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Re: Lost Bond Films: Pierce Brosnan in Bond 21…

SpectreOfDefeat wrote:

Can anyone who was a Bond fan at the time in 2004 remember how they felt about Brosnan's departure? Did it come as a big shock, or not so much? I'd be interested to canvas some contemporary reactions to his firing...


I was really into Remington Steele and thought Pierce would make a great Bond and there were lots of rumours saying he was going to be. We all know how he was screwed over by NBC at the last minute (very cruel to do that to someone who was just hours away from having such an iconic role and great career move). So, he didn’t get to be Bond and I was disappointed. Then, years later Pierce was announced as the new Bond. I was so excited and couldn’t wait to see Goldeneye. I loved it (except for Bond being called Jimbo!) He was a great Bond imo. DAD had stupid bits in which ruined it but that was not Pierce’s fault. I thought and hoped he would do at least another two Bond films. When it was announced he would not be Bond anymore I was NOT happy, especially as he wanted to continue.

When Daniel Craig was announced as the new Bond, I was NOT happy. Nothing to do with DC, I didn’t know who he was. I would have felt the same no matter who was chosen. So, thinking of him being Bond annoyed me! Sounds so stupid now!

I went to see Casino Royale in the cinema with my family. I remember I was in a pretty bad mood that day. (stuff going on, I think) and I hated it. I had problems, throughout the film, remembering that it was a re-boot and having not read the book or any others (I have now) I kept thinking Bond wouldn’t act like that! He wouldn’t give up being 007 for a woman, for love. And when it came to the dialogue about his armour being stripped away, I was horrified!  ajb007/amazed

But now, CR is one of my favourite Bond films and I think Daniel is a great Bond. The second half of Spectre was a let down, though.

Looking back, I think that Pierce might have looked too young to be Bond when TLD came out. But he would have been perfect then, as Bond starting out, if they had been able to make CR at that time.

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Re: Lost Bond Films: Pierce Brosnan in Bond 21…

I remember either Purvis or Wade saying they had worked on a non-CR script for Brosnan. Can't remember where I saw that.

Pierce has always seemed rather annoyed with the way it happened. He wanted to do a fifth film. I also remember him saying that he wanted more money and thought he was worth it, and that many other franchise stars had similar salaries, but Eon didn't want to pay.

This could well have been true, as Bond is owned by an independent production company based in London, and a struggling studio, whereas in Hollywood stars can command $20 million. I recall that was the figure Brosnan wanted. Eon presumably thought the brand was bigger than any actor. If true, it's certainly ironic that they've continually bent over backwards for Craig.

Of course, Pierce is lucky in that he went from getting the role and making no films, to getting the role again and making four. Had he replaced Roger as planned, he would only have made two. He thought TLD was "somewhat inarticulate", so that is no loss to him in hindsight.

Was Tarrantino really that keen to make CR? He was drunk when he pitched it to Pierce, after all.

It's been years since I read CR, but it wasn't an origin story for Bond, was it? I thought Eon took that angle because of Batman Begins?

My Top 10 Bond Films: Octopussy, Goldeneye, From Russia With Love, The Living Daylights, Tomorrow Never Dies, Licence to Kill, For Your Eyes Only, Moonraker, Goldfinger and The Spy Who Loved Me.

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Re: Lost Bond Films: Pierce Brosnan in Bond 21…

DavidJones wrote:

It's been years since I read CR, but it wasn't an origin story for Bond, was it? I thought Eon took that angle because of Batman Begins?

Correct. The original novel was not an origin story. Bond had already been a 00 agent for some time. How he became 007 is mentioned, but it’s not important to the story. MGW wanted to do an origin story, and they used the excuse that because CR was the first novel that it would be a good opportunity for it to be made into an origin story. But the parts of the film that are about Bond’s origins are not part of the novel. They just made up excuses to fire Brosnan.

They could have easily adapted the novel for Brosnan, and done it more faithfully as a thriller rather than an action film. Vesper could have been a 40-something divorcee.

