5th October 2023
Pierce Brosnan almost became 007 for A View To A Kill
By MI6 Staff
It is now quite commonly known that not only did Pierce Brosnan screentest for the James Bond role in 1986, but he was signed to play 007 for 'The Living Daylights' before NBC exercised their option on his 'Remington Steele' contract and brought him back to the US, leaving producer Cubby Broccoli scrambling for a replacement (that lucky man would be Timothy Dalton).
Brosnan was starting to make a name for himself in America with the show that first aired in 1982. This is significant, as in the run-up to the 'Battle of the Bonds' in 1983, when Sean Connery was returning for the rogue production of , Roger Moore had still not signed up for his sixth film and Broccoli screentested several options. When Moore eventually signed and production got underway on 'Octopussy', Broccoli was once again having to consider who would take over the role as his leading man was reluctant to sign for a seventh time.
MI6 can now reveal, 40 years on from the events, that Pierce Brosnan was approached for the 007 role by Broccoli in late 1983, years earlier than thought.
'Remington Steele' had not been the ratings smash NBC had hoped for in its first season. Brosnan said at the time, "I'm told that this time last year, a new show with ratings like ours would have been canceled and I'd be looking for work. I'm not in the least bit insulted. I'm taking bets that we will be picked up for a second season, and that before that, people other than critics will start noticing us."
Whilst Broccoli was serious about Brosnan becoming his leading man for 'A View To A Kill', United Artists did not want to take any risks. Moore had just beaten Connery at the box office head-to-head and they wanted another surefire hit.
By this time, Brosnan was shooting season two of 'Remington Steele,' and United Artists plunked down an offer in excess of $3.5m to the incumbent Moore ($10m in today's money). Moore accepted and Broccoli had to pass on Brosnan in 1984. The producer would have another ill-fated shot at casting his first choice two years later, making Brosnan's eventual signing in 1994 his third time lucky.