It's time to move on - Cubby Broccoli on his search
for Sean Connery's replacement
He'll Have To Be British
5th January 2011
On Saturday 29th July, 1967, the world's press
reported that the next James Bond film would not be starring
Sean Connery - the man who launched Ian
Fleming's spy on the
silver screen to record-breaking box office success.
With Connery's dissatisfaction with the direction
of the series and his fear of being forever typecast well known,
it was on
Friday 28th July that producer Albert
R. 'Cubby' Broccoli spoke
to the press and made the announcement official. "We are
going ahead with the series without Sean", said Broccoli. "We
don't want an actor to appear in films he is not enthusiastic
Even if Sean changes his mind, that will not affect our decision.
We are looking for a new James Bond".
Above: Harry Saltzman and Albert
R. Broccoli inspect the massive volcano set on 28th October
1966, constructed for "You Only Live Twice" (1967)
If Connery's well publicized desire to distance
himself from the franchise was not enough, the influx of spy-fi
including the spoof "Casino
Royale", had become a matter
of contention for the producers, although the fifth official
outing "You Only Live Twice"
left it for dust at the box-office. Even the Motion Picture Academy's
lack of Oscar's for Bond had
they throw us a bone with an award for special effects or sound," he
scoffed. "Nobody seems willing to recognize the injection
the Bond pictures gave to the whole industry, which is prospering
with imitators like Matt Helm and Derek Flint."
With the latest official Bond outing having
only been released a few weeks prior (12th June, 1967), Broccoli
plans for the next installment in the series. "Our next
one will be 'On Her Majesty's
Secret Service', and we will shoot
in Switzerland, England and France. We won't start filming until
August of 1968, so that will give us plenty of time to find a
new James Bond."
"I think the audience is ready for a new one. Sean Connery
has been a great James Bond, but it is time to move on. We're
getting lots of applicants; in fact, I get phone calls every
day. Just yesterday I heard from a man in Vancouver who looks
pretty good. One thing is certain: whoever he is, he'll have
to be British. That is a necessity."
Almost exactly one year later, a screentest of George
an Australian, was sent to United Artists for approval. He was
cast as Connery's replacement in September 1968 - a month after
shooting had been planned to start.