Home>News Center>Photo Gallery>Life

Brosnan:A 'body blow' as new Bond hired
Updated: 2005-10-12 09:51

James Bond star Pierce Brosnan's sacking as agent 007 was a stunning "body blow," he revealed in an interview, as the hunt for his successor as the suave superspy reportedly drew to an end.

Brosnan's comments came as news reports in Britain said the year-long search for a new Bond had ended with the selection of 37-year-old British actor Daniel Craig as the first blond Bond.

Daniel Craig, who starred in the gangster flick Layer Cake, has been chosen as the new James Bond. [Sony Pictures Classics]
Daniel Craig, who starred in the gangster flick Layer Cake, has been chosen as the new James Bond. [Sony Pictures Classics]

But Hollywood studio Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (MGM), which holds the lucrative Bond franchise, declined to comment on the growing rumours that Craig had been cast in "Casino Royale," which is set to begin production in January.

"The studio has no comment at this time," spokesman Steve Elzer told AFP.

Brosnan, 52, who incarnated the British secret agent in four screen outings that reaped 1.45 billion dollars in ticket sales, said he was stunned and disappointed over the decision to dump him.

"I was terribly upset. It was a real body blow," the Irish star said in an interview with The San Francisco Chronicle, breaking his silence on the decision by producers Barbara Broccoli and Michael Wilson to replace him.

"I was looking forward to making (Bond) edgier and grittier -- and for all of that to go down in one phone call was highly disappointing," Brosnan said, adding that he had been invited to make a fifth Bond film but that negotiations suddenly collapsed without explanation.

"To this day Im not sure why," he said, dismissing media reports that his demands of an exorbitant salary of 30 to 40 million dollars had scuppered the talks in the summer of 2004.

"There was certainly a salary there that was not out of the ballpark, that other men and women have received for the same (type of film)," he said.

But despite being baffled and disappointed over the decision to axe him from the 43-year-old film series, Brosnan said he would still be happy to play the agent with a licence to kill one last time if asked to do so.

"They know where to find me," the actor said. "Would I go back if they asked me back? Sure I'd go back," he said.

Brosnan first played the world's most famous spy in 1995's "GoldenEye," the first Bond film to be made after a six-year pause, and reprised the role in "Tomorrow Never Dies" (1997), "The World Is Not Enough" (1999) and "Die Another Day" (2002).

In Britain, where the Bond films are shot, the newspapers Daily Mail and Daily Mirror were among those reporting that a deal had been sealed with Craig to star in the 21st Bond film, based on Ian Fleming's first book "Casino Royale".

An announcement by Broccoli, the daughter of original Bond producer the late Albert R. Broccoli, and Wilson, the first producer's stepson, is expected later this week, according to the Daily Mail.

A constellation of stars was in consideration for the role, including Clive Owen, who reportedly turned down the job, Jude Law, Ewan McGregor, Colin Farrell and Orlando Bloom, reports have said.

The James Bond films, the most valuable asset of MGM, recently purchased by Sony Pictures, began in 1962 with Sean Connery starring as 007 in "Dr No" and have yielded almost four billion dollars in ticket sales.

Actor George Lazenby incarnated the slick spy for just one film, 1969's "On Her Majesty's Secret Service," followed by Roger Moore who played Bond from 1973-85, by Timothy Dalton, who held the role from 1987-89 and finally by Brosnan.