Reports of 007's demise exaggerated.
It seems that recent reports of Pierce Brosnan's exit from the James
Bond franchise were a bit premature. According to today's Variety,
MGM has just renewed a first-look deal with Brosnan's Irish DreamTime
production company – they're currently developing the action
flick Mexicali and a sequel to The Thomas Crown Affair as star vehicles
for Brosnan. More importantly, the trade adds that Brosnan will
be back for a fifth turn as 007 and that Bond 21 is being readied
for a November 2005 release.
Rumors of Brosnan's departure began surfacing several days ago
in the Chicago Sun-Times and elsewhere. They peaked yesterday with
fansite Commander Bond claiming negotiations for Brosnan's Bond
21 contract had ceased, and that the search for the next James Bond
was well underway. They stated, "Though no replacement has
been found at this time, filming of Bond 21 is still reported to
begin in early 2005. Eon Productions is said to be waiting to make
an announcement until Brosnan's successor is named."
The Sun-Times recently reported that "the producers of the
007 films will not pick up (Brosnan's) option to cast him in what
would have been his final outing as the enduring British spy."
An Eon spokesperson apparently confirmed the casting news, advising
the paper that "we are always looking to target younger audiences.
... We want fans who will still be watching in 40 years."
What to make of all this? Well, it could've been a bit of hardball
on the part of
Brosnan or the studio. Leaking information like this to the press
and trying to force another party's hand in negotiations is not
uncommon. Regardless, it seems that we'll see Brosnan back as Bond
at least one more time.
Brosnan next stars in New Line's romantic comedy Laws of Attraction,
opposite Julianne Moore. He'll follow that with The Matador, for
-- Brian Linder
13th February, 2004