Monday, July 30, 2012
James Bond farm teams
As a James Bond fan, I've been interested in the use of copycat casting in the films. Let's think about this for a second. As James Bond became a big phenomena, naturally, imitation being the most sincere form of television, the copycats began. In "The Avengers" we have dapper international crime fighters.
Now, when the James Bond filmmakers needed a love interest for Goldfinger, they turn to the Avengers and recruit Honor Blackman.
OK, as they say in the novel Goldfinger, once is happenstance.
Then Honor Blackman was replaced in the Avengers by Diana Rigg. And when the Bond producers needed a love interest for "On Her Majesty's Secret Service," they get...Diana Rigg.
Twice is coincidence.
When it was time to replace Sean Connery (for the second time), they turned to "The Saint," a TV show about a dapper, tuxedo-wearing globetrotting crime fighter and snagged Roger Moore.
Three times is enemy actions.
(In fairness, the literary Saint predated the literary James Bond.)
But it doesn't stop there. When it was time to replace Moore, the first choice was Pierce Brosnan, who at the time was playing a dapper, tuxedo-wearing globetrotting crime fighter in "Remington Steele." (a Bond footnote. "Remington Steele was as good as cancelled when it was announced Brosnan would be the new Bond. NBC happy with all this publicity, un-cancelled Remington Steele, forcing Brosnan to sit out the next two Bond films. (This worked out for the best I think. I think Brosnan needed time to age into the role.)
All in all, not a lot of imagination in these casting choices. This is why they should get credit for taking chances on the actors with no Bond farm team experience: George Lazenby (a model), Timothy Dalton (who had never played a contemporary role in a film before), and Daniel Craig (who had experience playing gun-toting tough guys, but not as a good guy.).
They should also get credit for casting Sean Connery after his role in "Darby O'Gill and the Little People," in a role obviously written for Cary Grant or David Niven.