View Full Version : Did Brosnan get a raw deal?
07-25-2007, 10:23 AM
This came up on another thread and I thought maybe it merited a topic all its own.
We should put this in context though - how raw could his deal have been given how much money he made off Bond? What came up on the other thread was the quality of the scripts he was given and the perceived difference in quality between the role of Bond in his movies and what Daniel Craig was given to play in Casino Royale.
The finger always gets pointed at the usual suspects: Broccoli, Wilson, Purvis & Wade. No one ever seems to suspect MGM. While it is true that Eon retains a large measure of control over Bond, we know for a fact that they've given in to studio demands in the past - the most glaring example being Teri Hatcher instead of Monica Bellucci in Tomorrow Never Dies. As with most things it's probably a case of picking your battles - letting them have one American actress in the movie if they'll get off your back about something else.
How much of the overblown parts of Die Another Day were a result of studio pushing for "bigger is better" after the relatively scaled-back The World is Not Enough? How much of Halle Berry being in the movie had to do with the studio wanting a rising star shoved into what they felt was an underperforming franchise? And further to this point, how much of the jump in quality in Casino Royale was due to a changeover in the studio regime, and the new bosses being perhaps more willing to trust the Broccoli family than those of the past?
When movies are such a collaborative enterprise, requiring much compromise from everyone with a stake in their performance, I think maybe there's more to why some of Brosnan's Bonds weren't... quite... all the way there, the way some of us might wish they had been.
07-25-2007, 12:00 PM
The only thing I know is that he could have done at least one more. Roger Moore was way older-looking that Pierce in his prime and Pierce's movies were still making bucks. He will be missed...
Daltons Chin Dimple
07-26-2007, 12:35 AM
Or maybe it was Amy Pascal at Sony, who is apparently no dummy, looking at Bourne etc. and telling Eon they needed to change ?
07-26-2007, 06:59 AM
Considering how desperately Sony wanted Bond in the first place I don't think they started issuing edicts about content as soon as they acquired it. Besides, doesn't Sony already distribute Bourne? Why would they want two identical spy franchises?
Sony was probably content to let them keep going as is. Any studio executive would have seen the gobs of cash raked in by DAD and wanted more of the same - and that would have included ponying up the green to lock Pierce into a new contract. Only very rarely do you find a high-ranking executive who is very good with creative content (most of them are just former talent agents who see only the bottom line and don't give a rat's ass what goes into the movie as long as ticket and T-shirt sales come out).
Amy Pascal isn't infallible. She was ready to produce a sequel to the 1998 version of Godzilla, after all. I think more likely Sony was inclined to establish a good relationship with the Broccolis and were more permissive about what they wanted to do with the movie.
I know I sound like an Eon apologist sometimes but I'm often surprised by the flack they take from fans given that they have managed to keep Bond going for so long and really have no need to make any more movies as they could hang up their spurs and retire several times over based on how successful they've been so far. Sure, it's fun to throw darts but the occasional laurel leaf of appreciation for continuing to bring us Bond doesn't hurt either.
Daltons Chin Dimple
07-26-2007, 07:05 AM
Bourne lives at Universal doesn't it ?
I agree they probably get a bit too much flack, including from me. However I have just seen one too many DVD documentary / interview etc. where they say something that just completely rolls my eyes.
Tamahori might have pushed for the CGI in DAD, but they signed it off !
07-26-2007, 08:06 AM
And further to this point, how much of the jump in quality in Casino Royale was due to a changeover in the studio regime, and the new bosses being perhaps more willing to trust the Broccoli family than those of the past?
These are all great points. Personally, I very seldom point fingers at specific people behind the scenes, because I just don't know who is contributing what to the overall sum total. For all I know, Babs and Michael Wilson have been battling for gritty realism -- OR, they both wanted LeChiffre to have a giant laser pointed at Washington. I dont know, so I can only comment on the final product.
Regarding Brosnan's 'raw deal', it's hard to say. I'll say this -- I do think Brosnan had at LEAST one more good Bond film in him, I think he was begging for a more 'Casino Royale'-like script, and if what we've all heard is correct, they could have been kind enough to at least call him and say 'thanks, but we're going in a new direction.' That said, he wasn't promised or contracted for more films, he had a solid run of four movies and he made a substantial about of money.
You know, sometimes you go on a few dates with a girl, you decide it's not moving in the direction you had hoped, and you politely break it off -- and she still tells all her friends how you 'screwed her over'.
Maybe it's just cause I am now one of the converted, but while I empathize with Brosnan on many levels, I can't get too passionate about his 'raw deal.'
PS: I didn't know that Monica Bellucci was up for the part of Paris Carver. What a perfect example of how a few bad choices really contributed to the blandness of the era.
07-26-2007, 09:19 AM
True, Brosnan wasn't under contract to do another Bond movie and the producers were well within their rights to go in a different direction, which they enevitably did.
What bothers me is that Brosnan's continued pleas to the powers that be, which I believe began as early as TND, that the scripts be more story and character driven were essentially ignored. Personally, I don't really care if it was EON or MGM that shot those pleas down. Either way somebody didn't have the guts to give the star who'd earned them more money than any of his predecessors a shot at a really great film. That's wrong any way you slice it as far as I'm concerned.
The fact that he was more believable in DAD than Moore was in AVTK doesn't help much either. I think he had at least one more in him, but, as much as I like the guy, I don't think he had a shelf life of longer than Bond 21. He's really started to show his age over the past couple films he's been in.
07-26-2007, 11:29 AM
I agree that Brosnan was never given a chance to display his acting chops- the only Bond movie of his that I truly liked was Goldeneye- and even then the part wasn't written for him! I think the producers were so scared of meddling with the Bond formula that they tried to top themselves with bigger stunts, more fantastic gadgets and racier women as Brosnan continued to play his part of Bond and it ultimately all came crashing down as the Bourne movies began to eclipse Bond- then they decided to go another way and left him in the dust. Sad, but thats Hollywood.
07-29-2007, 11:00 AM
I love the Brosnan era myself. First, Bond got some of his gravitas back. Second, it showed the Bond films coming out of the "fairy tale" Cold War background it had existed in most of it's history, and how the character does grate up against "modern" sensibilities.
But the series did need a restart and a new approach.
This had nothing to do with Brosnan, however.
07-29-2007, 06:40 PM
I think after the Teri Hatcher thing (who I actually like, but not in Bond), what I was amazed with was that they could push it even further and cast Denise Richards as the nuclear scientist in TWINE. How could they not have known that people were only going to view that as a major joke, and how could Brosnan expect to get a more serious film after that?
Daltons Chin Dimple
07-30-2007, 12:35 AM
I think TWINE was soooooooo close to working but just a couple of minor mis-steps (like Denise Richards) kept it away from greatness.
I would include among them not taking quite enough time to explore Electra, who should have been a really intriguing charcter, especially as her relationship to Bond develops.
Also, Robert Carlyle and the character of Renard in general were way under used.
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