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

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  • thedovethedove hiding in the Greek underworld
    Posts: 1,954
    Gerard wrote: »
    The problem with OHMSS is not that Bond doesn't recognize Blofeld, it's that Blofeld doesn't recognize Bond.

    Good point! :) I suppose you are right.

    I can see if it was the same actor playing the role in the three movies we might have got a harder hitting DAF. How cool would that be. More satisfying then Bond ramming the bathosub into the rig.

    I think when you look at the three actors. Telly was the only one who could be in all three. He wouldn't need the scar to pull it off. Gray might be the second best to play in all three. Although the bobsleigh fight would need to look different. Finally Pleasance would be the least likely to be able to pull off the character in all three.

    What about Max Von Sydow? Some applaud his portrayal of Blofeld in NSNA. What would he look like as Blofeld in 1967?
  • RoadphillRoadphill United Kingdom
    Posts: 656
    Tough one. Pleasance had the iconic look, of course. It would have to be Telly for all three though. DAF would, presumably have looked pretty different with him in the role.

    I can't really get behind Charles Gray. Good actor, but far too preening and posh for Blofeld. As the above poster said, Von Sydow would have been interesting, and probably able to pull off all three films to a degree.
    Without some serious retconning in No Time To Die, I really can't count Bro-feld.
  • Posts: 19,339
    BT3366 wrote: »
    You could give the films a pass given that Fleming changed Blofeld's appearance, at least between OHMSS and YOLT. I'm guessing the decision not to bring back previous Blofeld actors was a director choice. I'm sure Peter Hunt immediately dismissed the idea of bringing back Donald Pleasance as he was going for more realism, as well as trying to distance the memory of OHMSS as a reason for not bringing back Savalas in DAF.

    Savalas didn't come back because he wanted a massive salary that Cubby wasn't prepared to pay,alas.
  • Posts: 697
    He goes for the lighter almost camp approach most of the time, but I find Gray to be convincingly evil a couple of times in DAF - pointing the knife at Bond in the pretitles, when he's angered in the penthouse and a couple of times on the oil rig. But the crossdressing and campier moments kind of nullify that.

    Van Sydow has a cool voice but he looks similar to Jan Werich, the original YOLT Blofeld choice and therefore not really threateningly evil. I honestly don't think Eon has ever really gotten the character just right.
  • RoadphillRoadphill United Kingdom
    Posts: 656
    BT3366 wrote: »
    He goes for the lighter almost camp approach most of the time, but I find Gray to be convincingly evil a couple of times in DAF - pointing the knife at Bond in the pretitles, when he's angered in the penthouse and a couple of times on the oil rig. But the crossdressing and campier moments kind of nullify that.

    Van Sydow has a cool voice but he looks similar to Jan Werich, the original YOLT Blofeld choice and therefore not really threateningly evil. I honestly don't think Eon has ever really gotten the character just right.

    If you are talking in comparison to the books, probably not. But I still think Telly was superb. Charming, menacing, intelligent and still somewhat of a physical threat.
  • Posts: 697
    Roadphill wrote: »
    BT3366 wrote: »
    He goes for the lighter almost camp approach most of the time, but I find Gray to be convincingly evil a couple of times in DAF - pointing the knife at Bond in the pretitles, when he's angered in the penthouse and a couple of times on the oil rig. But the crossdressing and campier moments kind of nullify that.

    Van Sydow has a cool voice but he looks similar to Jan Werich, the original YOLT Blofeld choice and therefore not really threateningly evil. I honestly don't think Eon has ever really gotten the character just right.

    If you are talking in comparison to the books, probably not. But I still think Telly was superb. Charming, menacing, intelligent and still somewhat of a physical threat.

    Yeah, he's my choice too as well as he combined it all.
  • MakeshiftPythonMakeshiftPython Crab Key
    Posts: 1,183
    Was Pleasence offered to return for DAF?
  • thedovethedove hiding in the Greek underworld
    Posts: 1,954
    Not that I have heard @MakeshiftPython but who knows. He might have pulled it off. Then we'd have a Lazenby Blofeld and a Connery Blofeld. Not sure what is worse.

