×
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

  • Kenneth Branagh's 'All Is True' Opening

    Kenneth Branagh's 'All Is True' Opening Palm Springs Film Festival

    The 30th annual Palm Springs International Film Festival will open on Jan. 3 with historical drama “All Is True,” starring Kenneth Branagh, Judi Dench, and Ian McKellen. Branagh, who will be in attendance at the opening night screening, directed from Ben Elton’s script about the little-known period in the final years of William Shakespeare. Branagh [...]

  • Actor and Activist Rodney Kageyama Dies

    Actor and Activist Rodney Kageyama Dies at 77

    Actor, activist and influentials member of the Japanese American community, Rodney Kageyama, died in his sleep Dec. 9. He was 77. The SAG member was known for roles in “Karate Kid IV” with Hillary Swank, Ron Howard’s film “Gung Ho” and the spinoff sitcom, and the TV movie “Hiroshima: Out of the Ashes” with Max [...]

  • Most Popular Films 2018: The Best

    9 Holiday Gift Ideas Inspired by This Year's Most Popular Films

    From superheroes to super nannies, 2018 was a year full of memorable characters — and memorable movies. Whether you’re a big film buff, an avid follower of a popular franchise, or have a couple movie fans in your life, here are nine gifts that capture the fun of some of this year’s biggest films. 1. [...]

  • Gravitas Ventures Acquires Irish Film ‘Lost

    Gravitas Ventures Acquires Irish Comedy ‘Lost & Found’

    Irish writer/director Liam O Mochain’s third feature film, “Lost & Found,” has been picked up by Gravitas Ventures for all rights worldwide, excluding Ireland, U.K., Australia and New Zealand. The film was recently acquired by Rialto Film Distribution for Australia and New Zealand, Film 4 and High Fliers for the U.K., and RTE TV in [...]

  • Nicole KidmanWarner Bros. Pictures World Premiere

    How James Wan Convinced Nicole Kidman to Star in 'Aquaman'

    While some actors dream of playing a superhero, that wasn’t the case for the cast of “Aquaman.” “I knew nothing about this,” Amber Heard, who plays Mera in the James Wan-directed action film, told Variety at the movie’s Los Angeles premiere. “I knew nothing about comic books in general. I didn’t know anything about this [...]

  • Anonymous Content Adds Meredith Rothman to

    Anonymous Content Adds Meredith Rothman to Management Division (EXCLUSIVE)

    Anonymous Content has added Meredith Rothman to its management division, Variety has learned. She joins the company from Mosaic, where she spent the last five years as a talent and literary manager. Rothman started her career working for casting director Francine Maisler and later worked as an assistant at Independent Talent Group in London. She [...]

  • Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse

    Box Office: 'Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse' Could Tangle Up to $40 Million in Debut

    “Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse” is dominating the domestic box office as it heads for up to $40 million in its opening weekend at 3,813 North American locations, early estimates showed on Friday. Clint Eastwood’s drug-runner drama “The Mule” should finish second with about $18 million at 2,558 venues, at the high end of expectations. MRC-Universal’s [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content