Directors who rejected Bond (and those who were rejected - Steven, that's you!)

edited October 2017 in General Discussion Posts: 10,362
This kicked off in the B25 thread and I thought it deserved it's own.
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  • edited October 2017 Posts: 10,362
    So far...

    Turned down Bond:

    1. Kathryn Bigelow
    2. John Woo
    3. Renny Harlin
    4. Peter Jackson
    5. Danny Boyle
    6. Nicolas Winding Refn (who?) http://variety.com/2016/film/news/nicolas-winding-refn-spectre-directing-1201808590/

    Turned down by Bond:

    1. Steven Spielberg (Cubby, what were you thinking?)
  • Posts: 390
    Roger Donaldson was offered one of the Bond films (it may have been TND), but I think he had to turn it down because of scheduling conflicts.

    Tarantino was shown the door by EON, and Tony Scott was also shown the door because he insisted Tarantino write the script.
  • GoldenGunGoldenGun Station B, Belgium
    Posts: 3,336
    It seems we've escaped some terrible choices. Renny Harlin and Danny Boyle, my goodness.
  • Posts: 1,031
    Martin Campbell turned down all the other Brosnan films after GE (I think).
  • Posts: 684
    Which film was Peter Jackson asked to do?

    Didn't Cubby turn Spielberg down because he was worried the resulting film would be considered too much of a Spielberg film instead of a Bond film? Given that EON seems now to be seeking big name directors, I'd say he campaigned forty years too soon. (Though to be honest, I think Spielberg would still knock it out of the park, and even though it'll never happen now I'd be overjoyed if he came on board for one.)
  • Creasy47Creasy47 In Cuba with Natalya.Moderator
    Posts: 31,773
    Would've been something seeing what Steven could've delivered when he was first in talks, but he's definitely not one I'd want helming a Bond film these days - he lost his magic for me a while back.

    Even though he has done Bond twice before, didn't I read on the forums the other day that Campbell turned down another Brosnan installment or two?
  • bondjamesbondjames You were expecting someone else?
    Posts: 23,883
    Wasn't Spielberg rejected for TSWLM? If so, I'm quite glad we got Gilbert instead, because that film is as close to perfection as I could want.

    Spielberg would have been good for FYEO. Glen took a lot of cues from his Indy efforts from OP onwards.
  • Posts: 684
    Creasy47 wrote: »
    Even though he has done Bond twice before, didn't I read on the forums the other day that Campbell turned down another Brosnan installment or two?
    Yes, I believe so. If we count him, though, we also should count Young (turned down GF, YOLT, and FYEO I think), Hamilton (TB, TSWLM), and Gilbert (FYEO). I think I figured out a while back, simply surfing on Wikipedia, that every time the incumbent director didn't want to do the next one, EON went back and started asking all the previous guys.
  • Creasy47Creasy47 In Cuba with Natalya.Moderator
    Posts: 31,773
    Strog wrote: »
    Creasy47 wrote: »
    Even though he has done Bond twice before, didn't I read on the forums the other day that Campbell turned down another Brosnan installment or two?
    Yes, I believe so. If we count him, though, we also should count Young (turned down GF, YOLT, and FYEO I think), Hamilton (TB, TSWLM), and Gilbert (FYEO). I think I figured out a while back, simply surfing on Wikipedia, that every time the incumbent director didn't want to do the next one, EON went back and started asking all the previous guys.

    That's true, I suppose they could be omitted then since in most cases, as you said, they were likely asked back for the next one.
  • Posts: 10,362
    Any idea why Young rejected GF? Presumably he was a bit tired of it all and needed a break?
  • 00Agent00Agent On a mission. In Austria.
    edited October 2017 Posts: 3,118
    Getafix wrote: »
    Any idea why Young rejected GF? Presumably he was a bit tired of it all and needed a break?
    this is from IMDB:
    Terence Young worked on the film during the very early stages of pre-production, including early drafts of the screenplay. However, an agreement could not be reached regarding the terms of his contract, and he left the production.
  • Posts: 390
    Roger Michell was hired to direct QOS but left during pre-production when he realized the script wasn't going to be ready in time for the shoot.
  • Creasy47Creasy47 In Cuba with Natalya.Moderator
    Posts: 31,773
    Escalus5 wrote: »
    Roger Michell was hired to direct QOS but left during pre-production when he realized the script wasn't going to be ready in time for the shoot.

