List of actors considered for the James Bond character

This is a list of actors who were considered for the role of James Bond, both officially (auditioned by the film producers) and unofficially (supported by fans and celebrities) considered for the role of agent 007.


Actor Year Reason
Stanley Baker 1961 Would not commit to a three picture contract.
Rex Harrison 1962 Turned down in favour of Connery.[1]
David Niven 1962 Turned down in favour of Connery (later played Bond in the 1967 film Casino Royale) (Fleming's personal choice).[1]
Richard Todd 1962 Ian Fleming's first choice for the role, but scheduling conflicts prevented him from getting it.[2]
Jeremy Brett 1967 Reason unknown.[3]
Michael Caine 1967 Didn't want typecasting in spy films, having previously starred in the three "Harry Palmer" spy films.
Robert Campbell 1967 George Lazenby won the role based on a screen-test fight scene.[4]
Dick van Dyke 1967 His "English" accent failed to appeal to producer Albert R. Broccoli.[5]
Patrick Mower 1967 Reason unknown.[6]
Daniel Pilon 1967 Harry Saltzman felt he was too young, 27 years at time.[7]
John Richardson 1967 George Lazenby won the role based on a screen-test fight scene.[4]
Anthony Rogers 1967 George Lazenby won the role based on a screen-test fight scene.[4]
Terence Stamp 1967 His ideas for the future films felt too radical for producer Harry Saltzman.[8]
Hans De Vries 1967 George Lazenby won the role based on a screen-test fight scene.[4]
Eric Braeden 1968 Albert R. Broccoli thought he was British and told him that no one from outside the Commonwealth would be suitable as James Bond.[9]
Oliver Reed 1969 Unknown reason.
Timothy Dalton 1969-1972 He thought himself too young and did not wish to follow Connery. Would decline the role again in 1979, before finally being cast in 1986.
Simon Dee 1971 Put forward to follow Sean Connery, despite thought by most people as a chat show host, rather than an actor.[10]
William Gaunt 1971 Auditioned for the role as Bond for Live and Let Die but lost the role to Roger Moore.
John Gavin 1971, 1973 Left the role the first time when Sean Connery returned, and was denied the second time because he was not English.
Simon Oates 1971, 1973 Was strongly considered but turned down when Sean Connery returned; was working on other projects when Roger Moore was selected.[11]
Ranulph Fiennes 1972 For having "hands too big and a face like a farmer".[12]
Timothy Dalton 1979 Turned the role down for a second time as he did not like the direction the series was taking. Would eventually be cast in 1986 for The Living Daylights.
David Warbeck 1979 Acting considered too "wooden".[13]
Lewis Collins 1982 Collins claims the producers thought he was too aggressive.[14]
Ian Ogilvy 1983 Roger Moore agreed to return.
James Brolin 1983 Was lined up for the part, even going so far as buying a house in London for the production, before Roger Moore agreed to return.
Pierce Brosnan 1986 Became front runner for The Living Daylights after Timothy Dalton could not take the part due to his commitment to Brenda Starr. However, Brosnan's option to star in a further series of Remington Steele was taken up by NBC, and EON refused to have him do both Steele and Bond at the same time. Fortuitously, Dalton became freed up at just that time, and so reaccepted the role, which he played until 1989. Brosnan would later play Bond from GoldenEye through to Die Another Day.
Daniel Pilon 1986 Timothy Dalton was chosen for the role.[15]
Sam Neill 1986 Although he impressed producers as Reilly, Ace of Spies, Neill lost out to Timothy Dalton for this iteration of Bond.
Mel Gibson 1987 MGM suggested him for the role, but was rejected by Albert. R. Broccoli for not being British.
Christopher Lambert 1987 French accent prevented him from being chosen.[16]
Sean Bean 1994 Was the second choice for EON if Timothy Dalton did not return; however, MGM overruled on both counts, and Pierce Brosnan was given the part. The producers were still impressed, and gave him the part of the villain Trevelyan, rewritten from the mentor part it originally was to become a direct parallel of Bond as Agent 006.
Mark Frankel 1994 Pierce Brosnan was chosen for the role.[17]
Paul McGann 1994 Was given an audition and did impress producers, however, MGM insisted still on Pierce Brosnan for the role, but it was believed that McGann would have stepped in if Brosnan turned down the role.
Lambert Wilson 1994 Pierce Brosnan was chosen for the role.[18]
Robbie Williams 2001 Considered to replace Pierce Brosnan after Williams parodied James Bond in his music video "Millenium" which was actually shot at Pinewood Studios. Ultimately, he was not what the casting director was looking for. Robbie also declined the role feeling he himself was not refined enough to play the character.[19]
Henry Cavill 2005 The preferred choice of director Martin Campbell; however, was deemed too young to portray Bond.[20]
Rupert Friend 2005 Daniel Craig was chosen for the role.[21]
Julian McMahon 2005 Daniel Craig was chosen for the role.[22]
Alex O'Loughlin 2005 Daniel Craig was chosen for the role. References to Bond was featured in the reboot of Hawaii Five-0 during the first season. [23]
Clive Owen 2005 The producers were unwilling to provide gross profit points.[24]
Dougray Scott 2005 Reason unknown.[25]
Goran Višnjić 2005 Reason unknown.[20]

Declined the role

A number of actors who have come under consideration for the role of James Bond have declined the offer for various reasons.

