Clint Eastwood has played many iconic roles throughout his decades-long career, but there’s one famous role that he turned down that may surprise you.
Believe it or not, Eastwood was offered the role of the British spy James Bond in the 1960s!
— Gab ? (@noir_or_never) April 27, 2022
Eastwood Offered Role Of James Bond
“I was also offered pretty good money to do James Bond if I would take on the role,” Eastwood would say years later, according to Daily Mail. “This was after Sean Connery left.”
“My lawyer represented the Broccolis [who produce the Bond franchise] and he came and said, ‘They would love to have you,'” he continued. “But to me, well, that was somebody else’s gig. That’s Sean’s deal. It didn’t feel right for me to be doing it.”
After making his fifth James Bond film in five years in 1967, Connery was tired of the franchise, and he asked for more money to do 1969’s On Her Majesty’s Secret Service. Producers turned him down and instead launched a search for a replacement, which appears to have been when Eastwood, who was already an established actor at the time, was offered the role.
After Eastwood turned the role down, it was given to the Australian model George Lazenby, who only played Bond in one movie. Connery returned to the role for the 1971 movie Diamonds Are Forever, before Roger Moore played James Bond for the next few movies. Connery would play James Bond one final time in 1983’s Never Say Never Again, leaving the role behind for good after that.
Eastwood Offered Another Iconic Role
Eastwood has also said that he was in the running to play Superman in the 1978 film, a role that ultimately went to the late Christopher Reeve.
“This was when they first started to think about making it,’ he said. ‘I was like, ‘Superman? Nah, nah, that’s not for me,'” Eastwood recalled. “Not that there’s anything wrong with it. It’s for somebody, but not me.”
Eastwood went on to explain that he would not have enjoyed dressing up in Superman’s iconic red cape.
“I always liked characters that were more grounded in reality,” he concluded.
To wrap up the Great James Bond Controversy: If you're changing the part in order to cast an actor, it's a mistake. They almost did this with Superman in 1978. (Clint Eastwood! Robert Redford! No, really. Almost.) Instead they cast an unknown, and the rest was history. pic.twitter.com/mNQtLgo4AC
— Tom Nichols (@RadioFreeTom) January 22, 2022
While Connery and Reeve have each sadly passed away, Eastwood is still going strong at the age of 92. The last movie that he directed and acted in, Cry Macho, was released just last year. You can check out a trailer for that below.
Eastwood Talks Aging
In interviews last year promoting the movie, Eastwood let his feelings about aging be known, and they’re pretty much exactly what you’d expect them to be!
“I don’t look like I did at 20, so what?” Eastwood told the Los Angeles Times. “That just means there are more interesting guys you can play.”
Eastwood went on to say that while the world has changed a lot in recent years, he hasn’t at all.
“I never think about it,” Eastwood says. “If I’m not the same guy, I don’t want to know anything about it. I might not like the new guy. I might think, ‘What am I doing with this idiot?’”
And don’t you ever change, Mr. Eastwood!
While it would have been fun to see Eastwood’s take on James Bond, he’s always had such a good head on his shoulders that turning it down was likely the right decision. We can’t wait to see what other roles he decides to take on in the future!