I was thinking today that through-out the series there have been many times when choices were made. Sometimes it was a change from the actor to play Bond. Sometimes it was changing which Fleming adventure would go next in the series. Sometimes it was a director that was set to start a movie and then it was re-assigned to another director. So what I will do here is propose a "what if..." scenario and allow us to chime in on what we think might have happened. Was the right choice made? What would happen if the choice was the one they didn't take? Would the series have been successful? What was right about the choice? Or what was wrong about the choice?
Feel free to propose a what if scenario for us all to weigh in on!
What If Scenario's so far
What if EON had made TB the first James Bond film as planned instead of DN?...page 1
What if Broccoli had made FYEO the follow up to TSWLM instead of MR?...page 1
What if Fleming's choice for Bond had been cast in DN, David Niven?...page 1
What if Brosnan had starred in TLD?...page1-3
What if David Picker hadn't interceded and DAF had an American James Bond?...page 3
What if EON had produced OHMSS after GF in 1965?...page 3-4
What if Jack Palance had been cast as Scaramanga in TMWTGG? ….page 4
What if EON had cast the same actor to play Blofeld in YOLT, OHMSSS and DAF...page 4-5
What if EON had cast either James Brolin or Sam Neil to play Bond in OP...page 5-6
What if Quentin Tarantino had directed Brosnan in his version of CR...page 6-7
What if Guy Hamilton had directed Moore in TSWLM...page 7
What if Alice Cooper's version of TMWTGG had been selected as the theme song...page 7
What if Martin Campbell returned to the directors chair and directed either the follow-up to GE or CR? page 8-9
What if CBS had developed a James Bond TV show in 1958? page 9
What if McClory had released his TB remake Warhead in 1976? page 9
What if Roger Moore had been cast as the first James Bond? page 10
What if George had signed on the dotted line and played Bond through out the 70s'? page 11-12
What if Harry Saltzman had stayed on as a co-producer of Bond films post 1974? page 12
What if Ian Fleming had lived past 1964? page 12
What if Steven Spielberg had directed a Bond film in the 1970's? page 12
What if Diana Ross had been cast as Solitaire in Live and Let Die? page 12
What if EON had made CR the very first Bond movie in 1962? page 13
What if Timothy Dalton had stayed on to star in Bond 17 in 1991? page 13
What if Jack Lord had portrayed Felix from DN to LALD? page 14
What if Sean Connery had stayed on to portray Bond in OHMSS in 1969? page 15
What if the producers had chosen another adventure for Lazenby's debut? page 17
What if EON started to adapt the continuation novels? page 17
What if EON remade the classic Bond films (1962-1987)? page 18
What if Feldman had attempted a serious version of CR in the 1960's? page 19
What if Dalton starred in GE? page 19
What if Anthony Hopkins had been cast as Elliot Carver in TND? page 19
What if Auric Goldfinger's twin had been main villain of DAF? page 20
What if you could influence the decisions made on 1 film? page 20
What if EON went back to producing a Bond film every 2 years? page 20
What if Sean Connery received more money and creative control to stay on with the series? page 23
What if the video game Bond was of higher quality and more consistent? page 24
What if John Barry had scored NSNA? page 24
What if Sinatra or Kate Bush had recorded MR theme song? page 25
What if the Craig era had been an updating of the Fleming novels like CR with the follow-up being LALD? page 25
What if Jaws had died in TSWLM? Page 26
What if Blofeld and SPECTRE had returned in TSWLM? page 27
What if Connery was cast as Kincaid in SF? Page 27
What if "Bond Begins" was filmed in 1987? Page 27
What if the original producers had been British? page 27
What if Dalton had starred in Bond 17 in 1991? page 28
What if Bond had emptied his gun in Dent in DN as originally shot? page 29
What if Mr. White had died at the end of QOS? page 29
What if the producers sell the franchise and Bond goes to a streaming service? page 30
What if John Barry score the film DN? page 31
What if Roger Moore starred in a 1968 version of TMWTGG? page 32
What if Salma Hayek had been cast as Jinx in DAD? page 32
What if Jan Werich had been the first Blofeld in YOLT? page 33
What if James Mason had been cast as Drax in MR? page 33
What if the magic carpet scene had stayed in TLD? page 33
What if Sylvia Trench had appeared in more films? Page 35
What if another actor had been cast in OHMSS? page 36
What if Brosnan had starred in a remake of TB in 1991? page 38
What if EON had acquired the rights to CR in the early 80's? page 39
What if Boyle had directed Bond 25? page 40
What if Craig's last film was SP?
What if Brolin had played Bond in OP?
What if Warhead was made in 1979, cast the film and the key players behind the camera page 47
What if Raquel Welch had starred as Domino in TB page 47
What if Salma Hayek was cast as Jinx in DAD? page 48
What if David Hedison appeared as Felix in AVATK? page 49
Our first scenario, what if Saltzman and Broccoli had been able to make TB the first film in their James Bond series? Would it work as a first film? Or was the ultimate right choice made having DN has the first Bond film adventure? Interestingly the director would obviously been the same. Could they had pulled off TB with the limited budget of DN? Or would the film fizzle and therefore no series of films to follow?
Mi6 what say you? What if EON had produced TB as the first Bond picture?
But if somehow Thunderball had been in 1962 (and had avoided looking disastrously cheap on a million dollar budget), it would have had the same negative influence on the series as in 1965. Later films would suffer from elephantiasis in trying to keep up. Smaller, more intimate stories like From Russia With Love might have been adapted as loosely as You Only Live Twice was. The box office successes of Goldfinger and Thunderball were well deserved, but I sometimes wish they hadn't come so soon, because those film doomed the series to a mostly formulaic future.
