Mild spoilers for Skyfall.
This news is from last week, but really only makes full sense once you’ve seen Skyfall. In an interview with The Huffington Post, director Sam Mendes talks about bringing back various traditional Bond elements in the film, as well as including a few sly winks to past installments in honor of the series’ 50th anniversary. In the film, the biggest of these nods is the inclusion of the tricked-out Aston Martin DB5 from Goldfinger. But, for at least a brief moment, there was the idea to make an even bigger reference:
HuffPo: There’s a scene in Scotland with Albert Finney. Was there any thought of approaching Sean Connery for that role?
Mendes: There was a definite discussion about that — way, way early on. But I think that’s problematic. Because, to me, it becomes too … it would take you out of the movie. Connery is Bond and he’s not going to come back as another character. It’s like, he’s been there. So, it was a very brief flirtation with that thought, but it was never going to happen, because I thought it would distract.
For full context, Albert Finney plays Kincade, the groundskeeper at Skfyall, which, it turns out, is the estate of the Bond family. Bond takes M there in order to set a trap for the villain, Silva. Kincade assists Bond in fighting off the swarm of mercenaries that descends on the house. And he could have been played by Connery. In fact, when Kincade first made his entrance, before his face was shown, it was my gut reaction, even though it made no logical sense (there’s no way it would have happened without word getting out, for one thing), that Connery would be the one standing there. Discussions coming out of the theater showed that I was not alone in this feeling.
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Now, on the one hand, Mendes is totally right. Having Connery play the role would have been enormously distracting, and his presence would have overshadowed what was truly important about Kincade’s scenes, which was the final confrontation in the film. Finney does a fine job with it.
But on the other hand… man, can you even imagine? My theater exploded into applause when the Aston Martin showed up, I can’t even fathom what would have happened if Connery arrived. Two James Bonds, fighting alongside one another. Of course Connery would have most likely turned Mendes down had he actually approached him. The man’s been enjoying retirement for almost ten years, now. But this would certainly have been a better capper to his career than The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen.
But man… just picture it. Ugh, forget logical and artistic concerns – that would have been awesome.