“I took the scenic route.”
BOND 13 . FOR YOUR EYES ONLY
Steven Spielberg had his eyes on Eyes after talks with Cubby Broccoli.
He was, though, also talking with his pal George Lucas about some guy called Jones, Indiana Jones.
The director was new - another Bond editor,
second-unit director and the man behind the
unforgettable ski-jump prologue to The Spy Who Loved Me.
Mercifully, he axed all plans to bring back Jaws again.
Roger Moore's original contract was up after three chapters and that ignited the old problem. Money! Moore had entered traditional Connery mode and priced himself out of the picture. He next heard the shock news: all action scenes were choreographed anew to suit a younger Bond.
Moore was… 54.
Moore and Cubby never discussed money, although during one of theirpre-productionbackgammon games,Cubby suddenly declared: “You can tell your agent to shit in his hat.”
007 . Successors were being tried and tested… Michael Billington (of course) and other old faithfuls like Ian Ogilvy. And David Warbeck - by now, very much a spaghetti Moore lite, sans charisma (on-screen, that is).
And, of course, Timothy Dalton: “There was a time in the late 1970s, when Roger may not have done another one, for whatever reason. They were looking around then, and I went to see Mr Broccoli in Los Angeles. At that time, they didn't have a script finished and also, the way the Bond movies had gone - although they were fun and entertaining - wasn’t my idea of Bond movies. They had become a completely different entity. I know Roger, and think he does a fantastic job He was brilliant… Roger is one of the only people in the world who can be fun in the midst of all that gadgetry. But the movies had gone a long way from their roots; they had drifted in a way that was chalk and cheese to Sean. But in truth my favorite Bond movies were always…the first three.”
Billington tested for Bond more than any other actor (007 times: OHMSS, Diamonds Are Forever,Live And Let Die, The Spy Who Loved Me, Moonraker, For Your Eyes Only, Octopussy). He had Cubby Broccoli’s vote if and when Moore proved too expensive. All Billington ever got for his in-house popularity was the role of Agent XXX's ill-fated lover, Sergei Barsov, in The Spy Who Loved Me. (He died of cancer at 63 in 2005).
Newcomers to the hunt included Hollywood’s James Brolin, Christopher Cazenove, Nicholas Clay (John Boorman’s Lancelot and Lady Chatterley’s Mellors), Lewis Collins (the Starsky of UK TV’s The Professionals), Patrick Mower and David Robb – the TV Lancelot who also, more luckily, lost Lifeforce in 1984 (as did Oliver Tobias, who had been up for 007 in Octopussy). There was also - bizarre, bizarre - a well English-spoken Frenchman, Lambert Wilson, who would co-star with Sean Connery the following year in Fred Zinnemann's final feature, Five Days One Summer. Plus the dullard Michael Jayston, ex-Tsar Nicholas, Macbeth, Colonel Mustard and George Smiley’s right-hand man Peter Guillam in TV’s Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy, 1979. Plus more than 100 commercials’ voice-overs, He was Bond in BBC Radio 4’s version of You Only Live Twice,
As usual the test scenes derived from the Bond 2 script, From Russia With Love. Maryam d’Abo played the Tatiana role - and was rewarded for her diligence in helping to tests Bonds by being made Timothy Dalton’s leading lady in his debut, The Living Daylights… 007 years later.
Also seen, as he had been in the late 60s, was Julian Glover. This time, he won the (tame) villain Aristotle Kristatos - making him the only actor to act (villains) in the Bond, Indiana Jones andStar Wars franchises. During the filming Glover suggested Pierce Brosnan to Glen as a future Bond – thc first to do so reported the director.
The testing of other Bonds didn’t worry Moore.
“I knew Cubby would never find anyone who would work as cheaply as I did.”To behonestI did want to make another film. This was all part of the bargaining ploy on Eon’s side - let it be known they were testing others so I’d take the deal onthe table for fear of losing the part. Fair enough, we all enjoy a game of poker. I’m quite principled about not undervaluing my worth. If someone wants me for a job thenI believe they should pay me a fair fee.My agen usually haggles it up a bit, the producer usually haggles it down a bit and a happy middle ground is found.If someoneundervalues me, I simply walk away.I have no qualms about it.’ He had much the same credo (but higher cheques)as RobertMorley. “If you wantme to do the film it’s £500,000 -but if you want me to read the script first it’ll be £750,000.”
For awhile, it looked as if the patient Billington’s hour (or 127 minutes) had come... . Ever the standby 007, he was kitted out and flown to Corfu.Broccoli’s gamble paid off as Moore or hisn agent) cameto heel for an undisclosed sum. Roger considered this to be his best Bond film. Or, certainly, his best salary?
Melina Havelock . She as Judy in Ian Fleming’s short story, Ornella Muti annoyed herself by refusing the female lead - particularly when, as she claimed, “it was written specially for me.” Carole Bouquet made it her own.
M is on leave... “By this time,’ said Roger Moore, “Bernie [Lee, 73] was dying of stomach cancer and was very weak,.He insisted on coming in and filming a sequence to see if he could carry it off, but I’m afraid he couldn’t getthrough the scene. Reluctantly, he bowed out of playing M and died a short time afterwards in January 1982. Out of respect for his great contribution to the series [whe played 007’s boss, Admiral Sir Myles Messervy,in everyfilm since 1962], Cubby refused to re-cast and instead brought in James Villiers to play Chief of Staff, Bill Tanner.”
“He was the only man who could push James Bond around,” saidCubby.“His death was a great loss…demoralising for the entire production.” (Michael Billington died in 2005 at age 64 from cancer like his rival, David Warbeck, eight years before him).
While playing Countess Lisl von Schiaf,
Cassandra Harris introduced her husband to Cubby -
a handsome, Irish fella named Pierce Brosnan.
His GoldenEye debut proved the last Bond film viewed by Broccoli before his death in 1996.
Meanwhile, we still had Roger. Or did we? Quizzed on his futurebyNBC Television, he said: “At the end of every film, they say 'James Bond will return’ but they don’t go as far as to say Roger Moore will.”