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The legendary Welsh actor was James Bond author Ian Fleming's choice to essay 007 when a movie adaptation was first suggested in the late '50s. In a letter Fleming penned in 1959 the writer declared that ''Richard Burton would be by far the best James Bond.''
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Cinemadom's suavest denizen was considered for the role of Bond in the series' first entry, 1962's Dr No — and Grant WAS born in the U.K. But the actor's reluctance to sign on for more than one movie sent producers Cubby Broccoli and Harry Saltzman to look elsewhere.
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Holy Walther PPK! TV's Batman is rumored to have been considered as a replacement for Sean Connery at the start of the '70s.
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Legend has it the late British thespian and star of the U.K. science fiction show UFO screen tested for the role of Bond more times than any other actor. Although Billington never actually played 007 he was cast as a Soviet agent who Bond kills at the start of The Spy Who Loved Me.
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Josh's dad screen tested to play Bond in Octopussy. The film would ultimately find Roger Moore returning to the role but Brolin's test footage can be found on the recently released Definitive James Bond Collection.
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The Northern Ireland-born Jurassic Park star played a real-life agent in the 1983 miniseries Reilly, Ace of Spies and was put up for the role of 007 by his agent. ''Thankfully, I didn't get offered the part,'' Neill told the Belfast Telegraph in October 2012. ''There were lots of other people who were much better and I wouldn't have enjoyed it.''
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At one point, United Artists were high on the Mad Max star playing Bond, according to Live and Let Die screenwriter Tom Mankiewicz. ''Somebody at United Artists said to me, 'Call [Cubby Broccoli] and tell him Mel Gibson would be great,''' Mankiewicz said in 2009. ''And Cubby said, 'I don't want to make a Mel Gibson movie, I want to make a James Bond movie.'''
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The big screen Wolverine was in the frame to replace Pierce Brosnan following 2002's Die Another Day but took himself out of contention because he WAS the big screen Wolverine. ''I got a call from my agent saying, 'There is some possible interest in you for Bond, are you interested?''' Jackman told the Press Association in 2011. ''At the time I wasn't. I was about to shoot X-Men 2 and Wolverine had become this thing in my life and I didn't want to be doing two such iconic characters at once.''
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The future Rome star was another actor rumored to be in the frame to replace Brosnan. When Good Morning America host Diane Sawyer asked the actor in 2004 if he practiced being Bond in front of the mirror he replied, ''Only when I'm alone in the house.'' Around the same time, newspaper scuttlebutt also had Jude Law, Heath Ledger, Eric Bana, and Orlando Bloom, amongst others, up for the role before it was finally announced that Danel Craig had been handed the licence to kill.
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Skyfall star Naomie Harris recently claimed that Elba had talked with Bond producer Barbara Broccoli about the possibility of playing 007. Elba himself responded by saying ''It's all rumor'' but admitted that being the first black Bond would be ''an absolute honor.''