Actor Year considered Reason
Richard Burton 1959, 1961, 1968 Felt the role was a new untested concept[26]/wanted more than the producers would pay.[27]
Cary Grant 1961 Felt he was too old at time being 58; also just wanted to do one film.[28]
Richard Johnson 1961 Terence Young's choice but did not want a contract, because he was under contract to MGM.[29]
James Mason 1961 Offered a three-picture contract but only agreed to do two; turned down the role.
Patrick McGoohan 1961 Role too promiscuous.
Rod Taylor 1961 Felt the role was beneath him.[30]
Steve Reeves[31] 1962 Wanted more money than the producers would offer.
Clint Eastwood 1970 Felt Bond must be British.[32][33]
Michael Gambon 1970 Felt he did not have good enough looks to play Bond.[34]
Burt Reynolds 1970 Felt Bond must be British.[35]
Adam West 1970 Felt Bond must be British.
Jon Finch 1972[36] Didn't want it[36][37]
Liam Neeson 1994 Not interested in starring in action movies.[38]
Robbie Williams 2001 Apart from not being ultimately what the studio was looking for, Williams also declined the role feeling he himself was not refined enough to play the character.[39]
Hugh Jackman 2005 Not satisfied with plot direction [40]
Ewan McGregor 2005 Fear of typecasting
Dominic West 2005 Heard rumors that Pierce Brosnan got the role and ruled himself out[41]

Both Timothy Dalton and Pierce Brosnan were linked to the role at least a decade before taking it but declined for various reasons.

Dalton was offered the role in 1967 at the age of 21 and finally took the role 20 years later. Dalton denied the offer again in 1979 because he felt the plot directions of the Bond films were becoming less realistic and more dependent on gadgetry and repeated plot formulas.

Both Roger Moore and Dalton also did not accept the role for On Her Majesty's Secret Service, feeling that they did not want to be viewed as the man who replaced Sean Connery. Pierce Brosnan was chosen as Bond for The Living Daylights, but had to leave the role because the show Remington Steele had been renewed, as Brosnan played the lead role. The role then went to Dalton. Brosnan made his debut as Bond in GoldenEye.

Screen tests

Some actors have filmed screen tests using the bedroom scene in From Russia with Love (1963). Although not picked, their screen tests show some insights into how they would have portrayed Bond. Of the three, only Pierce Brosnan was eventually cast as Bond, eight years after testing.

Actor (playing Bond) Actress (playing Romanova) Year
James Brolin Maud Adams 1983
Pierce Brosnan Maryam d'Abo 1986
Sam Neill Fiona Fullerton 1986

In Bond films

The following actors were considered for the role of James Bond, but were cast supporting or opposing characters.

Actor Years auditioned/considered Film Character Affiliation
George Baker 1962 On Her Majesty’s Secret Service (1969) Sir Hillary Bray College professor
Michael Billington 1973, 1979, 1983 The Spy Who Loved Me (1977) Sergei Barsov (KGB agent Anya Amasova's lover) KGB
Julian Glover[42] 1979 For Your Eyes Only (1981) Aristotle Kristatos MI6/KGB (double agent)
Sean Bean 1987, 1994 GoldenEye (1995) Alec Trevelyan Former MI6 agent 006 turned villain
Ralph Fiennes 1994, 2004 Skyfall (2012) Mallory MI6
Colin Salmon[43] 2004 Tomorrow Never Dies (1997)
The World Is Not Enough (1999)
Die Another Day (2002)
Charles Robinson MI6

Colin Salmon was also rumoured to be one of many actors to replace Pierce Brosnan as James Bond, a role that would go to Daniel Craig. Had he been chosen for the role, Salmon would have been the first black Bond. Brosnan has backed Salmon as a possible successor to Craig.[44]

See also


This article was sourced from Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License; additional terms may apply. World Heritage Encyclopedia content is assembled from numerous content providers, Open Access Publishing, and in compliance with The Fair Access to Science and Technology Research Act (FASTR), Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., Public Library of Science, The Encyclopedia of Life, Open Book Publishers (OBP), PubMed, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health (NIH), U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, and, which sources content from all federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial government publication portals (.gov, .mil, .edu). Funding for and content contributors is made possible from the U.S. Congress, E-Government Act of 2002.
Crowd sourced content that is contributed to World Heritage Encyclopedia is peer reviewed and edited by our editorial staff to ensure quality scholarly research articles.
By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. World Heritage Encyclopedia™ is a registered trademark of the World Public Library Association, a non-profit organization.