    I think Gray did have it in him to be a little more menacing then he turned out in DAF. I like those 2 scenes you mentioned. I also like how he handles Bond when he comes aboard the rig. "Really Mr. Bond, your puny little island hasn't even been threatened. Search him from the follicles on his head to his feet then bring him to me."

    I do think the continuity would have helped the tension and storyline between Blofeld and Bond if the same actor had portrayed Blofeld. It might even had made the producers to dial down some of the campy scenes in DAF and go a little more hard edged.
  • Posts: 3,674
    It’s hard to blame Gray for DAF, as he was providing the Blofeld they wanted for a largely comedic movie.
  • MakeshiftPythonMakeshiftPython Crab Key
    Posts: 1,183
    I actually like Gray’s Blofeld in that he suits the tone of DAF, which is mostly helped by Mankiewicz writing because he handles it well. I think the line “the great powers flexing their military muscles like so many impotent beach boys” is actually the truest summation of Blofeld’s worldview.

    On the other hand Pleasence returning I think would have at least really helped hammer how much DAF is NOT a follow up to OHMSS.
  • echoecho 007 in New York
    Posts: 3,475
    Savalas and Connery in DAF would have given a nice edge to that movie.
  • thedovethedove hiding in the Greek underworld
    Posts: 1,954
    Nice discussion on that what if. I do wish Blofeld had been constant as a casting choice though given the tone of the three movies I suppose what we got works perfectly well. Thanks for weighing in!

    Okay off to another casting of James Bond! There are screen tests of both James Brolin and Sam Neill floating around the wonderful internet. Roger was making noises of not returning to Bond after FYEO. Cubby tested a few. Some reports say James Brolin was getting serious consideration. The screen test with him clearly has him using an American accent and not putting on a British one. Sam Neill was using his regular voice and so a Kiwi accent is used.

    What if Roger wasn't lured back for OP? What casting choice do you think would have been a good one between the 2 actors? I know some Dalton fans will suggest him and that's fine, I am looking more for a discussion about the two actors who screen tested for Bond. What say you Mi6...Brolin or Neill starring as James Bond in OP? What effect would this casting have on the future of the franchise?
  • ThunderfingerThunderfinger regnifrednuhT
    Posts: 34,613
    If either of those two had been cast, I suspect NSNA would have won the battle of the Bonds 83.
  • edited August 23 Posts: 1,524
    If either of those two had been cast, I suspect NSNA would have won the battle of the Bonds 83.

    Yep. Brolin was bland beef and Neil, though an excellent character actor, didn't fit the part of Bond and didn't really want it. The public would have sensed all of that. And next to Connery, Brolin and Neill would have come off as pretenders.
  • Posts: 9,676
    Not so sure about Neill for OP. I'm pretty sure he auditioned for TLD.
    I think everyone was sold on him except for Cubby. James Brolin, I believe was pretty close to getting the role for OP though.
    Had Brolin played the part I have my doubts how well it would have turned out. I'm sure he would be better in the film than the screen test, but that's not saying much.
  • ThunderfingerThunderfinger regnifrednuhT
    Posts: 34,613
    ToTheRight wrote: »
    Not so sure about Neill for OP. I'm pretty sure he auditioned for TLD.

    I believe you are right. The verdict still stands. Both wrong for Bond, and I doubt they would be a popular choice.
  • Posts: 3,674
    Neill was very popular as Reilly Ace Of Spies, which leant to a lot of people seeing Fleming’s Bond in him.
  • Posts: 9,676
    I think Neill might at least have had a better shot at being embraced as Bond by the fans and public.
  • thedovethedove hiding in the Greek underworld
    Posts: 1,954
    Sorry for the mistake about Neill of course he was in the round with Pierce and Tim for TLD. Thanks for the correction @ToTheRight and @Thunderfinger

    I saw the two different screen tests of Brolin's. One was the love scene from FRWL I believe with Maud Adams and the other a fight scene that hadn't appeared in a movie or even OP. He could handle himself in a fight. Just not sure there was good charisma there for the role.

