Pierce Brosnan attempted to make a rival Bond film

mtmmtm United Kingdom
in Actors Posts: 4,847
There’s no news like old news, but I wasn’t previously aware that Brosnan actually proactively contacted Kevin McClory in the early 90s to try and get himself an unofficial second chance to play 007. Sounds like they put a proper organised attempt in with producers etc. involved.
Interesting that Cubby et al gave him his third chance!

Check 12min 55 onwards:
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Comments

  • Posts: 10,968
    If Brosnan's hair was just a little shorter on the sides a little longer in the back, he'd be rocking a classic mullet.
    A Brosnan WARHEAD might have been interesting, providing McClory wasn't married to the concept of Michel Legrand scoring. Imagine had McClory and Pierce pursued their own Bond films during the 6 year gap. I have a feeling it might have been successful during that time as many audiences in the States weren't exactly warming to Tim.
    Great interview!
  • mtmmtm United Kingdom
    Posts: 4,847
    Yeah I'm sure it probably would have done well, but presumably would have meant he wouldn't have got the Eon job in '94. Unless they swallowed their pride..?
    Is it even possible that GoldenEye wouldn't have been successful with another actor in the lead? Could him not doing the McClory film have saved the whole series?
    :D

    I think it's interesting that he wanted the job so much that he actually tried to make it happen off his own back.
  • edited June 2 Posts: 499
    According to this, McClory wanted to go back to the WARHEAD script (by himself, Len Deighton & Sean Connery), and re-title it ATOMIC WARFARE:

    https://www.mi6-hq.com/sections/articles/opinion_kevin_mcclory_damaged_the_james_bond_series.php3?t&s&id=03599

    That would have been interesting: An unofficial Bond film starring Brosnan and co-written by Connery.
  • Posts: 3,267
    You can tell he's feeling very awkward when that question comes up, like this is going through his head "oh yeah... that happened". Probably also thinking he's glad that didn't pan out, because his career wouldn't have been the same if he didn't get that boost by EON.
  • edited June 2 Posts: 499
    You can tell he's feeling very awkward when that question comes up, like this is going through his head "oh yeah... that happened".

    I wonder. He makes it a point to say "we went to Kevin" and seems proud to admit that he wanted to give Broccoli a run for his money. Based on what I've read, Brosnan was unhappy making TND -- he clashed with Roger Spottiswoode and hated the last-minute rewrites during production (pages were being delivered to the cast minutes before the scenes were shot). Also, from what I remember, he was making comments to the press that suggested his ideas about the direction of the franchise were being shot down by EON (out of all the Bonds, he seems to have had the least amount of control after Lazenby). So basically I think there was a mild resentment toward his employers even then.
  • Posts: 10,968
    mtm wrote: »
    Yeah I'm sure it probably would have done well, but presumably would have meant he wouldn't have got the Eon job in '94. Unless they swallowed their pride..?
    Is it even possible that GoldenEye wouldn't have been successful with another actor in the lead? Could him not doing the McClory film have saved the whole series?
    :D

    I think it's interesting that he wanted the job so much that he actually tried to make it happen off his own back.

    This reminds me how much uncertainty of Bond's future there was during the 6 year hiatus. At one point Cubby did put Bond up for sale briefly. Had Pierce and McClory produced their own 007 film at that time Bond's screen future might really have been different. I'm grateful the sale never materialized. I remember Joel Silver talking about pursuing the Bond film rights and casting Mel Gibson for his Bond.
    I wonder how far Pierce and McClory got before realizing the amount of legalistics /paperwork was too much to make the project worthwhile?
  • Posts: 3,267
    ToTheRight wrote: »
    I wonder how far Pierce and McClory got before realizing the amount of legalistics /paperwork was too much to make the project worthwhile?

    I think McClory would have kept pushing if Brosnan hadn't backed out. Remember, even during the Brosnan era McClory wanted to get Dalton to do a Bond film with Sony.
  • Posts: 10,968
    ToTheRight wrote: »
    I wonder how far Pierce and McClory got before realizing the amount of legalistics /paperwork was too much to make the project worthwhile?

    I think McClory would have kept pushing if Brosnan hadn't backed out. Remember, even during the Brosnan era McClory wanted to get Dalton to do a Bond film with Sony.

