The What if thread...What if Dalton had starred in GE instead of Brosnan?

thedovethedove hiding in the Greek underworld
edited December 1 in Bond Movies Posts: 1,961
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
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Comments

  • thedovethedove hiding in the Greek underworld
    Posts: 1,961
    I was watching some YouTube videos today and in one it was mentioned that originally EON was looking to make TB the first film adventure of James Bond. However because the film was in the courts they had to shelve their plan and set about making DN the first film of the series.

    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?
  • edited August 8 Posts: 1,527
    Thunderball was indeed planned as the first Bond film, until the McClory court case intervened. But even if it hadn't, budget considerations would have forced the filmmakers to choose a different book. The film of Dr. No was granted a budget of only one million dollars and ended up going over it. Thunderball would have required far more (the 1965 film cost $5.6 million), and United Artists would never have spent more for the first film in an untried series.

    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.
  • thedovethedove hiding in the Greek underworld
    Posts: 1,961
    Interesting thoughts @Revelator I wonder about the budget too. The one thing both films had was limited settings with both taking place in one city respectively.

    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.
  • thedovethedove hiding in the Greek underworld
    Posts: 1,961
    Since we didn't get much discussion from that first What if. Lets try this one.

    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?
  • Posts: 9,983
    If FYEO was directed by Gilbert that would have been interesting. Though if MR did not follow TSWLM I suspect Glen may have started his tenure earlier helming FYEO.

    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.
  • MinionMinion Don't Hassle the Bond
    Posts: 679
    Wouldn't it be interesting if FYEO went big, and Moonraker was the novel-accurate back to basics?
  • edited August 9 Posts: 9,983
    Long after most of us have gone, the novels will be reinterpreted for cinema I suspect. In fact make it happen for the next actor ;) I would be on board
  • AntiLocqueBrakesAntiLocqueBrakes The edge
    Posts: 509
    Honestly, as graphics improved, MR might have been better suited for the 80s.

    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.
  • JeffreyJeffrey The Netherlands
    Posts: 290
    Honestly, as graphics improved, MR might have been better suited for the 80s.

    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.
  • thedovethedove hiding in the Greek underworld
    Posts: 1,961
    Yes the space theme would still be strong in the 80's. Star Wars and Star Trek were both experiencing success at the box office.

    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.
  • AntiLocqueBrakesAntiLocqueBrakes The edge
    Posts: 509
    Jeffrey wrote: »
    Honestly, as graphics improved, MR might have been better suited for the 80s.

    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.

    Agree. The sets were elaborate.
  • thedovethedove hiding in the Greek underworld
    Posts: 1,961
    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.

    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!
  • WalecsWalecs On Her Majesty's Secret Service
    Posts: 2,683
    Also, would Jaws show up in FYEO? Assuming the plot would stay more or less the same as in the '81 movie, I wonder if the character would be there, possibly replacing Locque and having a more prominent role than Locque. Maybe the PTS would have been about Jaws too.
  • thedovethedove hiding in the Greek underworld
    Posts: 1,961
    Lots of interesting thoughts there @Walecs do you think they would have simply done FYEO like they did it? If I recall the press around that time FYEO was a reaction to MR going so far that they needed to reel things back in. FYEO became a more grounded Bond movie.

    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?
  • AntiLocqueBrakesAntiLocqueBrakes The edge
    Posts: 509
    Walecs wrote: »
    Also, would Jaws show up in FYEO? Assuming the plot would stay more or less the same as in the '81 movie, I wonder if the character would be there, possibly replacing Locque and having a more prominent role than Locque. Maybe the PTS would have been about Jaws too.

    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.
  • MinionMinion Don't Hassle the Bond
    Posts: 679
    Walecs wrote: »
    Also, would Jaws show up in FYEO? Assuming the plot would stay more or less the same as in the '81 movie, I wonder if the character would be there, possibly replacing Locque and having a more prominent role than Locque. Maybe the PTS would have been about Jaws too.

    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.
    "You left this with Ferrara, I believe."

    *Bond kicks the car off the cliff*

    *Jaws emerges from the wreckage and dusts off his jacket*
  • WalecsWalecs On Her Majesty's Secret Service
    Posts: 2,683
    thedove wrote: »
    Lots of interesting thoughts there @Walecs do you think they would have simply done FYEO like they did it? If I recall the press around that time FYEO was a reaction to MR going so far that they needed to reel things back in. FYEO became a more grounded Bond movie.

    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?

    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.
    Walecs wrote: »
    Also, would Jaws show up in FYEO? Assuming the plot would stay more or less the same as in the '81 movie, I wonder if the character would be there, possibly replacing Locque and having a more prominent role than Locque. Maybe the PTS would have been about Jaws too.

    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.

