Yesterday we had talked of eleven Hollywood superstars who had turned down the role of perhaps the most famous spy in the history of literature, James Bond. But that is only one side of the coin – there have been a number of actors who threw their hats into the ring to play the role of Bond, but were turned down by the film’s directors. And these included some of the biggest stars of their time. Here are six stars who wanted to be Bond but were not allowed to be by the franchise’s owners:
1. Christian Bale
Oh yes, his Dark Knightness was very much in the running for a while before Daniel Craig got the nod. Mind you, he is still a frontrunner to take over when Craig does call it a day.
2. Clive Owen
Mr Shoot ‘Em Up and King Arthur would have made a great James Bond, but contract hassles meant that the producers backed out. A pity, we think.
3. Rex Harrison
The man who sang about the Rain in Spain with Audrey Hepburn in My Fair Lady was in the running to be 007, but got pipped to the post by a relative newcomer known as…Sean Connery.
4. Jeremy Brett
That steely expression, that ability to run and jump would have been tailormade for Bond, but the producers decreed otherwise. Bond’s loss was Sherlock Holmes’ gain.
5. David Niven
He played Phileas Fogg to perfection in Around the World in Eighty Days (the classic edition, not the Jackie Chan one). And was Bond creator Ian Fleming’s preferred choice for the role, but lost out to Connery.
6. Mel Gibson
He of Lethal Weapon and Braveheart fame was considered for the role of Bond, but was evidently considered too short to be the British secret agent. He went on to gain kilted fame!
7. Ranulph Fiennes
Oh yes, the legendary explorer himself was in line to be 007. Unfortunately, his appearance got in the way – he was not considered suave enough. Knowing him, he would have been least bothered.
8. Christopher Lambert
The man who rocked the Highlander series came very close to being Bond, but his French accent is believed to have tripped him up. Literally a slip of the tongue.
9. Sam Neill
He ended up in Jurassic Park, but seemed a dead ringer for Bond until Timothy Dalton came along.
10. Oliver Reed
Mr Macho was very much en route to stepping in for Connery, before, if rumours are to be believed, he got into one brawl too many for the producers’ comfort. Would have been one heck of a bruising Bond.