×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Dalton bails out as Bond

Timothy Dalton brandished his own license to kill Monday, severing his eight-year connection with the James Bond action pix series.

The British thesp, who starred in “The Living Daylights” and “Licence to Kill ,” said in a statement that he’s ready for new acting challenges and no longer wants to play 007, the secret agent known for high-tech gadgets, fast cars and even speedier women.

In separate releases, UA president John Calley and Danjaq Inc. producers Albert R. (Cubby) Broccoli, his daughter Barbara Broccoli and stepson Michael G. Wilson replied that they regret the decision but will respect it.

The 17th Bond film, scripted by Michael France, is slated for a summer 1995 release.

Dalton’s statement said, “Even though the (producers) have always made it clear to me that they want me to resume my role in their next James Bond feature , I have now made this difficult decision.

“As an actor, I believe it is now time to leave that wonderful image behind and accept the challenge of new ones,” he added.

Dalton, who is on location playing Rhett Butler in the CBS mini “Scarlett,” said his three-pic deal with Danjaq expired in 1990 after pre-production of his third Bond film was delayed by litigation.

But the star bears no ill will. “The Broccolis have been good to me as producers. They have been more special as friends,” he said.

The Danjaq release said, “We have never thought of anyone but Timothy as the star of the 17th James Bond film. We understand his reasons and we will honor his decision.”

The Danjaq execs added that they would soon be announcing plans for the next pic, which still has no director or supporting talent, and now lacks a headliner.

Calley said, “While we were sorry to learn of Timothy Dalton’s decision regarding the role of James Bond, we are proceeding with the project as planned and will meet our targeted summer 1995 release date.”

UA execs were mum on possible replacements, but speculation surfaced on two questionable possibilities: Liam Neeson and Pierce Brosnan.

Neeson, recent best actor Oscar nominee for “Schindler’s List,” would seem to have his plate full with other offers. Brosnan had been offered the job in 1986, before Dalton, but was forced to withdraw because of a conflict in his schedule on the series “Remington Steele.” Though possibly still in the running, it’s debatable whether he’s as hot a candidate as he was eight years ago.

“Licence,” in 1989, was the last Bond pic. The new one has been delayed four years because of legal entanglements between Danjaq and MGM that started in 1990 . Two separate lawsuits with MGM over the cut-rate sale of foreign rights were settled in 1992.

When the pic was announced last year, former MGM co-chairman Alan Ladd Jr. said it would carry a budget of at least $ 40 million. Sources said that figure may rise if an A-list star takes over the series.

More Film

  • BRAZILIAN FLAGFRENCH OPEN TENNIS, PARIS, FRANCE

    Brazil’s Ancine Freezes Incentives, Threatening Film-TV Industry Paralysis

    Brazil’s Ancine agency, its foremost public-sector source of film funding, has frozen all of its incentive programs, potentially near paralyzing new production in Latin America’s biggest film-TV industry. The dramatic decision, which has left Brazil’s industry is a state of shock and intense fear for its future, comes as it has taken further hits. In [...]

  • Jennifer Lopez

    Jennifer Lopez Reteams With STXfilms on Romantic-Comedy Co-Starring Owen Wilson

    Jennifer Lopez is reteaming with STXfilms on the upcoming romantic-comedy “Marry Me.” Kat Coiro is directing the film and Owen Wilson is in final negotiations to join the pic, which will likely shoot this fall. The script was written by John Rogers and Tami Sagher, with a rewrite by Harper Dill. Lopez and Wilson both [...]

  • Steve Golin The Revenant Spotlight Producer

    Steve Golin, Prolific Producer and Founder of Anonymous Content, Dies at 64

    Steve Golin, an Oscar-winning producer who was founder and CEO of Anonymous Content, died Sunday in Los Angeles of cancer. He was 64. Golin was a pioneer in blending the business of talent management with production. Anonymous Content, which Golin founded in 1999, worked with a stable of big name artists such as Steven Soderbergh, [...]

  • Kelly McCormick David Leitch

    'Hobbs & Shaw' Director David Leitch, Kelly McCormick Sign First-Look Deal With Universal (EXCLUSIVE)

    Universal Pictures is signing David Leitch, his longtime producing partner, Kelly McCormick and their recently founded 87North Production banner to a first-look production deal. “David and Kelly have established themselves as a distinctive, stylish filmmaking team who can do it all, from contained thrillers to franchise tentpoles,” said Universal’s president Peter Cramer. “We are confident [...]

  • Still from cannes competition film "Parasite"

    Cannes: Bong Joon-ho Says ‘Parasite’ Is Too Local to Win Competition

    Having been partially responsible for the Netflix fall out with the Cannes Film Festival, “Okja” and “Snowpiercer” director Bong Joon-ho returns to Cannes competition this year with conventionally- financed “Parasite.” But the Korean-language film is a tragicomedy that Bong says may be too nuanced for the festival. “Cannes always makes me feel excited, fresh, and [...]

  • Summer Box Office: 'Avengers: Endgame,' 'Lion

    Summer Box Office: Five Weekends to Watch

    Popcorn season is upon us, and it’ll be up to comic-book heroes, a wise-cracking genie, and a lion who would be king to ensure movie theaters are still the hottest place to spend the summer. Last summer, blockbusters like “Avengers: Infinity War,” “Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom,” Ocean’s 8,” and “The Meg” drove moviegoers to their [...]

  • Critics Week

    Cannes Critics’ Week Unveils Its Lineup

    Lorcan Finnegan’s science-fiction thriller “Vivarium” with Jesse Eisenberg and Imogen Poots, Jérémy Clapin’s fantasy-filled animated feature “I Lost My Body,” and Hlynur Pálmason’s Icelandic drama “A White, White Day” are among the 11 films set to compete at Critics’ Week, the section dedicated to first and second films that runs parallel with the Cannes Film [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content