Previously in Part 9…
We talked about the Bond of the late 80’s, Timothy Dalton. Now, we’ll discuss the Bond that was supposed to take Timothy’s place and eventually did to become the Bond of the 90’s: Pierce Brosnan.
Tenure as Bond
Brosnan had first met Bond producer Albert Broccoli on the set of For Your Eyes Only, when Brosnan’s then-wife, Cassandra Harris, appeared in the film as Countess Lisl von Schlaf. The couple lunched with Broccoli during filming and Albert kept the thought in the back of his mind that Pierce would make a “great Bond someday”.
The Remington Steele Controversy
Brosnan played a criminal-turned-private eye on the NBC show Remington Steele in the 1980s with co-star Stephanie Zimbalist. For the TV role, he exemplified a high degree of suavity, elegance, charm and wit, but displayed a masculinity and grittiness on occasion reminiscent of Connery’s Bond.
Brosnan was chosen to play 007 in 1986 and was given the script to The Living Daylights (1987). Although he was contracted to Remington Steele for seven seasons, NBC decided to cancel the show at the end of the fourth season, which meant that Brosnan was free to play “James Bond” the following year.
However, NBC started to have second thoughts about canceling “Remington Steele”. The news of their star becoming the new James Bond renewed a surge of public interest in the show. As a result, NBC approached the Bond producers to strike a deal so Brosnan could play both “James Bond” and “Remington Steele” the following year. NBC also offered to completely reschedule the shooting of “Remington Steele” to ensure that there were no scheduling conflicts.
However, Albert Broccoli famously told NBC that “James Bond will not be Remington Steele and Remington Steele will not be James Bond”.The deal was that Brosnan would only play Bond if the show remained canceled. NBC had a 60-day deadline to revoke their decision to cancel the “Remington Steele” series and, at 6:30 pm on the 60th day of the deadline, Brosnan learned that NBC decided to make a fifth season. So, the role of the new James Bond went back to Timothy Dalton. NBC went on to make only six episodes of the fifth season of Remington Steele before finally canceling the show for good.
Finally Becoming Bond…
After Timothy Dalton’s retirement from Bond in 1994, Eon Productions finally gave the role to Pierce Brosnan. He was offered a three-film contract, with an option on a fourth; his salary for his first film, GoldenEye, was $4 million, which rose to $16.5 million for his fourth and final outing, Die Another Day.
Brosnan was seen by many as the quintessential James Bond in appearance and manner; displaying an air of coolness, elegance and a grace which made him believable as an international playboy, if not purely as an assassin. John G. Stackhouse, for instance, argues that it is preposterous that any man as strikingly handsome as Brosnan and Connery could be a secret agent, saying, “When Sean Connery or Pierce Brosnan enters a room, everyone notices. Thus it is ridiculous to suppose that James Bond, looking like that, could be a secret agent for longer than about two seconds“.
After four films in the role, Brosnan stated he wanted to do one final Bond film. Plans were made for a film to be released in 2004. However, negotiations stalled and Brosnan announced his retirement from the role in July 2004.
- The very first film he claims to have seen in a theater is the 007 movie Goldfinger (1964). It was at that point that Pierce decided to take up acting.
- Voted “Sexiest Man Alive” by People Magazine in 2001 (The second Bond actor to get that title after Sean Connery).
- In addition to his salary for his James Bond movies, Brosnan received a car for each film: The BMW Z3 from GoldenEye (1995), an 8-series BMW (instead of the 750iL) from Tomorrow Never Dies (1997), and the Z8 from The World Is Not Enough (1999)
- His favorite Bond films are From Russia with Love (1963) and For Your Eyes Only (1981)
- His least favorite Bond film is On Her Majesty’s Secret Service (1969).
- According to the James Bond tailors in London, he has been both the lightest and heaviest of all the James Bonds. The tailors who fitted him for his Bond films state that in his first Bond movie, GoldenEye (1995), he weighed 164 pounds, making him the lightest actor to play Bond. However, in his fourth Bond movie, Die Another Day (2002), he weighed 211 pounds, making him the heaviest actor to play Bond.
- After being chosen to play “James Bond”, Brosnan wasn’t allowed to wear a tuxedo in any other film per his contract.
- To date, Pierce is the only Bond actor to have never technically appeared in a Bond film based on an original Ian Fleming novel or short story.
- Of the four James Bond movies he made, GoldenEye (1995) is the only one where he isn’t laying on top of the female lead in the final shot of the film.
Best Bond Film: GoldenEye
Synopsis:Years after a friend and fellow 00 agent is killed on a joint mission, a secret space based weapons program known as “GoldenEye” is stolen. James Bond sets out to stop a Russian crime syndicate from using the weapon.
- First completely original James Bond movie, without reference to any Ian Fleming novel or short story.
- The first James Bond movie to be released on DVD.
- The first James Bond movie to be made after the downfall of the Soviet Union, and the end of the Cold War, and thus, the first Bond movie to actually shoot in the traditional spy genre cold war country of Russia.
- Because the film franchise was caught up in litigation, the six year hiatus between the release of Licence to Kill and this movie is the longest gap between Bond movies since the franchise first started in 1962.
- “Goldeneye“ is the nickname of James Bond creator Ian Fleming’s beachfront house in Jamaica, where, between 1952 and 1964, he wrote the Bond novels and short stories.
- First 007 movie in the franchise to feature a woman, Dame Judi Dench, in the role of “M”
- Final James Bond movie viewed by Albert R. Broccoli before his death.
- At that point, it was the most successful James Bond movie since Moonraker (1979).
As we enter our last chapter of this series, we will discuss the current and longest serving Bond actor, Daniel Craig.
James Bond will return in : DANIEL THE 21ST CENTURY BOND!!