James Bond: Timothy Dalton almost starred in devastating 007 origin story

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James Bond star Dalton nearly starred in an entirely different 007 film when he first stepped into the role. A new report explains how the actor’s first film as Bond, The Living Daylights, had a number of scripts proposed before one was settled on to be filmed. In the first script, written by Richard Maibaum and Michael G Wilson, Dalton was set to explore how the legendary spy first learned his deadly trade – but also revealed that he had gambled away his family money.

In the scrapped version of the movie, as described in the Mark Edlitz book The Lost Adventures of James Bond, Bond came from a wealthy family, and even introduced his grandfather. 

The original script broke the mould of a number of Bond cliches – such as him not having any family, and never talking about his upbringing.

The movie was set in 1972, and at the beginning Bond was to be shown as a scrappy lieutenant in the British army, just before his grandfather passed away.

It was at the family funeral that the hero went on to be recruited by M for Her Majesty’s secret service, and given a new mentor.

Bond’s very first teacher was Bart Trevor – special agent 007.

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Throughout the film, Bond learned all he could from Trevor, and the duo embarked on a mission to kill a warlord named General Kwang.

Over the course of the movie the young Bond took on every challenge that faced him headfirst – but he couldn’t save his new father figure, Trevor.

In a devastating set of scenes, Trevor was killed off forcing Bond to finish the mission alone, and return to England safe and sound.

The final scenes of the film introduced Bond yet again, but this time in his new role as the latest 00 spy – special agent 007. According to the book, he took his late mentor’s code in honour of him.

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After the character’s agent number was announced, M apparently had a new mission for him before the credits rolled.

In the final moments of the movie he was instructed to track down and thwart a new foe: Dr No.

The writers went on to totally change the script for Dalton who starred in two of them. 

Two years after The Living Daylights Dalton appeared in Licence to Kill, which premiered in 1989.

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Dalton later left the series after being told he had to “commit” to more than one movie at a time.

He once told The Week that Bond boss Cubby Broccoli said: “’Look, Tim. You can’t do one.

“‘There’s no way, after a five-year gap between movies, that you can come back and just do one. You’d have to plan on four or five.’”

The actor was excited to do another Bond movie, but ultimately decided that MGM wanted too much from him.

Dalton later confessed another “four or five” movies would be “too much” and “too long.”

The actor then officially stepped down from the role on April 12, 1994.

Two months later, in June of 1994, Pierce Brosnan was announced as the next Bond.

A year later Brosnan’s first movie in the series, Goldeneye, was released.


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