Not Sean Connery, James Bond Author Ian Fleming Considered Another Actor to be the Perfect 007 Agent Who Refused the Role  – FandomWire

Bond, James Bond—to say these three words on the big screen is nothing less than a dream come true for any actor. Especially in British cinema, many male actors hold the iconic role of 007 in high regard. Sean Connery was not the man Eon Productions had in mind for playing James Bond from the moment they acquired the film rights to the character; instead, they had just one man in mind.

The James Bond author Ian Fleming wanted Richard Burton specifically when a film adaptation was proposed in the late 1950s, but the Welsh actor thought it was too risky and had also demanded a sizable salary. The late actor, who delivered a memorable performance as Hamlet in 1964, would find it challenging to turn down the part of Agent 007.

James Bond Author Ian Fleming

Also read: “I can’t tell you but something great has happened”: Daniel Craig’s Saddest Hilarious Story Happened In A Bar After Actor Had Hesitated To Take Up James Bond For One Reason

Ian Fleming’s Considered Richard Burton For The Role of James Bond

Millions of people have been enthralled by the iconic James Bond character for more than 50 years. What if, however, the person who came up with the idea for this British super-spy had another actor in mind?

Unexpectedly, the brilliant mind behind this fictional character, Ian Fleming, thought that Richard Burton, who passed away on 5 August at the age of 58, would make the ideal Agent 007.  

Ian Fleming’s Considered Richard Burton For The Role Of James Bond
Ian Fleming’s Considered Richard Burton For The Role Of James Bond

In fact, before the franchise began, the Hollywood legend was among the first actors considered for the role. As per the Daily Express, Fleming, a huge admirer of Burton, thought the late actor had the perfect amount of “dark and brooding”.

The actor, like many others at the time, was unsure of how well the character would translate to the screen or whether the movie would be a success. Connery approached him again after the first run, but it seems that by that point, his salary demands were too high.  

Richard Burton
Richard Burton

The Evening Standard claimed that in a letter to his friend Ivar Bryce, Fleming stated that 

Both Dehn [a Hollywood screenwriter] and I think that Richard Burton would be by far the best James Bond!”

Also read: “It’s just not happening at all”: Unlike Keanu Reeves, Daniel Craig’s Best James Bond Movie Gets Shredded by Gun Expert for One Impossible Scene

A Few Other Actors Who Almost Played James Bond

There was much speculation about who the producers would cast to fill Sean Connery’s enormously big shoes after the 1967 release of You Only Live Twice.

Michael Caine, who had previously played spy Harry Palmer in The Ipcress Files and Funeral in Berlin, was one actor who received serious consideration. As per Daily Express, the actor was concerned about being typecast in spy roles after three Harry Palmer movies and felt that he was

“Much more ordinary” than the “glamorous, imaginative creation” that was 007. 

Michael Caine
Michael Caine

Terence Stamp, who told the Evening Standard that he was one of several actors considered before Eon Productions chose George Lazenby to star in On Her Majesty’s Secret Service:

“Like most English actors, I’d have loved to be 007 because I really know how to wear a suit. But I think my ideas about it put the frighteners on Harry. I didn’t get a second call from him. He took me out for dinner at the White Elephant in Curzon Street. He said, ‘We’re looking for the new 007. You’re really fit and really English.’”

Mel Gibson was also approached to play James Bond. He once gave JoBlo an explanation of his decision to decline the opportunity in September 2022:

“I got offered the James Bond movies when I was like 26. I was in Australia, I was working with Peter Weir. And I did think about it, and I sort of turned it down – for that reason. Because I thought, look what happened to poor Sean, he got stuck there for like three decades.”

Mel Gibson
Mel Gibson

Hugh Jackman also had the chance to portray James Bond. In a 2017 interview with Variety, he recalled receiving a call from his agent asking if he would be interested in playing the British spy:

“I just felt at the time that the scripts had become so unbelievable and crazy, and I felt like they needed to become grittier and real.”

The actor declined after learning that he would not “get a say” in any story-related decisions, as well as out of concern for taking on too many franchises: 

“I was also worried that between Bond and X-Men, I’d never have time to do different things.” 

Hugh Jackman from the movie Wolverine
Hugh Jackman as Wolverine

Daniel Craig played the lead role in Casino Royale (2006), the film that revived the series, and he appeared in a total of five movies. The last James Bond film was  No Time to Die (2021), which is streaming on Amazon Prime Video. 

Also read: “I’m bald, and I’ve got a double chin”: Like Clint Eastwood, Harry Potter Star Michael Gambon Refused to Play James Bond for His Own Insecurities After Sean Connery

Source- Daily Express; Evening Standard; JoBlo; Variety; Evening Standard

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Not Sean Connery, James Bond Author Ian Fleming Considered Another Actor to be the Perfect 007 Agent Who Refused the Role  – FandomWire