“I wouldn’t have enjoyed it”: Before Jurassic Park, Sam Neill Turned Down $7.8B Franchise That Cast Timothy Dalton Instead

Sam Neill turned down the iconic role of Agent 007

"I wouldn't have enjoyed it": Before Jurassic Park, Sam Neill Turned Down $7.8B Franchise That Cast Timothy Dalton Instead


  • Sam Neill was approched for the role of James Bond.
  • The actor rejected the offer, and Timothy Dalton became the next 007.
  • Sam Neill scared people with his portrayal in Peaky Blinders.
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Everyone associates the ever-charming Sam Neill with the paleontologist Alan Grant in the Jurassic Park films. He even reprised the role in 2022’s Jurassic World Dominion. Neill has also starred in other successful and acclaimed films such as Sleeping Dogs, My Brilliant Career, Dead Calm, The Hunt for Red October, and Hunt for the Wilderpeople to name a few.


He is considered one of the most versatile actors of his generation, having a very charismatic presence on screen. So much so, that he was considered for several high-profile roles back in the day.

Sam Neill
Sam Neill

Fans might be surprised to know that Neill was in the running for the role of James Bond when Timothy Dalton and Pierce Brosnan were also considered and were ultimately chosen for the role. Neill had a surprising revelation about being considered for the role.


Also read: Sam Neill May Have Never Been in Jurassic Park: $7.8B Franchise Audition Was an Awkward Disaster as He Refused Going Topless for Love Scene

Sam Neill Was Considered for James Bond But Was Not Interested

Timothy Dalton as James Bond
Timothy Dalton as James Bond

In the 1980s, Sam Neill was a rising talent in the industry with notable hits such as My Brilliant Career, and the TV series Reilly, Ace of Spies. He was considered for the next reiteration of James Bond along with Timothy Dalton for 1987’s The Living Daylights after Roger Moore stepped down from the role.

He reflected on why he rejected the role and also praised his friend Pierce Brosnan for doing a great job playing the MI6 spy. He told Den of Geek,


“First of all, I wouldn’t have taken the role if they’d asked me to do it. It was the last time that I was bullied into doing a screen test. My agent insisted that I go and do it, [saying] it would be rude otherwise. So reluctantly I went out to Pinewood [Studios] and did this silly thing for a part I never wanted to do.”

It was a part that my friend Pierce Brosnan was mad keen to do, and he was very good at it. I wouldn’t have been any good and I wouldn’t have enjoyed it. And I certainly wouldn’t have enjoyed being recognized as that James Bond you didn’t like [Laughs]. So it was never a question.”

Neill is frank with his opinion that he wouldn’t do a good job playing James Bond. Rejecting such an iconic character and letting other talented people do the job is a generous thing for him to do. He since went on to do other good films in his career, so he didn’t lose out on anything big.

Also read: “You could hardly hear the dinosaurs roar”: Jurassic Park Star Sam Neill Backs Tom Cruise, Claims “There is no substitute” For the Theatres

People Were Scared of Sam Neill Because of His Role in Peaky Blinders

Sam Neill in Peaky Blinders
Sam Neill in Peaky Blinders

During the promotion of his 2016 film Hunt for the Wilderpeople, Sam Neill made an appearance on The Graham Norton Show. He talked about how the film is a breath of fresh air and a heartwarming story.


He also contrasted the film with the dark and cynical world of Peaky Blinders and how people are moving on from their fear of the actor after he played a psychopathic cop in the show. He said (via YouTube),

“It is a little movie that came from nowhere. It is heart-warming, a sort of a road movie without roads – we don’t have many in New Zealand. People are nicer to me in New Zealand as a result of this because the last time they saw me was as a psychopath in Peaky Blinders and they avoided me.”

The convincing portrayals of the two characters show the level of versatility that Neill has as an actor. Neill recently starred in the Australian TV series The Twelve. He is set to star in the upcoming Peacock miniseries Apples Never Fall opposite Annette Benning.

Also read: “It’s an actor’s nightmare”: Sam Neill Blames Steven Spielberg for Fans Calling His Work in ‘Jurassic World’ a “Load of T-Rex Poo”


Written by Rahul Thokchom

Articles Published: 947

Rahul Thokchom is a content writer at Fandomwire who is passionate about covering the world of pop culture and entertainment. He has a Masters Degree in English that contributes to the richness and creativity in his works.