The recent spate of rumours and reports claiming Pierce Brosnan has been axed as 007 can now be laid to rest. Brosnan has been confirmed for Bond 21 with an announced release date of November 18th 2005.

Death To Lies - The `Brosnan Axed` Saga Is Over
15th February 2004

Rumour Timeline

Monday 9th February 2004

The Daily Mail publish an article by Nicole Lampert claiming Brosnan has been "axed" as Bond and the producers are searching for a "younger" actor to "re-energize the franchise and take it to even greater heights". The piece quotes from an unnamed source at Eon Productions.

MI6 talk to the Eon Productions press office and receive confirmation that neither of the Bond producers or anyone from Eon PR talked to the Daily Mail, and the reporter's "source" was unknown to them. No official statement was planned to be made due to the number of unfounded rumours constantly surrounding the Bond franchise.

Similar articles appeared in the Times of India and MegaStar using the Daily Mail quotes.

Tuesday 10th February 2004

Overnight, several news outlets recycle the Daily Mail story: Herald Sun, News Interactive. Some Australian papers and websites claim Hugh Jackman will be taking over from Piece Brosnan during their coverage.

Fan speculation about possible motivations for MGM publicly `axing` Brosnan as a PR exercise to gauge public opinion about the situation are reported as fact on some Bond websites, primarily

MI6 debunks the latest `PR exercise` news when the original quote behind the theory turns out to be a fan on the James Bond newsgroup. A question mark is added to the earlier CBN headline. claim a world exclusive by announcing Pierce Brosnan has been dropped as 007 as Eon Productions have chosen not to keep to take his option up. They claim his age is the issue why producers have dumped him.

Wednesday 11th February 2004

Ireland On-Line, Chicago Sun-Times and NewIndPress continue to run the story that Brosnan has been axed due to his age. The Chicago Sun-Times story makes front-page headline news in the USA

Speculation about Brosnan's future turns into confirmed fact over on, boldly claiming their "own sources close to the negotiations for Bond 21 [confirm] that Pierce Brosnan will not be returning to the role of James Bond."

Thursday 12th February 2004

MI6 talks to Nicole Lampert, the journalist behind the original Daily Mail article, and she sticks by her story completely and unequivocally, despite admitting the piece suffered "editorial errors". The journalist's reputation is brought in to question based on past episodes of showbiz reporting.

Fiona Fullerton, Pola Ivanova in "A View To A Kill", writes in the Daily Mail to defend Pierce Brosnan, calling him the "best Bond ever" and "he's still in tremendous shape and looks like a man who has lived life in the fast lane, but he doesn't want to quit now and the producers would be mad to let him go".

An online petition to keep Brosnan as Bond is launched on the web.

Friday 13th February 2004

The French James Bond Club call Eon Productions and reiterate that the article published by Daily Mail concerning the departure of Brosnan was written without any contact with Eon.

MGM denials about the `Brosnan Axed` rumours appear in an announcement about an extension to Brosnan's Irish DreamTime MGM contract in Variety and The Hollywood Reporter.

Reporters who claimed the `Brosnan Axed` rumours were true remain cynical of the MGM denials due to the wording of the trade press articles.

LatinoReview spoke to MGM and received a denial of the rumours. Dark Horizons back up the denials.

"Keeping The British End Up" call the MGM Press Office and confirm the rumours are untrue and that MGM decided to leak the official denial of the story through the Variety and Hollywood Reporter articles.

Saturday 14th February 2004

MI6 talk to Hugh Jackman's publicist and confirm that "Hugh has never officially been approached to play the role of James Bond", smashing the earlier rumours reported elsewhere.

Trade paper Variety confirm the Bond 21 release date as November 18th 2005. Click here for screenshot.

Sunday 15th February 2004

To date, no retractions or apologies have been made by any of outlets who reported the rumours as fact.

Friday 5th March 2004

Pierce Brosnan breaks his silence on the Bond 21 issue to the New York Post saying "I'm certainly willing".

Monday 8th March 2004

Neal Purvis & Robert Wade say they have been working on the Bond 21 script for two weeks. The first official news that work on the film is taking place.

Sunday 21st March 2004

"A certain kind of paralysis" has set in to the producers, according to Brosnan who spoke candidly about Bond 21 progress on the AMC show "Sunday Morning Shootout". The lack of movement on a contract has given the rumour mills further fuel.


That Was The Week That Was

The recent spate of rumours and reports claiming Pierce Brosnan has been axed as 007 can now be laid to rest.

Brosnan has been official confirmed as returning in Bond 21, with an announced date of November 18th 2005.

The rumours started on Monday 9th February with an article in the Daily Mail claming Brosnan was being ditched as 007 due to his age, and the producers wanted to re-energize the series for a younger audience.

Since then, the rumours have evolved from everything to "PR stunt" theories to certain outlets confirming as fact that Brosnan has been fired.

Above: The Chicago Sun-Times jump the gun confirming the rumours as fact (click to enlarge).

Cynical fans who touted the original rumours are still skeptical of the MGM denials that were made through the trade press. If past experience is anything to go by, even a statement made on the official James Bond website would prove unsatisfactory to the conspiracy theorists claiming it has all been a big game to renegotiate Brosnan's salary and conditions.

Pierce Brosnan will be returning as 007 in Bond 21, due for release on November 18th 2005

Fan Opinion

Discussion boards around the world turned white hot from the moment the rumours first came to light. The "Keeping The British End Up" discussion forums ran several polls to gauge fan opinion throughout the saga.

Is Brosnan Too Old For Bond 21?
No - 92%
Yes - 8%

Above: Pierce Brosnan in 2003.

Do You Believe Brosnan Has Been Axed?
No - 88%
Yes - 12%

What Will Happen For Bond 21?
Brosnan as 007, after that who knows? - 63%
Brosnan as 007, after that a new actor - 27%
Brosnan will not be in Bond 21 - 10%

Although fan opinion was split on the recent rumours, the majority decided to exercise caution and wait for announcements by MGM.

"This Never Happened To The Other Fella"

Fans who have grown up with Pierce Brosnan as 007 will be experiencing the rumour merry-go-round for the first time. However, the series has suffered similar uncertainty in the press over the past 42 years.

Connery publicly quit from any more 007 films during shooting on "You Only Live Twice", but came back for "Diamonds Are Forever", and in the unofficial (and aptly titled) production "Never Say Never Again".

Roger Moore frequently announced his departure between production of his later films, but popped up the next year back in his tuxedo.

Timothy Dalton was announced in the press as being fired as 007 before he had even started filming "The Living Daylights". Dalton sued the newspaper.

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