    I would say that's best since nothing in his filmography was action-oriented, but then again, neither had Forster and that film more than delivered in the action department for me.
  • PropertyOfALadyPropertyOfALady Colders Federation CEO
    Posts: 3,245
    Escalus5 wrote: »
    Roger Michell was hired to direct QOS but left during pre-production when he realized the script wasn't going to be ready in time for the shoot.

    Who's Roger Mitchell?
  • Creasy47Creasy47 In Cuba with Natalya.Moderator
    Posts: 31,773
    Escalus5 wrote: »
    Roger Michell was hired to direct QOS but left during pre-production when he realized the script wasn't going to be ready in time for the shoot.

    Who's Roger Mitchell?

    Michell*. He directed Notting Hill, Changing Lanes, and My Cousin Rachel.

    He also worked with Daniel Craig on the underrated Enduring Love.
  • edited October 2017 Posts: 11,955
    Matthew Vaughn was apparently very close to directing CR. I remember reading that he was even told he had the job by MGM (I think? Someone told him he'd got it anyway) but then found out that EON wanted Campbell back instead.

    Didn't know they asked Bigelow. Hopefully they'll ask her again at some point and she'll reconsider.
  • TheWizardOfIceTheWizardOfIce 'One of the Internet's more toxic individuals'
    Posts: 9,117
    Does Greengrass very vocally slating Bond count here? Or did they need to have a contract on the table which they rejected?

  • edited October 2017 Posts: 10,362
    https://www.mi6-hq.com/news/kathryn-bigelow-was-asked-to-direct-a-james-bond-film-170803
    Does Greengrass very vocally slating Bond count here? Or did they need to have a contract on the table which they rejected?

    For those who rejected the job there has to have been a reasonably well sourced claim that they were actually offered it and turned it down. I don't think contracts necessarily need to have been drafted - just clear expressions of interest made by the producers and a 'no thanks' from the director.

    For those directors who've made overtures and been rebuffed by the producers I think it's usually a matter of public record, because they've often spoken about it themselves.

    Doesn't Greengrass fall into a separate category of those who don't want it and weren't offered it. Or am I missing something and was Babs chasing him for a while?



  • QsAssistantQsAssistant All those moments lost in time... like tears in rain
    Posts: 1,778
    Two things surprise me...

    1) John Woo was offered? I'm glad he turned it down. I enjoy his movies but he would've been bad for Bond.

    2) Steven Spielberg wanted to direct Bond and he was turned down?!?! That had to of been when he was a fairly unknown director because he could make a great Bond adventure.
  • Posts: 684
    2) Steven Spielberg wanted to direct Bond and he was turned down?!?! That had to of been when he was a fairly unknown director because he could make a great Bond adventure.
    No, and he was twice rejected. Once immediately after JAWS, and again after CLOSE ENCOUNTERS.
  • Strog wrote: »
    2) Steven Spielberg wanted to direct Bond and he was turned down?!?! That had to of been when he was a fairly unknown director because he could make a great Bond adventure.
    No, and he was twice rejected. Once immediately after JAWS, and again after CLOSE ENCOUNTERS.

    And then he went and did Raiders instead. I think that's something fans should always keep in mind when they're slagging off BB and acting like Cubby was perfect.
  • MinionMinion Don't Hassle the Bond
    Posts: 277
    Wasn't Spielberg rejected because he was an American and Cubby only wanted British directors touching Bond? Might be rubbish, but I recall reading that somewhere once...
  • DragonpolDragonpol Schloss Drache ~ Defender of the Continuation.
    Posts: 12,646
    Minion wrote: »
    Wasn't Spielberg rejected because he was an American and Cubby only wanted British directors touching Bond? Might be rubbish, but I recall reading that somewhere once...

    Yes, Cubby didn't want Spielberg anyway, probably for the reason you stated, although that British director rule has been broken since.
  • ClarkDevlinClarkDevlin Martinis, Girls and Guns
    Posts: 15,423
    I wonder if either John McTiernan or Paul Verhoeven were offered a Bond film during the 90s or the early 2000s. These two were top notch and two of the most sought out directors in that era.
  • Major_BoothroydMajor_Boothroyd Republic of Isthmus
    Posts: 2,476
    Strog wrote: »
    Which film was Peter Jackson asked to do?

    I believe it was TWINE - but I heard this was the reverse and that EON were considering Jackson after Barbara Broccoli saw Heavenly Creatures but then she cooled on the idea and stopped pursuing Jackson after she saw his next film The Frighteners which she didn't like. But then again maybe they went after him again after he did Lord of the Rings?

  • Strog wrote: »
    Which film was Peter Jackson asked to do?

