A Flashback James Bond Photo Featuring Pierce Brosnan Has 007 Fans Speculating About The Movie They Never Got

Pierce Brosnan talks with Sean Bean in a storage room in Goldeneye.
(Image credit: Danjaq, LLC and MGM)

The actors that almost found themselves cast in the James Bond movies are as interesting as the ones who actually land the gig. Among the names of those considered as a potential 007 in the past, some stick out out for the fact that, like Pierce Brosnan, the first time isn’t exactly a charm. Those memories of when the Irish actor almost was cast in The Living Daylights are freshly resurrected today, as Brosnan’s birthday seems to have brought out a flashback photo that has fans speculating about the version of that movie they never got.

We know the Pierce Brosnan era of James Bond as something that started with 1995’s Goldeneye, and ended with 2002’s Die Another Day. However, it’s no secret that his first bite at the apple almost came in 1986, when he was basically cast as Bond for The Living Daylights. That history is what gave us this Twitter post, as user “James the Film Guy” shared the following inspiration to 007 fans all over:

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If Pierce Brosnan’s lucrative gig on NBC’s hit show Remington Steele hadn’t gotten in the way, The Living Daylights would have seen him kick off his eventual James Bond career arc. That change alone is something that’s got people like “GrahamBarratt1” thinking about what might have been:

Would love to know how that would have changed the franchise...

That simple question was enough to spawn several other really good questions about the alternate Brosnan era of 007. Aptly enough, user “A_November_Man” continued developing that line of thought by asking the following question:

We would obviously get The Living Daylights, I wonder what the 2nd film would be of his?

As Timothy Dalton got to make License To Kill after The Living Daylights, that may not have been a guaranteed notch in Pierce Brosnan’s grappling hook belt. Nor would it be a given that Brosnan would have stayed until his untimely dismissal in 2002, post-Die Another Day. However, if that were the case as fan “BruBum86” speculated, then that would have come with an interesting historical footnote:

Does frazzle the brain. Always thought he was too young, but if he'd got job in back in 87 to [Die Another Day] in 02, he would have been in role same length as Craig...my head hurts lol

With 15 years potentially making up this variation of the Brosnan era, it would have put him at six movies; which would top Daniel Craig by one entry, but fall short of Sir Roger Moore’s time in the tuxedo by that same quantity. Posing one last swapping scenario for the ages, “dayfan01_green” tweeted the ultimate reversal that could have been onto something: 

Always was curious to see Dalton in Goldeneye and Brosnan in The Living Daylights lol

Timothy Dalton’s tenure as 007 is still a vital and fantastic reign to celebrate; but who knows how in what John Glen and Pierce Brosnan could have done, if it wasn’t for the forces of history? The fact that the two men share adjacent birthdays fuels that speculation even further, as Glen’s just celebrated his 90th birthday yesterday. You couldn’t write the story of how these movies seem to earmark future plot points, and even potential actors, throughout the years. 

Maybe it’s Henry Cavill’s time to shine after all, as while his youth cost him Casino Royale, Cavill has consistently been a strong candidate in the post-Daniel Craig betting pool. No timeline for these decisions has been laid out just yet, so for now everyone will have to keep their ears and eyes open. In the meantime, the full list of upcoming movies headed to theaters is a good place to find your next mission; especially when so many upcoming spy movies and TV series are available.

Mike Reyes
Senior Movies Contributor

Mike Reyes is the Senior Movie Contributor at CinemaBlend, though that title’s more of a guideline really. Passionate about entertainment since grade school, the movies have always held a special place in his life, which explains his current occupation. Mike graduated from Drew University with a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science, but swore off of running for public office a long time ago. Mike's expertise ranges from James Bond to everything Alita, making for a brilliantly eclectic resume. He fights for the user.