James Bond star Timothy Dalton learned harsh reality before dropping 007 role | Films | Entertainment

This week, on March 21, 2023, Timothy Dalton turns 77-years-old. The British actor is of course best known for playing in two movies in the 1980s, but he had the opportunity to join a third film in the franchise – and beyond. When it came down to making the pictures, however, the Bond bosses had some extra stipulations for the actor.

In 2015, Dalton opened up on how he lost the role of James Bond in the 1980s after starring in The Living Daylights in 1987 and Licence to Kill in 1989.

He recalled: “When [the next movie] did come about, it was probably four or five years later. [Bond boss Cubby Broccoli] asked if I would come back, and I said: ‘Well, I’ve actually changed my mind a little bit. I think that I’d love to do one.'”

After previously stating that his Bond movies felt too much like “spoof” movies, he encouraged Broccoli to “try and take the best of the two [films] that I have done, and consolidate them into a third”.

Unfortunately, while he was pitching this fantastic third movie to the Bond boss, he was met with a harsh reality.

Dalton recalled Broccoli told him: “Look, Tim. You can’t do one. There’s no way, after a five-year gap between movies, that you can come back and just do one. You’d have to plan on four or five.”

Nowadays, it’s fairly normal to expect actors to sign onto multi-picture deals. Just look at the Marvel Cinematic Universe stars, who have main roles in upwards of five movies in a row.

But this, Dalton said, was too much of a commitment for him. Once he had learned he was going to be signed up for many movies in the future, he made the tough decision to break away from the James Bond role.

Dalton said: “I thought: ‘Oh, no, that would be the rest of my life. Too much. Too long.’ So I respectfully declined.”

Shortly thereafter, fellow British actor Pierce Brosnan was hired as the new James Bond, and his first movie, GoldenEye, hit cinemas in 1995. He remained on the scene for a total of four 007 movies, ending with 2002’s Die Another Day.

Years later, Dalton opened up on why nothing changed in his films during the time he played the suave spy.

He explained: “I had loved them all, and I had loved the books. So that was the loose framework that we sort of embarked on, but then you find that nobody else wants to change it all! The studio doesn’t want to change it, the people that work on it don’t want to change it. Everyone’s happy with what they know.”

Eventually, things got “a bit stale” for Dalton.

He did, however, go on to praise the work Daniel Craig was doing during his five-movie tenure.

“I mean, now they have [changed],” Dalton continued. “I think now, with Craig, they have. But that was, what, almost 20 years later that they actually embarked on something more believable?”

The James Bond films are available to rent and stream on Video now.

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