    I have to hand it to Roger for putting out signals he was done as he knew Connery's Bond was in the works and that Cubby couldn't go in with a new Bond in the battle of the Bond's. Wonder if Roger ever sent a gift over to Sean? LOL!
  • Posts: 7,265
    Neill would of been good but I wouldn’t of gotten Dalton if only there was a way to get both
  • Posts: 9,676
    thedove wrote: »
    Sorry for the mistake about Neill of course he was in the round with Pierce and Tim for TLD. Thanks for the correction @ToTheRight and @Thunderfinger

    I saw the two different screen tests of Brolin's. One was the love scene from FRWL I believe with Maud Adams and the other a fight scene that hadn't appeared in a movie or even OP. He could handle himself in a fight. Just not sure there was good charisma there for the role.

    I have to hand it to Roger for putting out signals he was done as he knew Connery's Bond was in the works and that Cubby couldn't go in with a new Bond in the battle of the Bond's. Wonder if Roger ever sent a gift over to Sean? LOL!

    I really like Brolin's screen tests, as well as the interview with him on the OP Blu-ray. Fascinating how Cubby really pulled out all the stops, treated him like family when preparing him to potentially star in OP.
    I love how Brolin purchased a few suits to take to the audition, and he looked quite dashing. His beige suit during the screen test with Vijay doesn't look too different from what Roger finally wore in the scene.
    Maud Adams is particularly good with Brolin in the FRWL scene.
    When comparing the brief clip with Neill, I'd say Neill actually looks more the part, though. Perhaps it's his haircut?
    There's a spy thriller called HOSTAGE Neill did a few years later. Art Malik and Talisa Soto are both in it. Neill has some bedroom scenes with Talisa.
    The movie itself I find a bit indifferent. Not particularly bad, but nothing too memorable. Does kind of give an indication what he might have looked like as Bond, though. I'm glad Tim got the role.
  • thedovethedove hiding in the Greek underworld
    Posts: 1,954
    Cubby must have saw something in him to do all that work with him. I think I need to rewatch the OP documentary and remind myself of some of these details.

    Do we think Brolin would have had longevity in the role or merely a placeholder till the next Bond came along?
  • Posts: 697
    Was the Brolin thing serious or just the tipping point to lure Moore back? Wasn't the demand Bond must be British in place by then, so would they seriously have considered an American at that point? I just find it really odd to consider him in '82.

    He did kinda' get to be a secret agent when he played PW Herman in the film at the end of Pee Wee's Big Adventure.
  • thedovethedove hiding in the Greek underworld
    Posts: 1,954
    Brolin was also cast in Castle as Castle's father. There was a nod to Casino Royale in the first episode of his appearance if memory serves.

    I suppose Cubby could have been bluffing with Brolin just like Moore was bluffing about not returning to play Bond.
  • ThunderfingerThunderfinger regnifrednuhT
    Posts: 34,613
    thedove wrote: »
    Brolin was also cast in Castle as Castle's father. There was a nod to Casino Royale in the first episode of his appearance if memory serves.

    I suppose Cubby could have been bluffing with Brolin just like Moore was bluffing about not returning to play Bond.

    I very much doubt that. Filming those scenes took up a lot of time and money, and they hardly showed them to Moore.
  • MakeshiftPythonMakeshiftPython Crab Key
    edited August 24 Posts: 1,183
    Brolin was a serious contender at least up until the Connery Bond film was getting a lot of traction. Once that was clear, Cubby knew he needed Moore for OP no matter how much the price would be. There was no chance in hell Cubby was going to try to establish a new actor in the role while Connery's shadow was looming.

    But here's the thing that has always flummoxed me. For a brief period FYEO was at one point considered for the debut of a new actor. Ultimately, and to the relief of John Glen, it was decided Moore would come back and it may have been his final film. Then in OP they start seriously looking into new actors for the role, and the only reason Moore came back was so to give OP an edge against NSNA. You would assume then that OP would therefore become Moore's swan song. What better way to end your run then having your film beat Connery's at the box office?

