While it may now seem natural to see actor Daniel Craig play author Ian Fleming's 'James Bond' in the action feature "Casino Royale", it could have been an entirely different scenario, with actor Pierce Brosnan nearly returning to play the Brit secret agent again:
Although Brosnan, the former "Remington Steele" TV actor impressed in his debut 'Bond' outing "Goldeneye", there are mixed memories to Brosnan's overall stint as '007', with "Die Another Day", critically considered one of the worst 'Bond' movies in the franchise.
In fact, the critical reaction given to "Die Another Day" was so negative that it resulted in the franchise going back to the drawing board, with dog-faced Craig ("The Road To Perdition") cast as '007' to give the character a fresh start as a raw and grittier 'Bond'.
Now, with Craig as the current face of the franchise, 'James Bond' has reached even greater heights, for its realistic and modern approach, achieving record box office figures and critical acclaim. The current 'Bond' films have received wide praise, with "Casino Royale" featuring the most famous gambling scene in the entire franchise.
'Bond' actors have vacated the role over the years for various reasons, from poor career advice to fears of being typecast. While it may make sense that "Casino Royale" was a reboot, the producers' plan was to oust Brosnan all along, considering "Die Another Die" was the last film in the actor's contract with Eon.
Brosnan in mind for first draft
Casting a new actor for the 'Bond' role wasn't an immediate decision as fans believe. While Brosnan's contract had come to an end, he was negotiating a return, with the screenwriters of "Casino Royale" writing the first draft with Brosnan in mind. But the actor said he received a phone call informing him his services were no longer required.
Clearly the decision to part ways with Brosnan wasn't single-handedly related to the reaction of "Die Another Day", or negotiations wouldn't have taken place at all. Reportedly there were difficulties coming to an agreement. Brosnan was paid $4 million for "Goldeneye", but earned four times that amount for "Die Another Day".
Completing the reset
One argument asserts the failure of "Die Another Day" wasn't entirely Brosnan's fault. And it would have been interesting to see him evolve into the grittier "Casino Royale". As the producers already decided on resetting the movie franchise's style and tone, it made sense to cast a new actor to complete the reset, saving millions of dollars in the process.
March 2020, 'James Bond' fans posted an open letter to the producers of the next film in the franchise, "No Time to Die", requesting Eon postpone the film's release date due to the 'coronavirus' pandemic. Fans got their wish, as the film, originally scheduled for an April 10, 2020 wide release date in the US, is now on target to open November 25, 2020 as the first major movie franchise to reschedule a release in response to the 'Covid-19' virus.
The entire film industry is reportedly now on course to lose $5 billion or more worldwide, as a result of theaters closing in countries including Cineplex in Canada, AMC in the US and cinemas across China where the Covid-19 virus originated. If such delays continue, the box office will likely suffer yet more losses.
Click the images to enlarge and Sneak Peek "No Time To Die", "Casino Royale", "Goldeneye", "Die Another Day" and "Remington Steele"...