Finnish director Renny Harlin reveals the reasons he turned down directing the 17th James Bond film...

Renny Harlin Turned Down Bond

5th February 2012

Finnish director Renny Harlin broke quite an interesting story at the Brussels International Fantastic Film Festival back in June 2011, which has gone unnoticed until now thanks to a YouTube video of his Q&A session was spotted by fans.

Harlin was asked about projects he had turned down, and after joking about not wanting to make a silly movie about a bus with (then little known actor) Keanu Reeves in what turned out to be the blockbuster smash "Speed", he revealed an opportunity with 007 that he also turned down.

"I was offered "GoldenEye" and I was like, 'somebody wants to see another James Bond movie?' I had done enough sequels." [Harlin is referencing his prior movies 'A Nightmare on Elm Street 4' and 'Die Hard 2'.]

"Actually, to be honest, what happened at that point was I was interested in doing the Bond movie, but there was an actor in it that I didn't believe in. And I'm not going to say that his name is Timothy Dalton. I just didn't think that he made a good Bond."

"I said that you had to recast and come up with a new actor for it. And they refused and said 'he's great', and I was like 'he is not James Bond'. So that was why I walked away from that job."


The timeline on this story is a little fuzzy, but given the resistance to replace Dalton as Bond, Harlin must have been under consideration before the actor stepped down from the role in 1994 following the protracted legal dispute with MGM. Given that a treatment for 'Bond 17' was penned for Dalton, Harlin was likely to have been approached in late 1990 following his success with "Die Hard 2". Ultimately, Pierce Brosnan would be cast in the lead role for the 17th adventure helmed by Martin Campbell.

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