    As far as I have looked into, I cannot see any indication that EON was considered hiring a new actor for AVTAK. Not a word of that, let alone a test screening. So that begs the question... Why did EON go straight to Moore for AVTAK instead of looking into a new actor? Was this their way of performing a symbolic victory lap over having beaten NSNA at the box office? Moore was always willing to come back providing Cubby paid up, and Cubby clearly did. It was only months later after AVTAK that Moore had made it clear he was done once and for all.

    IMO, AVTAK really should have been the debut of a new actor. I always imagined had Dalton been approached that we would have gotten this film but more in line with the tone of TLD. The comedic/camp elements would have been toned down considerably. Instead of having two old men fighting two equally old men in an underground facility "it's all wrapped up" we might have gotten a much more serious brawl out as we'd see in TLD with Necros.

    Forgive the tangent, but Moore coming back for AVTAK has always been one of those big "WHY WOULD EON DO THIS?" questions for me.
  • edited August 24 Posts: 9,676
    thedove wrote: »
    Cubby must have saw something in him to do all that work with him. I think I need to rewatch the OP documentary and remind myself of some of these details.

    Do we think Brolin would have had longevity in the role or merely a placeholder till the next Bond came along?

    I think it boils down to how well he would have been received. I can't see him lasting past the '80's but who knows?
    Brolin was a serious contender at least up until the Connery Bond film was getting a lot of traction. Once that was clear, Cubby knew he needed Moore for OP no matter how much the price would be. There was no chance in hell Cubby was going to try to establish a new actor in the role while Connery's shadow was looming.

    But here's the thing that has always flummoxed me. For a brief period FYEO was at one point considered for the debut of a new actor. Ultimately, and to the relief of John Glen, it was decided Moore would come back and it may have been his final film. Then in OP they start seriously looking into new actors for the role, and the only reason Moore came back was so to give OP an edge against NSNA. You would assume then that OP would therefore become Moore's swan song. What better way to end your run then having your film beat Connery's at the box office?

    As far as I have looked into, I cannot see any indication that EON was considered hiring a new actor for AVTAK. Not a word of that, let alone a test screening. So that begs the question... Why did EON go straight to Moore for AVTAK instead of looking into a new actor? Was this their way of performing a symbolic victory lap over having beaten NSNA at the box office? Moore was always willing to come back providing Cubby paid up, and Cubby clearly did. It was only months later after AVTAK that Moore had made it clear he was done once and for all.

    IMO, AVTAK really should have been the debut of a new actor. I always imagined had Dalton been approached that we would have gotten this film but more in line with the tone of TLD. The comedic/camp elements would have been toned down considerably. Instead of having two old men fighting two equally old men in an underground facility "it's all wrapped up" we might have gotten a much more serious brawl out as we'd see in TLD with Necros.

    Forgive the tangent, but Moore coming back for AVTAK has always been one of those big "WHY WOULD EON DO THIS?" questions for me.

    I think signing Roger immediately after OP was kind of a celebration for not only beating NSNA, but OP becoming one of the biggest hits of '83.
    I don't believe Tim would have wanted to do AVTAK since it was still firmly set in the Roger style. Pierce, on the other hand might have, but would still have the REMINGTON STEELE contract to deal with. I think an AVTAK without Roger would have had to be somebody else altogether.
  • MakeshiftPythonMakeshiftPython Crab Key
    Posts: 1,183
    Dalton coming onto TLD certainly altered the writing of Bond, that I think we could have seen that same calibration with AVTAK given it's all by the same key filmmakers. The AVTAK ultimately we got would have never happened under anyone else than Moore IMO.
  • Posts: 19,339
    Bond would have died
  • MakeshiftPythonMakeshiftPython Crab Key
    Posts: 1,183
    barryt007 wrote: »
    Bond would have died

    And then likely come back from the dead. If films have proven anything it’s that no intellectual property will ever remain dead. Unless it’s THE LONE RANGER.
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