Today, Tuesday, May 16, 2023, marks the 70th birthday of the iconic James Bond actor Pierce Brosnan.
The Irish actor first joined the series as 007 in the 1995 picture GoldenEye, replacing Timothy Dalton in the role. He remained in the iconic Ian Fleming role for seven years before hanging up his tuxedo in 2002.
His final picture, Die Another Day, was a critical disappointment, as many outlets claimed it relied too much on CGI and had a lacklustre overarching plot.
After that, Brosnan waited by the phone to hear about what his next James Bond adventure would entail. Unfortunately for him, it all came crashing down.
According to Far Out, Brosnan recalled being in the Bahamas working on another movie when he received a worrying phone call from his agents.
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“My agents called me up and said: ‘Negotiations have stopped,'” Brosnan said.
He was told that Bond bosses Barbara Broccoli and Michael G Wilson were “not quite sure” how they wanted to proceed with Brosnan in the franchise.
Brosnan remembered being assured: “They’ll call you next Thursday.” But when they did, he didn’t have the conversation he was hoping for.
Brosnan said: “I sat in Richard Harris’ house in the Bahamas, and Barbara and Michael were on the [phone] line. [They said]: ‘We’re so sorry.'”
Broccoli was so overcome with emotion that she was weeping down the phone to him. “She was crying. Michael was stoic and he said: ‘You were a great James Bond. Thank you very much.’ And I said: ‘Thank you very much. Goodbye.'”
After that fateful moment, Brosnan hung up and sat with the news that he was Britain’s James Bond actor no longer.
Brosnan continued to describe the brutal manner in which he was let go from his contract.
“That was it,” he said. “I was utterly shocked and just kicked to the kerb with the way it went down.”
Just three years later, in 2005, Daniel Craig was announced as the next James Bond star. His first movie, Casino Royale, hit cinemas a year later, on November 14, 2006.
The movie was an enormous success, and became the highest-grossing James Bond movie of all time with a staggering $606 million earned at the box office. This record was only beaten a few years later by Craig’s third Bond movie, Skyfall, which earned more than $1 billion at the box office.