When I caught wind of the first major rumors regarding Pierce Brosnan not returning, I remember feeling very angry. But as I thought about it, perhaps my anger was a little biased. About four years ago, I remember talking to my parents about James Bond. My father always preferred Connery, and my mother always preferred Moore. I asked them why, and they both pretty much stated, "That's who I always saw when I was a kid." Now, I don't feel (based on his four current movies) that Brosnan is the "best" Bond, but I do feel a little sentimental attachment to his characterization of Bond. I mean he was the Bond of my generation. I was about five years old when Timothy Dalton did Licence to Kill, and that was his last one. Perhaps if Dalton did more of them, my feelings would have been different. But none-the-less Pierce was the Bond of my generation. Perhaps the reason for my anger was that my perception had a certain sentimental value when it came to Pierce Brosnan.
However, I feel my second reason on why I was angry has a lot more to do with simple logic than an emotional attachment. Whenever someone does something that at first doesn't make any sense to me, I always try to look at it from their point of view. The main reason why I was upset when the first rumor came that Pierce Brosnan would not return as James Bond, was that no matter how long I thought about it, I still could not see one logical reason why they would decide to throw Pierce out the window.
First, lets get the obvious out of the way. GoldenEye made $106,600,000 in the U.S., Tomorrow Never Dies made $125,332,007 in the U.S., The World Is Not Enough made $126,930,660 in the U.S., and Die Another Day made $160,933,087 in the U.S. (source www.imdb.com) Now, if we were to graph this, you would notice an upward sloping line. Meaning, each movie made more money than the one before it. It's pretty much common knowledge that MGM hasn't been doing so well lately. The franchise that is pretty much keeping them from not going deeper in the red is James Bond. Financially speaking, it doesn't make a lot of sense for them to fire Brosnan. As the old saying goes, "If it ain't broke, don't fix it."
Second, there's been a general discussion of Brosnan showing his age, and for that reason MGM is considering looking for a younger actor to play James Bond. If this rumor is true, it still doesn't make any sense to me. Seeing Pierce with Julianne Moore at the Oscar's would debunk that idea right away. Pierce isn't showing his age at all. To clarify my point even more, take a picture of Roger Moore in Octopussy and compare it to a picture of Brosnan at this years Oscar's.
Roger was about 56 when he did Octopussy and Brosnan will be 52 when Bond 21 starts filming. Four years is quite a difference in age, but even still, looking at the photographs it seems that there is 10 years difference between the two. Lets go even further and look at a photograph of Sean Connery in Diamonds are Forever.
The reason I'm using Diamonds are Forever and not his fifth movie, You Only Live Twice, is because compared to Brosnan who will be 52 when filming starts on the new Bond, Connery was only 41 when he filmed Diamonds are Forever. Just looking at the pictures side by side there's a huge amount of difference. Pierce looks a good deal younger than Sean did, and Sean was 11 years younger!
Finally and probably most importantly, Pierce's portrayal of Bond is more of a reason to not get rid of him. There will always be someone who flat out despises him, but getting a feel of the general population, a lot of people will agree that Pierce is the "Connery" of the 21st century. Not better than Connery, but definitely better than Moore, Dalton and Lazenby (though I would disagree with that assessment but that's another discussion all together). Pierce brings charm, sophistication, and real emotion (Something neither Connery nor any of the actors really did; though one can make an exception for Timothy Dalton) to the role.
You can see a great deal of improvement in his acting from GoldenEye to Die Another Day. To not let him go further would be a huge disappointment. And perhaps with another movie under his belt, the general Bond community may start to consider Brosnan a far superior Bond than Connery. But of course we would never know if he isn't given that chance.
I just fail to see the logic of MGM even being able to make the decision of not allowing Pierce Brosnan to return. They would be making a disastrous mistake. Not only does he still have at least two movies in him, but he has proven himself to be a wonderful Bond and a powerhouse at the box office. Pierce's end should not be Die Another Day. Rather his end should come at another time, and another film.
Article written by Chris Osman (MrBond)