    With Tim's loyalty to the Broccolli's I imagine it was a very short discussion with McClory, if it even got to that point.
    I do wonder what working with McClory on a Bond project must have been like? Certainly his eagerness would have been prominent. I get the impression that the constant back and forth leading to nothing would have turned many people away from him.
    It's amazing Connery actually had the patience to stick NSNA out through to the end considering the hassles involved.
  • edited June 2 Posts: 3,267
    And Connery went onto dismiss NSNA. I remember reading a magazine from 1990 during the height of his career renaissance where he reflected pretty negatively over it. Pretty sure it was an interview on Time magazine, but I’ve had no luck scoping it online.
  • Posts: 499
    And Connery went onto dismiss NSNA. I remember reading a magazine from 1990 during the height of his career renaissance where he reflected pretty negatively over it. Pretty sure it was an interview on Time magazine, but I’ve had no luck scoping it online.

    I think this was more of a comment on the film's troubled shoot. The producer, Jack Schwartzman, spent much of his time in court defending the production against Broccoli's army of lawyers. As a result, Connery (together with Irvin Kershner) picked up a lot of slack and became the de facto producer, which he hated.
  • mtmmtm United Kingdom
    edited June 2 Posts: 4,847
    You can tell he's feeling very awkward when that question comes up, like this is going through his head "oh yeah... that happened". Probably also thinking he's glad that didn't pan out, because his career wouldn't have been the same if he didn't get that boost by EON.

    I don't think he's seeming too ashamed of it there to be honest, and I don't think it's a bad thing really. He obviously was very keen to be Bond and it speaks of his willingness to get into producing films a bit more. In a way it's kind of funny that they let Craig into that side of things more than they did Brosnan, who ended up starting his own production company and getting a couple of hits under their belts.
    ToTheRight wrote: »
    mtm wrote: »
    Yeah I'm sure it probably would have done well, but presumably would have meant he wouldn't have got the Eon job in '94. Unless they swallowed their pride..?
    Is it even possible that GoldenEye wouldn't have been successful with another actor in the lead? Could him not doing the McClory film have saved the whole series?
    :D

    I think it's interesting that he wanted the job so much that he actually tried to make it happen off his own back.

    This reminds me how much uncertainty of Bond's future there was during the 6 year hiatus. At one point Cubby did put Bond up for sale briefly.

    Wow is that right? I didn't know that.
    ToTheRight wrote: »
    Had Pierce and McClory produced their own 007 film at that time Bond's screen future might really have been different.

    Yes indeed: you can even imagine another studio picking it up from Cubby and making a new series with Brosnan in the lead continuing after this Never Say Never Again Again movie.
  • Posts: 499
    An alternate reality with three different remakes of THUNDERBALL starring Connery, Brosnan and Dalton, would be pretty funny.
  • Creasy47Creasy47 In Cuba with Natalya.Moderator
    Posts: 33,530
    Escalus5 wrote: »
    An alternate reality with three different remakes of THUNDERBALL starring Connery, Brosnan and Dalton, would be pretty funny.

    That's a world I'd enjoy living in.
  • Posts: 10,968
    mtm wrote: »
    You can tell he's feeling very awkward when that question comes up, like this is going through his head "oh yeah... that happened". Probably also thinking he's glad that didn't pan out, because his career wouldn't have been the same if he didn't get that boost by EON.

    I don't think he's seeming too ashamed of it there to be honest, and I don't think it's a bad thing really. He obviously was very keen to be Bond and it speaks of his willingness to get into producing films a bit more. In a way it's kind of funny that they let Craig into that side of things more than they did Brosnan, who ended up starting his own production company and getting a couple of hits under their belts.
    ToTheRight wrote: »
    mtm wrote: »
    Yeah I'm sure it probably would have done well, but presumably would have meant he wouldn't have got the Eon job in '94. Unless they swallowed their pride..?
    Is it even possible that GoldenEye wouldn't have been successful with another actor in the lead? Could him not doing the McClory film have saved the whole series?
    :D

    I think it's interesting that he wanted the job so much that he actually tried to make it happen off his own back.

    This reminds me how much uncertainty of Bond's future there was during the 6 year hiatus. At one point Cubby did put Bond up for sale briefly.

    Wow is that right? I didn't know that.
    ToTheRight wrote: »
    Had Pierce and McClory produced their own 007 film at that time Bond's screen future might really have been different.

    Yes indeed: you can even imagine another studio picking it up from Cubby and making a new series with Brosnan in the lead continuing after this Never Say Never Again Again movie.

    In August of 1990 Cubby put Danjaq up for sale. One of the recent James Bond and Friends podcasts goes into it a little bit. Eventually UA negotiated with Cubby and Barbara and Michael then took over as producers.
  • thedovethedove hiding in the Greek underworld
    Posts: 3,561
    We have to remember that Brosnan was Cubby's selection. Not Barbara's and as such when things came to an end he was unceremoniously dumped. I applaud him for staying classy after being dumped via phone call.
  • mtmmtm United Kingdom
    edited June 3 Posts: 4,847
    thedove wrote: »
    We have to remember that Brosnan was Cubby's selection. Not Barbara's and as such when things came to an end he was unceremoniously dumped. I applaud him for staying classy after being dumped via phone call.

