JAMES BOND is famed for squeezing out of tight spots in pretty miraculous ways.
But an eccentric idea by film director John Landis for Roger Moore’s 007 to escape villains by disguising himself as a crucified Jesus was just a step too far.
Landis, then a writer on The Spy Who Loved Me, dreamed up the madcap plot as a pre-title sequence for the 1977 movie, intended to take place in a Spanish church.
But it was dismissed by long-term Bond producer Albert “Cubby” Broccoli, who apparently fumed at Landis: “Are you f***ing crazy?”
The hilarious revelation is documented in new book The Lost Adventures Of James Bond, which unearths plans for 007 movies which didn’t quite make it to the screen.
It also tells how David Bowie was originally lined up to play the villainous Max Zorin in 1985’s A View To A Kill.
David Bowie was originally planned to play Max Zorin in 1985’s A View To A Kill[/caption]
The role was eventually played by Christopher Walken[/caption]
But the music legend turned down the role, which was eventually played by Christopher Walken.
And Bowie was not the only rock star to be a Bond near-miss — Blondie singer Debbie Harry and guitarist Chris Stein wrote a song called For Your Eyes Only and submitted it to Bond bosses as the theme for the 1981 film.
However, it was rejected in favour of Sheena Easton’s For Your Eyes Only, written by Bill Conti and Michael Leeson.
The fourth Bond film, 1965’s Thunderball, had originally been conceived as a movie in the late 1950s by 007’s creator, novelist Ian Fleming, screenwriter and producer Kevin McClory and screenwriter Jack Whittingham, and it would have been the first film in the long-running series.
Blondie singer Debbie Harry wrote a song called For Your Eyes Only for the 1981 film[/caption]
Legendary director Alfred Hitchcock was originally asked to take charge but he refused.
Chris Wright, co-host of the James Bond Radio podcast, said: “It was Ian Fleming’s idea to contact Hitchcock. He asked if he’d be interested in directing Bond’s movie debut.”
It is believed Hitchcock turned it down because he had just made another spy thriller, 1959’s North By Northwest, starring Cary Grant and Eva Marie Saint.
It would be another six years before Thunderball hit cinema screens, finally directed by Terence Young.
Legendary director Alfred Hitchcock was originally asked to take charge of the Bond films but he refused[/caption]
Steven Spielberg once pitched to direct Bond – but was rejected[/caption]
An early draft for 1979 movie Moonraker, by comic book writer Cary Bates, created a plot where the lead baddie would hide in a nuclear submarine in the depths of Loch Ness.
Cary also made a pitch for Tomorrow Never Dies where a villain tries to enlist Bond to kill huge swathes of the world’s population.
The book also tells how the initial third Bond film with Timothy Dalton as 007 was scrapped after the original script had the hero tackling killer robots. It was deemed too far-fetched.
One legendary director who wanted to make a Bond film but never has is Steven Spielberg.
After the critical and commercial success of Jaws in 1975 led to him being hailed as one of Hollywood’s hottest young players, Spielberg could write his own cheque — and decided to pitch for directing 007.
Timothy Dalton’s 007 nearly had to tackle killer robots[/caption]
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He told Michael Ball on Radio 2 in 2016: “I called up Cubby and offered my services but he didn’t think I was right for the part.”
The director tried again after another blockbuster success with 1977’s Close Encounters, but got rejected once again.
He joked: “They still didn’t think I was right for the part — and now they can’t afford me.”
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