    I believe it was TWINE - but I heard this was the reverse and that EON were considering Jackson after Barbara Broccoli saw Heavenly Creatures but then she cooled on the idea and stopped pursuing Jackson after she saw his next film The Frighteners which she didn't like. But then again maybe they went after him again after he did Lord of the Rings?

    That's what I've heard as well. I don't know that Peter Jackson ever had an opportunity to actually turn Bond down.
  • M_BaljeM_Balje Amsterdam, Netherlands
    edited October 2017 Posts: 3,024
    Roger Mitchell was ask three times. Also for Tomorrow Never Dies and Die Another Day. Changing Lanes (2002) he direct insteed and David Arnold made music for both movies.


    With Bond 20 the producers whant to make there Mi2 and Spy Game. There ask first editor / wrong editor of mi2 and who edit Spy Game. There should choose for second editor of Mi2 Stuart Baid, but focus be on Spy Game in this choose. There correct this for Casino Royale, but it happend again and Stuart Baid was to bissy with Vantage point and ask back for Skyfall. In 2003 John Woo made Paycheck who in my opnion looks moost close to Die Another Day.

    For Bond 23 and 24 i think there whant to make there TDK / Arrow version of Bond. Big difrence i think with whant to make Mi2 i can understand. Movie be strong as Twine. DAD whas Mgm/Fox movie and i think Fox think to comercial. After it the movie was over promoted and there be a lot of presuare because it was 20th movie. And there be a bit to quike with P&W as solo writers.

    But with Skyfall and Spectre there focus to much on hype and comercial. Everything must darker and i think there doing this because there afraid there real story no be get (In specialy the 21+ people who whant to much or don't have respect that i have when i was 19 or 22 mixed up with things we must accepted now).

    Comments fron media and on this forum on QOS proofs that. Spectre who is closer to QOS is loved by media as skyfall and DAD. But there be played, like happend a lot with Daniel his era. Tomorrow Never Dies plot in real life again. Oh.. what backlash some people and media wil possible get with Bond 25. Whyle iam suprised a bit about media on Spectre and mabey there wil be to positive again know also that some media get horny / hongry sometimes. Skyfall, Sam Mendes, Nolan, Skyfall, Casino Royale, Nolan, Skyfall. : done..

    But do we turn it down ? I think i prefer the filming, editor (duo) or writers duo. I realy missing film edit projects i did. I specialy now. My mother and her house, my work (who iam afraid i wil lose) and finaly my first friend (not my girlfriend) are only things lived for. My brother having his own life now and can't help me any more. I am not happy in my own house where i must life for 5 days a week. I whant to escape more then ever. I need new hobby and stil searching finding a way to this and new work. I always very bored on scool and i walk against same things. Wiser of course, but don't know how.


    With my fanart and some of my writings about our shared love for Bond, i agree with Uncle Ben from Spider-Man.
  • ThunderfingerThunderfinger Goonbase Alpha
    Posts: 31,735
    I believe Hitchcock was asked to direct DN.
  • edited March 17 Posts: 9,033
    I believe Hitchcock was asked to direct DN.

    That would have been something! Although, it might have ended up like a Hitchcock film featuring the character of James Bond, rather than a James Bond film directed by Hitchcock.
  • ShardlakeShardlake Leeds, West Yorkshire, England
    Posts: 3,185
    I knew I'd read this somewhere, so did some digging but yes David Fincher did take a meeting regards directing Goldeneye.

    It's in this Indie Wire article, scroll down to Y where is mentions him possibly directing Mission Impossible 3 and that there was a similar situation with Pierce's debut that never panned out.

    As the article said, good job as what he did instead was Se7en, the rest is history as they say.

    https://www.indiewire.com/2014/09/from-a-z-a-guide-to-the-lost-unmade-films-of-david-fincher-271772/

    Interestingly enough I'm currently working on my version of SPECTRE which is in its first draft and for a bit of fun I've recast one of the actors and suggested that David Fincher directs my version.

    Peter's already seen some of it and has offered some proper encouragement, it started out as a bit of a polish but as it's gone on I've started to divert away from the finished film quite significantly in some aspects. I'm still tying things together like in the film but far more convincingly and using all 3 films to do it and giving Quantum of Solace it's due.

    I'd like to share it with you all when it's finished.

    Hopefully that's something that some of you might be interested in seeing. It's quite a way off yet and I have no experience script writing.

    It came from wanting to come to terms with my frustration of seeing my favourite era of Bond being taken off the tracks quite significantly.

    I know this isn't shared by all, although I know some are of the same feeling as me.
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