    Well that's the business, it was nothing personal I'm sure. And I'm not sure I'd be all that happy about anyone flying 5,500 miles just to say they won't be hiring them- that's a hell of a carbon footprint! :)
  • edited June 3 Posts: 499
    thedove wrote: »
    We have to remember that Brosnan was Cubby's selection. Not Barbara's and as such when things came to an end he was unceremoniously dumped. I applaud him for staying classy after being dumped via phone call.

    That's not the whole story.

    In Some Kind of Hero, Brosnan admits that Barbara seemed very emotional and even cried when she was giving him the decision.

    Also, there was a meeting over lunch following that phone call in which Brosnan tried to persuade Barbara and MGW into keeping him on for one more Bond movie and giving him a pay raise. Of course, they refused. I mention that because it seems to be widely believed the phone call was the last of their conversations about Brosnan's dismissal, and that doesn't appear to be the case.
  • edited June 3 Posts: 499
    thedove wrote: »
    We have to remember that Brosnan was Cubby's selection.

    From what I've read, Cubby wanted Dalton to return. The decision to re-cast was made by Cubby under pressure from the executives at MGM/UA, who wanted Brosnan.

    I know that Dalton has said that he only wanted to do one more film (which did not align with Cubby's wishes) but I think they would have come to an agreement had MGM/UA not intervened.
  • mtmmtm United Kingdom
    Posts: 4,847
    Escalus5 wrote: »
    thedove wrote: »
    We have to remember that Brosnan was Cubby's selection. Not Barbara's and as such when things came to an end he was unceremoniously dumped. I applaud him for staying classy after being dumped via phone call.

    That's not the whole story.

    In Some Kind of Hero, Brosnan admits that Barbara seemed very emotional and even cried when she was giving him the decision.

    Also, there was a meeting over lunch following that phone call in which Brosnan tried to persuade Barbara and MGW into keeping him on for one more Bond movie and giving him a pay raise.

    I'm amazed that didn't persuade them! :D
    Escalus5 wrote: »
    thedove wrote: »
    We have to remember that Brosnan was Cubby's selection.

    From what I've read, Cubby wanted Dalton to return.

    Sure but I guess thedove means Cubby picked him for Daylights. After he originally picked Dalton, or whatever the story is! Must be nice to know you were second choice after Tim Dalton twice :D
  • MurdockMurdock Mr. 2000
    Posts: 16,029
    On his live viewing of GE, Brosnan mention he was signed up and ready to go for TLD when NBC came a knocking with that Remington Steele renewal.
  • edited June 3 Posts: 499
    mtm wrote: »
    I'm amazed that didn't persuade them! :D

    It does give one a sense of Brosnan's level of arrogance, doesn't it?
  • edited June 3 Posts: 499
    Murdock wrote: »
    On his live viewing of GE, Brosnan mention he was signed up and ready to go for TLD when NBC came a knocking with that Remington Steele renewal.

    But what he neglected to mention -- or maybe doesn't know -- is that Dalton was the first choice but couldn't be available because of his commitment to BRENDA STARR.

    So yes, it seems that @mtm is correct about Brosnan being EON's second choice both times.
  • edited June 3 Posts: 3,267
    Escalus5 wrote: »
    Murdock wrote: »
    On his live viewing of GE, Brosnan mention he was signed up and ready to go for TLD when NBC came a knocking with that Remington Steele renewal.

    But what he neglected to mention -- or maybe doesn't know -- is that Dalton was the first choice but couldn't be available because of his commitment to BRENDA STARR.

    So yes, it seems that @mtm is correct about Brosnan being EON's second choice both times.

    Correct, and that's why the casting of Bond was done so late in the process. They couldn't get Dalton, so they had to keep looking and Brosnan was selected. Then the NBC contract came up and Cubby famously said "Remington Steele will not be James Bond". Because of that, production had to be postponed so they could have time for another actor. It's because of that postponement that Dalton was actually available to get the gig. Of course, Brosnan made a lot of fuss over it on the press and a lot of American audiences that had grown to the idea of Brosnan for Bond didn't give Dalton a chance. I don't blame Brosnan for being upset, as that renewal of RS didn't even amount to anything as the ratings went down after it became apparent Brosnan was not Bond.
  • mtmmtm United Kingdom
    Posts: 4,847
    Escalus5 wrote: »
    Murdock wrote: »
    On his live viewing of GE, Brosnan mention he was signed up and ready to go for TLD when NBC came a knocking with that Remington Steele renewal.

