Consider casting John Gavin as James Bond
After George Lazenby abruptly quit (or was fired, depending on which version of the story you believe), producers Albert R. Broccoli and Harry Saltzman and studio chieftains at United Artists gave a lot of thought to Americanizing Bond. Gavin was signed but UA wasn’t quite sold. So, the studio made another run at supposedly-retired 007 Sean Connery. A $1.25 million offer changed the Scotsman’s mind and he agreed to do Diamonds Are Forever. American actor Gavin was paid off.
(Reader nomination) Having Goldfinger’s twin brother be the villain of Diamonds Are Forever.
During the early stages of pre-production of Diamonds Are Forever, Broccoli, Saltzman and United Artists apparently kept saying something like, “We need another Goldfinger.” So, 007 resident screenwriter Richard Maibaum obliged, coming up with a script featuring Goldfinger’s twin brother as the villain.
Broccoli apparently felt this was taking things too far. This resulted in the hiring of Tom Mankiewicz to revamp Maibaum’s draft. While Goldfinger’s twin brother bit the dust in favor of another outing with Ernst Stavro Blofeld, Goldfinger was still on the mind of the producers. They hired Hamilton (who had directed Goldinger) as well as Shirley Bassey to sing the theme song.
Considering casting Burt Reynolds to play James Bond in Live And Let Die
By 1972, Connery had retired yet again as 007. Guy Hamilton, hired to direct his third 007 outing, was keen on American Burt Reynolds. According to the documentary Inside Live And Let Die, Broccoli wasn’t, feeling Reynolds was too short and…well, not English. (Although that hadn’t prevented the producers from hiring John Gavin only two years earlier). This opened the door for Roger Moore, who’d hang on to the role for a dozen years.
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