1695864414 40 years of Never Again How Sean Connery became James

40 years of “Never Again”: How Sean Connery became James Bond again… and why 007’s future is uncertain

On October 7, 1983, Sean Connery took on the role of James Bond that made him famous for the seventh and final time. And secret agent 007 can count on the support of Domino, played by Kim Bassinger.

In 1971, Sean Connery dropped a little bombshell shortly after the release of Diamonds Are Forever. No, he won’t be reprising his role as James Bond and this time it’s really true. Because the producers, in particular Albert Broccoli, managed to convince him to put on his secret agent costume designed by writer Ian Fleming again after You Only Live Twice (1967), since the actor had refused to appear in Au Her Majesty’s Secret Service (1969 ) to play along. in which 007 is played by George Lazenby for the only time in the franchise’s history.

Sean Connery in his legendary role as British secret agent James Bond, who answers the number 007.

Km Basinger and Sean Connery in the film “Never Again” (1983) from the James Bond series. PHOTO PROVIDED BY METRO-GOLDWYN-MAYER

More than a money story…

Given the film’s failure, the studios wanted to bring Sean Connery back and offered him a golden ticket: a salary of $1.25 million for Diamonds Are Forever – a fortune and a record at the time. But that no longer satisfies him.

“Take away the exotic accents and what do you have?” “A boring English policeman,” he said in Vanity Fair at the time. “One of the reasons I stopped is because I got really tired of the space stuff and the special effects,” he explained in the pages of the Irish Examiner in 2005. And his friend Michael Caine added in the Wall Street Journal: “If you were his friend back then, you shouldn’t bring up the subject of Bond.” He was and is a much better actor, but he became synonymous with James Bond. He was walking down the street and people were saying, “Look, that’s James Bond.” This particularly bothered him. »

Sean Connery in his legendary role as British secret agent James Bond, who answers the number 007.

Kim Basinger and Barbara Carrera in “Never Again.” PHOTO PROVIDED BY METRO-GOLDWYN-MAYER

Sean Connery therefore hangs up the Walther PPK and the secret agent costume… but without counting on the producers’ willingness to fight. Therefore, to secure the rights to the novel “Operation Thunder”, EON Studios turned to Sean Connery, although Roger Moore is the official face of the British spy. It was also Micheline Connery, the actor’s wife, who came up with the title “Never Again”, in reference to his decision never to play James Bond again. The actor receives a salary of $ 3 million, has a say in the script – which he does not shy away from, it is he who will hire two television series writers, Dick Clement and Ian La Frenais, to make significant changes – and in the Distribution and receives a percentage of the profits from the feature film.

On set – the production is filmed on the French Riviera and the Bahamas – Sean Connery takes on many of the duties of a producer, is injured by Steven Seagal during a stunt rehearsal and doesn’t mince his words. “It’s a Mickey Mouse operation,” he says, angry at the amateurism observed… which in no way prevents Never Again from grossing $160 million at the box office, slightly less than “Octopussy” with Roger Moore, which came out in theaters a few months earlier.

What future does James Bond have?

Now that Daniel Craig is leaving the role, the future of one of cinema’s most storied franchises – and, with grosses of $6.89 billion, the most lucrative – is uncertain. His successor has not yet been found, even though the names Tom Hardy, John Boyega, Sam Heughan and Idris Elba are regularly bandied about. “We have to reinvent James Bond, just as every actor has reinvented his role,” emphasizes producer Barbara Broccoli. That’s what makes this franchise so challenging and entertaining, the character continues to evolve. »

Sean Connery in his legendary role as British secret agent James Bond, who answers the number 007.


The only things she won’t compromise on? “James Bond has to be British” and at the moment there is no question that James will be a woman. “We should be writing female roles, not replacing a man with a woman,” she said in the pages of Total Film.

The writers’ strike delayed the writing of the next feature in the series, an essential and essential step before finding the actor who will then become the eighth to lend his feature credit to 007, after Sean Connery, David Niven, George Lazenby and Roger Moore. Timothy Dalton, Pierce Brosnan and Daniel Craig.