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Re: Lost Bond Films: Pierce Brosnan in Bond 21…

Heck, dye Pierce’s hair black again and let him suit up for a back-to-back story arch. I think he could still kill it as Bond.

"History isn't kind to men who play God." - DC "I gave him the limp." - PB  "Better make that two." - TD

"Keeping British end up, sir." - RM "This never happened to the other fellow." - JL "I must be dreaming." SC

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Re: Lost Bond Films: Pierce Brosnan in Bond 21…

I think Pierce was a very good Bond. In my opinion Goldeneye is better than all of the DC films bar Casino Royale. I would say that ALL of his Bond outings were far superior to Spectre which I think is easily the worst film in the franchise.

Saying that if he had stayed on we wouldn’t have got DC’s CR which is my favourite film of all time. They were both lucky to have Martin Campbell direct their first films. I would say it’s a huge shame that they didn’t use Campbell again for another film as he had the golden royale touch  ajb007/martini

Yes. Considerably!

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/ichaice007/

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Re: Lost Bond Films: Pierce Brosnan in Bond 21…

Matt S wrote:

...and done it more faithfully as a thriller rather than an action film...

Yes, it would've been good without the action, which I found overblown and compensatory. The Miami airport scene, for example, while it was also too long with the epilogue in Venice.

I like the film, don't get me wrong, and I dare say it was difficult to film quite a static book.

Pierce wanted to do it, though admitted that you couldn't make a film as sparse as From Russia with Love anymore.

My Top 10 Bond Films: Octopussy, Goldeneye, From Russia With Love, The Living Daylights, Tomorrow Never Dies, Licence to Kill, For Your Eyes Only, Moonraker, Goldfinger and The Spy Who Loved Me.

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Re: Lost Bond Films: Pierce Brosnan in Bond 21…

Matt S wrote:
DavidJones wrote:

It's been years since I read CR, but it wasn't an origin story for Bond, was it? I thought Eon took that angle because of Batman Begins?

Correct. The original novel was not an origin story. Bond had already been a 00 agent for some time. How he became 007 is mentioned, but it’s not important to the story. MGW wanted to do an origin story, and they used the excuse that because CR was the first novel that it would be a good opportunity for it to be made into an origin story. But the parts of the film that are about Bond’s origins are not part of the novel. They just made up excuses to fire Brosnan.

Well not really: they actually made the film with it being an origin story. Making a whole multi-million pound movie just as an excuse to ditch your previous lead actor would be going a bit far! ajb007/biggrin
They don't need an excuse not to hire someone: they can do what they want, it's their business.

Matt S wrote:

They could have easily adapted the novel for Brosnan, and done it more faithfully as a thriller rather than an action film. Vesper could have been a 40-something divorcee.

They could have done that, but arguably it wouldn't have been as successful a movie.

Tarantino's CR with Brosnan in the lead I can imagine, though. Probably not as an Eon movie though.

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Re: Lost Bond Films: Pierce Brosnan in Bond 21…

Barbel wrote:

Should Brosnan have been given a chance to return? Unequivocally yes. The perceived problems with DAD were nothing to do with him; he remained popular with audiences; he didn't look too old (see other films he made at this time) as yet.
As to what went on between him and Eon, we simply do not have enough detail to make more than guesses. Did any bad feeling between him and MGW/BB precede his being dismissed or (understandably on his part) follow it? Did he just ask for more money than they were prepared to pay? There are hints but little more. Eon's official story that the world had changed and they wanted to make a different kind of Bond film has some merit, but may be a retroactive rationalisation.

I think the finished version of Casino Royale does rather suggest that they were telling the truth about wanting to take Bond in a different direction, because that's what happened. I don't really see any reason to read anything more into it. It's certainly hard to ignore the effect that The Bourne Identity most probably had on their thoughts, and good though he is, Brosnan isn't the right guy for that.

