly, Connery couldn't have done OHMSS as his Bond had evolved into a campier style that also would not have fit the serious tone, had it been after FRWL he also would have been able to make it work brilliantly.

    Rog is my favorite Bond and I wouldn't change anything about his brilliant 7 film run. A fascinating what if scenario though
  • ThunderfingerThunderfinger Das Boot Hill
    Posts: 45,489
    Birdleson wrote: »
    Craig would have had a much harder time, I believe, winning over an audience that was accustomed to (and happy with) Brosnan in the role without the six year gap.

    Four, but I get your point.
  • Posts: 14,654
    Birdleson wrote: »
    He may have been more accepted, but maybe not. Lazenby took the hit for Connery leaving, just as Dalton later did for Roger. Both Moore and Brosnan benefitted by having those sacrificial buffers rather than immediately following a legend. Craig would have had a much harder time, I believe, winning over an audience that was accustomed to (and happy with) Brosnan in the role without the six year gap. At that point the general audience was ready for the character's return, with no real expectations.

    An odd note. And again, I like Pierce, but many of my friends around my age who are not intense Bond fans, but have seen them as they were released over the years, do not think highly of his era, in retrospect. Several instances various people have said to me something like, "Those weren't very good, were they.", yet they admit that they liked them at the time. I believe that the Craig's interpretation has put Brosnan's Era in sharp relief, and it appears lacking to most casual fans.

    But Moore already had a fan base from his roles on television. And Dalton was considered second choice after the heir apparent. Moore in OHMSS would have struggled more to be accepted than in LALD. But he had more back up than Lazenby.
  • Posts: 14,654
    Birdleson wrote: »
    By LALD audiences had already had felt the impact of losing Connery. They were ready for a change.

    Hence why I said Moore would have struggled more.
  • LordBrettSinclairLordBrettSinclair Greensleeves
    Posts: 167
    Sir Roger Moore should have been Bond in 1971. Connery is legend but Diamonds Are Forever would have fit Sir Roger's style perfectly.
  • MurdockMurdock The minus world
    Posts: 16,282
    I wish Moore's run started with DAF. Roger's now my second favorite Bond.
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