    But what he neglected to mention -- or maybe doesn't know -- is that Dalton was the first choice but couldn't be available because of his commitment to BRENDA STARR.

    So yes, it seems that @mtm is correct about Brosnan being EON's second choice both times.

    I've always wondered about that particular version a bit though: it's the Eon party line and I always feel like it's there to make Dalton sound like the first choice. But neither The Making of TLD book nor Some Kind of Hero have it that way round, although the latter has Dalton say that Broccoli approached him for drinks in '86 to ask if he'd like to do it but he's busy with West End plays. Dalton had long been on their radar and obviously one of several they'd approached about being the fourth Bond but I do tend to think Brosnan was the first guy they actually hired. Maybe I'm wrong and their version is true, but it always sounds a bit neat and flattering to Dalton! :)
  • edited June 3 Posts: 499
    mtm wrote: »
    Dalton had long been on their radar and obviously one of several they'd approached about being the fourth Bond but I do tend to think Brosnan was the first guy they actually hired.

    There's a photo of Brosnan signing the contract next to Cubby and MGW, but it's not certain if that was legit or staged. But yeah, they were ready to go with him.

    The GOLDENEYE Wikipedia page claims that Paul McGann (a wonderful actor who is probably best known as the eighth incarnation of Doctor Who) was the "studio's original choice" for Bond and "would have been cast only if Brosnan had turned down the role." I spoke to McGann at a convention about this -- he laughed and told me it was not true and that he never even tested for the role.
  • mtmmtm United Kingdom
    edited June 3 Posts: 4,847
    Escalus5 wrote: »
    mtm wrote: »
    Dalton had long been on their radar and obviously one of several they'd approached about being the fourth Bond but I do tend to think Brosnan was the first guy they actually hired.

    There's a photo of Brosnan signing the contract next to Cubby and MGW, but it's not certain if that was legit or staged. But yeah, they were ready to go with him.

    Yeah it's just if you watch the documentary on the DVD or the Everything Or Nothing documentary film (I think) they very much play up that Dalton was definitely the guy they were going to go with and then he became unavailable and they went with Bros, but I don't know if it definitely happened that way.
    Escalus5 wrote: »
    The GOLDENEYE Wikipedia page claims that Paul McGann (a wonderful actor who is probably best known as the eighth incarnation of Doctor Who) was the "studio's original choice" for Bond and "would have been cast only if Brosnan had turned down the role." I spoke to McGann at a convention about this -- he laughed and told me it was not true and that he never even tested for the role.

    Yeah that sounds total nonsense. Cubby had a big thing about height apparently: even Mel Gibson was too short for him so I don't see him going for a titch in his mid-twenties like McGann.
  • ThunderfingerThunderfinger Robotswana
    Posts: 38,606
    First time I hear of Brosnan being involved with McClory. Interesting.
  • thedovethedove hiding in the Greek underworld
    Posts: 3,561
    According to a few of the experts on James Bond and Friends podcast. Brosnan was brought to Pinewood to have photos taken of him signing the contract. They also posed with him outside of the 007 soundstage. Why make that big a deal if he was their second choice. They were going to Pierce and then NBC blocked it so they rounded back to Dalton.

    I think everyone who makes it to the level of stardom has a certain amount of ego. So why not ask for more money...it would be weird to me if he asked them for one more and said he'd take less.
  • mtmmtm United Kingdom
    Posts: 4,847
    thedove wrote: »
    According to a few of the experts on James Bond and Friends podcast. Brosnan was brought to Pinewood to have photos taken of him signing the contract. They also posed with him outside of the 007 soundstage. Why make that big a deal if he was their second choice. They were going to Pierce and then NBC blocked it so they rounded back to Dalton.

    I compared a couple of the books on this the other day. It seems they were testing prospective Bonds from February or so 1986, the Broccolis had a drink with Dalton in 'spring' but he said he was tied up with theatre productions, in May 'Remington Steel' was cancelled and it seems Brosnan was pretty much signed up around that time, NBC picked up 'Steel' in July and Brosnan was out, Dalton then screentested in 'summer' and was hired.
    I tend to think Brosnan wasn't their second choice at all but just the man who was there. They were always interested in Dalton but that wasn't a straight-up offer, I don't think.
  • RichardTheBruceRichardTheBruce I'm motivated by my Duty.
    edited June 11 Posts: 7,378
    Yes it was a matter of who was available over time.

    For Timothy Dalton, his Brenda Starr role played into his deferred commitment. Then Brosnan was approached and was available, then not. By that time Dalton was. So Dalton was the bookend for who got the Bond contract. Timing is everything.

    On the other hand and looking at the bigger picture, timing wasn't so much on Dalton's side after all. And Brosnan was definitely a player.
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