'Some Kind of Hero' says that he took the phone call with the news that he was out while he was shooting 'After The Sunset' (on which he says Barbara was crying, so perhaps not the cold sacking that folks are portraying it as) and then slightly curiously had lunch with the producers in Santa Monica later where he pitched 'the case for his price and also to hear 'their detailed rationale for why they didn't think he should do one more''. From the outside, pitching a wage increase after you've been sacked does seem a slightly odd negotiating technique! ajb007/smile

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Re: Lost Bond Films: Pierce Brosnan in Bond 21…

emtiem wrote:

...and then slightly curiously had lunch with the producers in Santa Monica later where he pitched 'the case for his price and also to hear 'their detailed rationale for why they didn't think he should do one more''. From the outside, pitching a wage increase after you've been sacked does seem a slightly odd negotiating technique! ajb007/smile

This meeting in Santa Monica is rarely mentioned, and Pierce has often portrayed his dismissal as just a phone call, presumably as it sounds more curt. I remember when he appeared on the TV show Richard and Judy to talk about it (and promote another film), and my mum saying he was playing up the Irish accent so we he'd sound more romantic and therefore sympathetic. She's quite a cynical person ajb007/smile

When he appeared with his After the Sunset cast members for a round table interview on Charlie Rose, he was far more interested in plugging The Matador, then in pre-production. It was quite embarrassing, and Woody Harrelson was visibly uncomfortable.

The Matador (which I've tried to watch twice and still can't stand - though I understand it's popular) was Pierce's break-up album. It was an almost meta-textual exercise which saw him subverting his suave Bond persona. It seemed slightly petulant to me, even though I'm a big fan of his, but it's understandable when you consider that he was basically being traded for a younger man. That would do things to a person's self-image, as any middle-aged divorcee can attest.

It's interesting to note that this was the first time Barbara had to retire an actor instead of Cubby. Even Desmond Llewellyn didn't need to be told and Judi Dench was carried over. In that respect, it wasn't handled terribly well and Pierce's departure remains the most high-profile of all past Bonds.

Last edited by DavidJones (1st Aug 2020 15:54)

My Top 10 Bond Films: Octopussy, Goldeneye, From Russia With Love, The Living Daylights, Tomorrow Never Dies, Licence to Kill, For Your Eyes Only, Moonraker, Goldfinger and The Spy Who Loved Me.

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Re: Lost Bond Films: Pierce Brosnan in Bond 21…

DavidJones wrote:

It's been years since I read CR, but it wasn't an origin story for Bond, was it? I thought Eon took that angle because of Batman Begins?

Matt S wrote:

Correct. The original novel was not an origin story. Bond had already been a 00 agent for some time. How he became 007 is mentioned, but it’s not important to the story.

Casino Royale does not state when Bond was promoted to double-O, or how long he has held that status. That information is retconned, in both From Russia With Love and Goldfinger, it is stated or implied he was promoted to double-O in (late) 1950, and Casino Royale happens in (summer) 1951.
He does have that crisis of faith after being tortured, and then makes a mission statement to always fight SMERSH after Vesper's suicide, that's very "origin story"-ish.
The first two kills are described twice in Casino Royale, then never mentioned again in future books. I'm glad they were adapted in the film, as they are part of the book. But they happen ten years in the past, so I always wonder if Fleming either originally intended for Bond to have been a double-O longer, or if Casino Royale was originally intended to happen closer to the end of the war.

Bond joined the British Secret Service in 1938 (1941 according to the Obit, another retcon). That's the status he's definitely held for a long time by the start of Casino Royale.