Maybe we would have got a scaled down underwater battle without all the wizardry of those wonderful underwater vehicles? Doubt the Disco Volante would have been has big as it shows in TB.
As for your other comment about the success of TB dooming us to some formulaic plots I suppose you are right. I recall Dahl stating that when he was tasked to right YOLT he was told Bond must bed at least 2 woman and have one of them be villainess. That it needed a certain about of action scenes, etc. They weren't concerned about anything else.
I think the underwater action of TB would have been a major drag on the film and I am convinced that we only put up with it cause we know the character of James Bond. In other words for it to be the first film I think the underwater fights and action wouldn't play well.
What if Broccoli would have done FYEO after TSWLM as planned and didn't do MR. What effect would this have? Would FYEO still be a grounded and fairly realistic Bond movie? When and what would have happened to MR? In many ways one of the biggest things I hear and read about on the thread is how many would like a more faithful adaption of MR to the screen. If it was filmed later would they have done a more realistic adaptation?
So what say you Mi6? What if FYEO had followed TSWL instead of MR?
I love MR mainly for Barry and Ken Adam's contribution. I would have hated to have lost the film irrespective of the novels content.
Hard to imagine a hard-edged movie like FYEO following the acclaimed and fanciful TSWLM. I think audiences would have been disappointed in '79 - perhaps moreso than they were two years later.
If I had it to do over again OP could have gone first, followed by MR. FYEO and ATVAK to follow.
I get your point, but I'm still impressed with the special effects every time I watch MR. It holds up very well considering it's from the late 70's. They did a very good job.
Funny how Gilbert was known for his character driven movies and then suddenly he's helming 3 of the biggest productions of the series with YOLT TSWLM and MR. I think he would have delivered an interesting FYEO if given the chance.
Would FYEO be a back to basics Bond though? Or with that somewhat generic title could they have made it big in scale and scope like MR?
I could see them using MR as a way to get grounded. Though I am not sure we ever see a movie where Bond doesn't get the girl. Though I suppose QOS has some of that vibe to it.
Agree. The sets were elaborate.
Yes I am thinking we'd have a Barry scored FYEO and a Conti scored MR. If MR went after FYEO. I too love the Barry soundtrack of MR. Even the disco version of the title song at the end of the film.
I do wonder how far they got into the planning of FYEO as the next Bond in 1977. I am guessing not too far as MR is so massive and they would have needed pre-production time for it.
One wonders if the stainless steel Delicatessen line would have stayed in FYEO! LOL!
I prefer to think FYEO after TSWLM would be a different movie entirely. I think the popularity of Jaws and the fact that he didn't perish in Spy would have made him an easy choice to return.
It would be interesting to think what it MR had been the reaction movie to FYEO getting big. Maybe we would have seen something closer to the book?
Jaws replacing Locque (an underrated henchman - perhaps the greatest) would butcher FYEO. It stands alone on its seriousness. Like @thedove said, it would change the movie entirely.
*Bond kicks the car off the cliff*
*Jaws emerges from the wreckage and dusts off his jacket*
Yeah, I think you're right. In that case, I'm glad things went the way they did. I enjoy the first half of MR book but I'm not a huge fan of it overall.
((Cue music)) "Like heaven abooooove meeeeeee.....
If Jaws had returned in FYEO, I suspect that he would have replaced Erich Kriegler. I think Locque would have still been there.
Wasn't Jaws supposwed to appear in FYEO, and then, for whatever reasons (a rumour I heard was, that Kiel wanted too much money), got replaced by Locque? But as much as I liked Jaws in TSWLM, he would not hve fitted into the back.to-basis-movie FYEO turned out to be.
Very interesting thoughts here though. Some quite funny. I am picturing Jaws just ruining that classic Bond kick car over the edge moment.
Alright time to turn the what if wheel to a casting choice. Ian Fleming was a proponent of David Niven playing Bond on the big screen. What if that had happened? Would the film be the same one we saw but with Niven instead of Connery? How would it had impacted the series to have a big name actor play Bond instead of a relative new comer? Could you envision a David Niven Bond? For reference here is a picture of Niven from that era.
But messing with the timestream like that I doubt we'd be looking forward to BOND 25 today.
Even if Niven had been Fleming's actual favorite, the producers wanted an actor who looked tough and avoided the effete image Americans had of Englishmen. A Dr. No with Niven would have been less hard-hitting, since he was already an established light comedian. Moreover, using a busy star would also have caused scheduling problems in continuing the series. The producers were right to pick a lesser-known actor who didn't have a pre-established image. And it's doubtful they could have picked anyone better than Connery, who might have become a star without Bond anyway.
Good point @Revelator I recalled he submitted a few names for consideration. For some reason Niven always seems to be the one mentioned. I believe Cary Grant was also a consideration, but I don't know if he was a Fleming choice. None of the established stars wanted the recurring role.
Poor David Niven in 1964 he was cast as the main character in The Pink Panther and Edwards discovered Sellers had some serious comedy chops and slowly the Inspector became the star. By 1967 I think Niven would have been too old to play a convincing Bond in YOLT.
Brosnan was all set to be the next James Bond in 1986 but then NBC stepped in and wouldn't release him from his Remington Steele show. What if that never happened and Brosnan had assumed the role in 1986 as planned. What would his TLD look like? Still the same movie but with him playing Bond? Would LTK be made if Brosnan had been James Bond? Or would his casting put the series on a different track. Would Timothy Dalton been ever cast as Bond if Brosnan had assumed the role in 1986?
Okay Mi6 what say you? What if Brosnan had been cast as James Bond in 1986 and been the Bond starring in TLD?