Over the last 60 years, numerous Hollywood stars have auditioned to be the next James Bond. However, there have been a few who were cast, only to be forced to leave the role before filming on their first 007 movie began. Famously, Pierce Brosnan was cast in 1987’s The Living Daylights, but couldn’t get out of his Remington Steele TV series contract. Timothy Dalton became the new Bond instead, with Brosnan being given his chance almost a decade later in 1995’s Goldeneye. The previous had replaced Roger Moore, who played 007 for a seventh and final time in 1985’s A View to Kill, but did you know he was actually recast after five movies?
Moore was considering leaving the role in his 50s, so producer Cubby Broccoli screen-tested American actor James Brolin twice. One audition had the Westworld star in a fight scene, the other depicted him seducing a woman while wearing a towel. The latter is a scene in Sean Connery’s From Russia with Love, which is used for Bond auditions to this day.
Brolin was cast by the producer as the new Bond, but sadly for him, Roger Moore returned to make 1983’s Octopussy. To be fair, this made sense commercially given that EON Productions was going up against the unofficial Never Say Never Again starring Connery that year.
Speaking previously with Express.co.uk, Brolin remembered: “I literally left Cubby Broccoli in London, came home to get all my stuff to live in England for a year, when Roger Moore said, ‘Oh I’ll do one more!’” Asked if he was really disappointed to be dropped after being cast as the first American Bond, he replied: “Yeah! I really was up for that.” The star went on to share details from the hugely missed opportunity.
Brolin added: “My kids have told me several years ago that I had been on a movie set at work, 9500 days. I think it’s near 10,000 now and they’ve been great days. I’ve really enjoyed my time. I picked the right business for me anyway. The other thing would have been maybe an airline pilot or a building contractor, I don’t know.”