(Pearson, Griswold, and Horowitz all have Bond promoted to double-O in 1950, but they're not Fleming and they're writing decades later)

Last edited by caractacus potts (1st Aug 2020 16:46)

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Re: Lost Bond Films: Pierce Brosnan in Bond 21…

DavidJones wrote:
emtiem wrote:

...and then slightly curiously had lunch with the producers in Santa Monica later where he pitched 'the case for his price and also to hear 'their detailed rationale for why they didn't think he should do one more''. From the outside, pitching a wage increase after you've been sacked does seem a slightly odd negotiating technique! ajb007/smile

This meeting in Santa Monica is rarely mentioned, and Pierce has often portrayed his dismissal as just a phone call, presumably as it sounds more curt. I remember when he appeared on the TV show Richard and Judy to talk about it (and promote another film), and my mum saying he was playing up the Irish accent so we he'd sound more romantic and therefore sympathetic. She's quite a cynical person ajb007/smile

Yeah I'm sure I've heard him portray the phone call as '"Goodbye" "Goodbye" and I never heard from them again' more or less. It's a good story, and we all know he likes them ("Goldfinger, 1964, Putney High Street; I was a boy from the bogs of Ireland...") but might not be entirely how it went down!

DavidJones wrote:

When he appeared with his After the Sunset cast members for a round table interview on Charlie Rose, he was far more interested in plugging The Matador, then in pre-production. It was quite embarrassing, and Woody Harrelson was visibly uncomfortable.

Oh wow, I've not seen that!

DavidJones wrote:

It's interesting to note that this was the first time Barbara had to retire an actor instead of Cubby. Even Desmond Llewellyn didn't need to be told and Judi Dench was carried over. In that respect, it wasn't handled terribly well and Pierce's departure remains the most high-profile of all past Bonds.

Maybe, and yet even still I don't think most of the audience remembered it or cared hugely. He got his millions of dollars and Aston Martin and Omega watches. Folks just like to watch the films, and he wasn't treated that badly. I don't know what else they're supposed to do, really.

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Re: Lost Bond Films: Pierce Brosnan in Bond 21…

DavidJones wrote:

I remember either Purvis or Wade saying they had worked on a non-CR script for Brosnan. Can't remember where I saw that.

Pierce has always seemed rather annoyed with the way it happened. He wanted to do a fifth film. I also remember him saying that he wanted more money and thought he was worth it, and that many other franchise stars had similar salaries, but Eon didn't want to pay.

This could well have been true, as Bond is owned by an independent production company based in London, and a struggling studio, whereas in Hollywood stars can command $20 million. I recall that was the figure Brosnan wanted. Eon presumably thought the brand was bigger than any actor. If true, it's certainly ironic that they've continually bent over backwards for Craig.

From what I am hearing from people that know much more than what I do, you are pretty much spot on on all accounts with the exception of the 20 million though.

When you recall how EON ran after Connery and Moore and even after (sigh) Dalton and now with Craig - Brosnan has been treated pretty badly by EON.

Imo Brosnan is a very loyal and discrete person and he has been still pretty loyal to EON even after all what happened.

He certainly would have deserved another film.
Admittedly DAD was pretty bad in the second half but it‘s a bit like if Moore would have retired after he went to space and we‘d have missed out on the wonderful duo FYEO and OP.

Last edited by Higgins (1st Aug 2020 18:12)

President of the 'Misty Eyes Club'.

-------Dalton - the weak and weepy Bond!------

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Re: Lost Bond Films: Pierce Brosnan in Bond 21…

I don't see how he was treated badly. They employed him for four massive movies.

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Re: Lost Bond Films: Pierce Brosnan in Bond 21…

emtiem wrote:

I don't see how he was treated badly. They employed him for four massive movies.

Not so much badly, perhaps, but Eon certainly kept him dangling for quite a long while. Really, they could've made another film in the space between DAD and CR if they had their act together.

My Top 10 Bond Films: Octopussy, Goldeneye, From Russia With Love, The Living Daylights, Tomorrow Never Dies, Licence to Kill, For Your Eyes Only, Moonraker, Goldfinger and The Spy Who Loved Me.

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Re: Lost Bond Films: Pierce Brosnan in Bond 21…

He wasn’t under contract though; there were no guarantees. It’s their business and they can make as many films as they want.