    Agreed.
  • AntiLocqueBrakesAntiLocqueBrakes The edge
    Posts: 509
    Minion wrote: »
    Walecs wrote: »
    Also, would Jaws show up in FYEO? Assuming the plot would stay more or less the same as in the '81 movie, I wonder if the character would be there, possibly replacing Locque and having a more prominent role than Locque. Maybe the PTS would have been about Jaws too.

    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.
    "You left this with Ferrara, I believe."

    *Bond kicks the car off the cliff*

    *Jaws emerges from the wreckage and dusts off his jacket*

    :))
    ((Cue music)) "Like heaven abooooove meeeeeee.....
  • Posts: 126
    Walecs wrote: »
    Also, would Jaws show up in FYEO? Assuming the plot would stay more or less the same as in the '81 movie, I wonder if the character would be there, possibly replacing Locque and having a more prominent role than Locque. Maybe the PTS would have been about Jaws too.

    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.

    If Jaws had returned in FYEO, I suspect that he would have replaced Erich Kriegler. I think Locque would have still been there.
  • RichardTheBruceRichardTheBruce I'm motivated by my Duty.
    Posts: 5,615
    Jaws on skis would have been unstoppable. Trees, walls, deck furniture, nothing could stop him.
  • MurdockMurdock Mr. 2000
    Posts: 15,865
    He could even unbend the barrel of his rifle with his teeth. =))
  • DoctorKaufmannDoctorKaufmann Germany
    Posts: 845
    Walecs wrote: »
    Also, would Jaws show up in FYEO? Assuming the plot would stay more or less the same as in the '81 movie, I wonder if the character would be there, possibly replacing Locque and having a more prominent role than Locque. Maybe the PTS would have been about Jaws too.

    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.
  • thedovethedove hiding in the Greek underworld
    edited August 11 Posts: 1,961
    Never heard that rumour, but it wouldn't surprise me as the character was quite popular. If Kiel demanded more money he was a bit of a fool. That was a one trick character and for him to get three movies out of it. It would be like playing with house money.

    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.

    http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-QBNVnQycj_Q/VgxIw1QI2mI/AAAAAAAADZs/5Vok4eAFiIo/s1600/niven03.jpg
  • RichardTheBruceRichardTheBruce I'm motivated by my Duty.
    edited August 11 Posts: 5,615
    Nice guy cast as tough guy can work like gangbusters. Dick Powell as Philip Marlowe. Roger Moore as The Saint, then James Bond.

    But messing with the timestream like that I doubt we'd be looking forward to BOND 25 today.

    th?id=OIP.PNdi46q4sJ0JS0oUxLYoRQHaJR&pid=Api&P=0&w=300&h=300 a41aed5aa7e8c40266680b68cd7ec98c.jpg?nii=t
  • Posts: 1,527
    I feel like we need to put a stake in the heart of the "David Niven was Fleming's choice for Bond" idea. Niven was just one of several names Fleming suggested for Bond. For what it's worth Fleming said "Richard Burton would be by far the best James Bond!" (as @RichardTheBruce reminded us elsewhere today). A stronger endorsement than anything Niven got.

    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.
  • Posts: 12,219
    My bet is that David Niven as Bond in DN would have made for a far lighter Bond movie and even lighter Bond. Who would be far less violent and less convincing as a seducer. Overall the movie would have suffered and I daresay it would now be seen as a relic of the 60s and the cinematic Bond a poor man's Hannay.
  • GoldenGunGoldenGun Station B, Belgium
    Posts: 3,736
    I have always been a big fan of David Niven and solely his presence makes CR67 somewhat watchable. Would have been a fine choice for a lighthearted type of Bond film, though I don’t think that’s what early Bond needed.
  • thedovethedove hiding in the Greek underworld
    Posts: 1,961
    I must say that I think you have all hit on it. While he might have suited certain aspects of the character I can't see him having a believable fight with Grant in FRWL. DN didn't require much in terms of the physicality of the role. I could actually see Niven in DN. Even the final fight with DN isn't a crazy one. But I can't envision him in FRWL.

    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.
  • thedovethedove hiding in the Greek underworld
    Posts: 1,961
    All right lets stir the pot here cause I know there is passion on both sides of this what if.

    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?
  • Posts: 1,527
    TLD would have been roughly the same but would have included the humorous bits--like the magic carpet scene--that were trimmed from the actual film. I doubt if LTK would have been made, since it was written with Dalton's strengths in mind, and Dalton probably would never have gotten close to the role. Brosnan might have played Bond up to the 2000s. And since he was already familiar to American audiences, TLD probably would have made more money, even if it had been a lesser film. Just how much more is up for question, because American audiences had been steadily tiring of Bond throughout the 80s, and the Stallone/Willis/Schwarzenegger cycle was at its height. Brosnan might have been lucky since he actually became Bond when that cycle had started to run down.
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