“I wanted Bond to be an extremely dull, uninteresting man”: Original Plan For James Bond Could Have Turned Sean Connery’s Classic Movie into a Disaster

James Bond author Ian Fleming had a completely different approach to the British super spy which would have stripped him off all the extravagance.

sean connery, james bond

SUMMARY

  • James Bond is one of the most popular characters in fictional media, mostly because of his extravagant and larger-than-life personality.
  • However, author Ian Fleming's original plan when writing the debut novel featuring the character was to make Bond dull and uninteresting.
  • As a result, Sean Connery's debut film as James Bond would have been a disaster without the key attributes of the characters, which became franchise staple.
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James Bond is arguably one of the most popular characters across fictional media, especially due to his reverence among cinema lovers. The Bond franchise started in earnest with Sean Connery’s first film as the British super spy, Dr. No, which was released in 1962.

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sean connery in thunderball-2
Sean Connery became the face of the James Bond character during the 60s and 70s.

The film established several facets of the character and staples of the franchise that remain popular even today. Therefore, it is hard to imagine the character being approached differently. However, in an interview, author Ian Fleming, who created the character, revealed his initial approach to James Bond, which would have changed Sean Connery’s classic movie and the franchise as a whole.

James Bond Author Ian Fleming Reveals the Original Plan for the Character

The character of James Bond, aka Agent 007, was first introduced by author Ian Fleming in the 1953 novel Casino Royale. While Bond is known for his charisma and intelligence, he is largely popular because of his larger-than-life persona. As a result, it might surprise fans to learn that Fleming initially had an opposite approach to the character.

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Sean Connery as James Bond
Author Ian Fleming had a different idea for Bond whose film debut was in Dr. No (1962)

During an interview with The New Yorker, Fleming spoke about how he initially approached the character and wanted to make him an uninteresting and unremarkable person who happens to find himself in extraordinary situations. He said:

“When I wrote the first one, in 1953. I wanted Bond to be an extremely dull, uninteresting man to whom things happened.”

Fleming also added that he named the character after ornithologist James Bond, who wrote the 1936 book Birds of the West Indies, particularly because he found the name uninteresting and boring. However, that approach clearly changed later on, and today, James Bond is almost executively associated with the thrill of being a spy.

How Ian Fleming’s Original James Bond Plan Might Have Ruined Sean Connery’s Movie

When the fictional super spy made his jump from books to the big screen, the sixth novel in Fleming’s series was chosen for an adaptation. As a result, actor Sean Connery made his debut as Agent 007 in 1962’s Dr. No.

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Sean Connery in Dr. No
Sean Connery’s Dr. No (1962) would have been drastically different.

According to reports, Fleming initially disapproved of Connery playing Bond since he did not match his vision for the character, likely due to his initial approach. Therefore, Connery’s debut film as Bond would have been drastically different had Fleming stuck to his original plan for the character’s personality.

For instance, Dr. No established several franchise staples such as the stylized opening sequence, the iconic theme music for the character, Bond’s affinity for food alcohol, and womanizing, and his reliance on gadgetry, all of which have contributed to his larger-than-life depiction on screen.

Ultimately, while Fleming’s original approach might have been intriguing from a literary perspective, it would have certainly been a disaster for the first film adaptation of the character. Depicting Bond as an unremarkable person in extraordinary situations would not have complimented the extravagant elements in Connery’s films, which would have, in turn, affected the entire franchise.

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‎Dr. No (1962) is available to rent or purchase on Amazon Prime Video and other VOD platforms.

Pratik Handore

Written by Pratik Handore

Articles Published: 447

Pratik is a writer at FandomWire, with a content writing experience of five years. Although he has a Bachelors in Hospitality, his fascination with all things pop culture led him to writing articles on a variety of topics ranging from latest streaming releases to unheard movie trivia. When not writing, you can find him reading manga, or watching classic TV shows.