Wednesday, 21 September 2011

Some men who the press thought would be Bond

In the 1970s and '80s, the same names appeared in newspapers in connection with the role of James Bond. The part seemed to be up for grabs before filming of a new Bond film commenced, as the incumbent Roger Moore would often claim to be giving up the role. However, until A View to a Kill (1985), this was a negotiating tactic for an improved contract. This did not stop the speculation in the papers, and the names that were usually put forward included Ian Ogilvy, David Robb, and Tevor Eve. A few years ago, I spoke to these actors about their 'brush' with Bond.

Ian Ogilvy told me that he was never considered for the role, and certainly never screen-tested. He did, however, narrate a set of audio versions of Fleming's novels, which he supposed were an attempt by the producers of the recordings to cash in on his connection with Roger Moore via the Saint (both actors having played the role).

Trevor Eve, again, was never screen-tested, but did have an informal meeting with Barbara Broccoli, and occasionally dined with Cubby.

David Robb admits that there had been a flurry of interest in him with regard to the Bond role in 1979. He was prominent on television at the time, and was about to embark on the series, 'The Flame Trees of Thika'. Robb, however, had no meeting with the Bond producers. He mentioned, though, that later, in 1987, he was filming The Deceivers with Pierce Brosnan. They got talking about Bond on one occasion by the pool. Brosnan lamented the fact that he had been prevented from playing Bond in 1987 by the producers of Remington Steele. Robb remembers consoling him by saying that the Bond franchise was a dead duck and that Brosnan was well out of it.


  1. Edward,

    Hope this finds you well. The following links have some interesting tidbits regarding possible Bond Casting during the 80's.

    One thing that I read lately is that Dalton was all but signed for FYEO.
    See paragraph 4 under his bio on this link

    This jives w/ snippet of TLD press conference on the "Inside the Living Daylights" documentary where Cubby states that Dalton meet with him in LA before FYEO.

    I have a theory that Cubby never wanted Brosnan. He was pressured to take him for TLD and then studio put the screws to him and Babs to cast in GE. Glen states in his book that Cubby was not keen on PB to begin with for TLD.

    All my best.

    1. Hi Jason,

      Thanks for the links. Really interesting. The casting of Bond for TLD is complicated, and it's hard to know how serious the chances of some of the names mentioned actually were. That's an interesting idea about Cubby's views on Brosnan. It does seem to the case that Cubby had his eye of Dalton for some time. Dalton was screentested for OHMSS, and, as you suggest, Cubby seems to have thought of him for FYEO as well. I'd love to look through Eon's archives, instead of relying on newspaper stories and other secondary sources. We might then get somewhere with this casting business!



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