Back For a 005th Time...Or Is He:
Despite mixed reviews, after Die Another Day
was a boxoffice hit it was assumed that Pierce Brosnan
would return as James Bond in the next film. However, on February 9, 2004, a mere 15 months after Die Another Day's release, The Daily Mail published an article
stating that Pierce Brosnan had been deemed "too old for 007," It seemed that the producers wanted to take Bond back to his roots and needed a younger agent in the tux.
In the months that followed, no official statement was made but Pierce Brosnan was frequently quoted as uncertain and 'opaque' as to his future as James Bond. Finally, on October 14, 2004, more than eight months after the media circus began, Brosnan finally admitted, "It's over. It's absolutely over."
How it Went Down...In Brosnan's Words:
The "It's over. It's absolutely over" declaration came while speaking with the press in Nassau, Bahamas, and continued later that day in an interview Brosnan gave to Sun Media
. The saga, he stated, began with a phone call after Die Another Day
, when Barbara Broccoli and Michael G. Wilson said "We're so happy with the success, we want you to come back!" With that, Brosnan continued thinking that he would once again don the tux and Walther PPK.
It was during the filming of After the Sunset
where Brosnan states that his agents called him and said that Broccoli and Wilson had changed their minds. "It's very hard to find the truth in that town (Hollywood) or in this business at times," Brosnan said.
"But it was their prerogative to change their minds. They can do it! And they might have done it 'to go younger.'" He went on to say, "It was disappointing. It was surprising. And I accepted the knowledge after 24 hours of being in shock."
Despite previous interviews where he described his situation as opaque and unclear, it seems that Brosnan has finally admitted that he will not be coming back for Bond 21. "[So] you know something's going to be finished, it's going to be over. And it comes with a great disappointment, but it also comes with a great satisfaction of having achieved the success with it that I had achieved."
When asked if there was bitterness about the whole situation, Brosnan replied, "None, none, none! It's not worth having. If I did, it would make all the great decade, the four films, the lovely success, meaningless. Bitterness against whom, and for what reason?"
However, the article states that Brosnan did take some satisfaction in seeing the franchise stumble, with Bond 21 (the movie that would eventually become Casino Royale) postponed for at least a year. "Go figure!" Brosnan was quoted as saying with a wry grin wrapped around his face.
Finally Some Closure:
Even after the Sun Media interview, it would be another four months before Pierce Brosnan said anything official. On February 1, 2005. Brosnan posted a letter to his Web site addressed to all his fans that detailed his future 007-free plans. Through this letter he gracefully let everyone know what had pretty much been assumed for the better part of the last year: that his tenure as James Bond was over.
"I would like to thank all of you who have supported me over the last year or so in regard to my playing Bond. It was a decade of my life that I will always hold dear to my heart and a time that will never be forgotten. And you dear friends stood by me throughout. Many, many thanks! But everything comes to an end, and one must accept this decision which cannot be dealt with in any other way but with some kind of grace and knowledge that I did the job to the best of my ability."
For the full letter, click here
The Daily Mail's "Pierce Brosnan is Too Old" article
Brosnan's interview with Sun Media claiming that he was axed
Pierce Brosnan's letter to fans
UnivEx's Pierce Brosnan bio and coverage
UnivEx's GoldenEye Dossier
UnivEx's Tomorrow Never Dies Dossier
UnivEx's The World is Not Enough Dossier
UnivEx's Die Another Day Dossier