Pierce Brosnan’s last outing as James Bond was in 2002’s Die Another Day, which although critically-panned, was also the 40th anniversary of the franchise which started with 1962’s Dr. No. Because of this, it features several callbacks, such as Halle Berry emerging from the sea in a similar way to Ursula Andress. It also unwisely invoked what many consider the best Bond film Goldfinger, by featuring a ‘frickin laser beam.’
These were not the only callbacks that were mooted at the time, because at one stage, they considered bringing Sean Connery back to star alongside Brosnan. According to ScreenRant; “director Lee Tamahori was operating under the belief that James Bond 007 was merely a codename, and each actor who played him was playing a different secret agent that shared the prefix.”
“This would have been emphasised in Tamahori’s original Die Another Day concept when Brosnan’s Bond is let go from MI6, only to meet another former 007 agent, Connery’s Bond, who eventually serves as his mentor as the Brosnan Bond attempts to clear his name.” It sounds similar to the dynamic in Indiana Jones and The Last Crusade.
While casting for the next ‘Bond’ is likely to properly introduce the 007 as codename theory, if they are going to widen the net in terms of who could play the character eg. a woman, it didn’t really work in the continuity of the franchise leading up to Die Another Day. Bond’s wife Tracy was killed while he was played by George Lazenby, and later both Sean Connery and Roger Moore reacted to her death.
This is likely what Tamahori was referring to when he said his producers Michael G. Wilson and Barbara Brocolli felt audiences would be confused by two James Bonds sharing a screen and vetoed the idea. With the current fashion for multiverses, who knows how many Bonds the next movie will bring?
While we wait to find out who will be the next Bond, check out our guide to the best thriller movies.