The Unchosen Ones: A Look at the Actors Considered for James Bond

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The Unchosen Ones: A Look at the Actors Considered for James Bond


When it comes to iconic movie roles, James Bond is one of the most recognizable characters in cinematic history. The suave and sophisticated secret agent has been portrayed by some of the biggest names in Hollywood, including Sean Connery, Roger Moore, and Daniel Craig. However, what many people may not realize is that before these actors were cast, there were several other contenders who were considered for the role. In this article, we will take a closer look at the actors who almost became James Bond.

The Beginning of James Bond

Ian Fleming introduced James Bond in his first novel, "Casino Royale," in 1953. The character quickly became a cultural phenomenon, leading to a series of successful films that span over five decades. Over the years, multiple actors have donned the iconic tuxedo and brought the character to life on the big screen.

The Criteria for James Bond

Portraying James Bond is no easy task. The actor must possess a unique blend of charm, charisma, and physicality to truly embody the character. In addition, they must be able to handle the intense action sequences and deliver the witty one-liners that have become synonymous with the role. It’s no wonder that casting directors have had their work cut out for them when selecting the perfect actor to play 007.

The Actors Who Almost Became James Bond

1. Richard Burton

The Welsh actor was one of the early contenders for the role of James Bond. Known for his commanding presence on screen, Burton was considered for the role in the 1960s but ultimately lost out to Sean Connery.

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2. Cary Grant

A Hollywood legend, Cary Grant was approached to play James Bond in the early days of the franchise. However, Grant ultimately turned down the role, paving the way for other actors to step into the iconic role.

3. Timothy Dalton

Dalton was actually considered for the role of James Bond before being cast in the 1980s. However, due to other commitments, Dalton had to decline the role, which eventually went to Roger Moore.

4. Sam Neill

Before being cast as the lead in "Jurassic Park," Sam Neill was one of the actors considered for the role of James Bond in the 1980s. Ultimately, the role went to Timothy Dalton, and Neill went on to find success in other projects.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. Why were these actors not chosen to play James Bond?

Each actor’s circumstances varied, with reasons ranging from scheduling conflicts to personal preferences. Ultimately, the actors who were cast in the role brought their own unique flair to the character.

2. Who ultimately decided which actor would play James Bond?

Casting decisions for James Bond were made by a combination of producers, directors, and studio executives. The choice often came down to who best fit the vision for the character.

3. Were any of the actors considered for James Bond disappointed to not get the role?

While some actors may have been disappointed initially, many went on to have successful careers in Hollywood. Being considered for James Bond is a testament to their talent and charisma.

4. Did any of the actors considered for James Bond go on to play other iconic roles?

Yes, several of the actors considered for James Bond found success in other projects, becoming Hollywood legends in their own right.

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5. What qualities make an actor suited to play James Bond?

The ideal James Bond actor should possess a combination of charm, physicality, wit, and screen presence. They should be able to handle the demands of the role, from intense action sequences to delivering iconic one-liners.


While many actors have taken on the role of James Bond over the years, there were several talented contenders who almost became the iconic secret agent. From Richard Burton to Cary Grant, these actors brought their own unique qualities to the table, but ultimately, it was actors like Sean Connery, Roger Moore, and Daniel Craig who cemented their place in cinematic history as James Bond. It’s interesting to consider how different the franchise may have been with these alternate choices, but in the end, the actors who have portrayed 007 have left an indelible mark on film history.