License to chill
Pierce Brosnan, the fifth and one of the best-loved actors to have played the inimitable super-spy James Bond, has announced he will play 007 no more.
12:01 28 July 2004
Pierce Brosnan, the fifth and one of the best-loved actors to have played the inimitable super-spy James Bond, has announced he is to hang up his dinner jacket and silenced Walther PPK and carry the mantle of Blighty's favourite son no more.
In an interview with Entertainment Weekly, the Irish star of four Bond films and a host of other movies confirmed that his previous outing in 2002's "Die Another Day" was to be his last mission.
Brosnan told the magazine: "I've said all I've got to say on the world of James Bond. Bond is another lifetime behind me."
Some sceptics have suggested that Brosnan may simply be using scare-tactics to broker an improved deal for his appearance in Bond number 21, in a nod to methods employed by the notoriously difficult Sean Connery after his supposed swansong in 1971's "Diamonds are Forever".
However, with 51-year-old Brosnan already beginning to exhibit a slightly long-toothed approach to the role, UK-based Eon Productions, which produces the Bond films, will be keen to have found a replacement when the new movie is released, scheduled for next year.
Names already linked to a role include American Psycho star Christian Bale, who will be looking to assert his action man credentials for the job in the forthcoming star-studded "Batman Begins".
Fellow Englishman Clive Owen, recently assuming the titular role in the blockbuster epic Arthur, is also understood to be vying for the part. Less concrete possibilities include the likes of Jude Law and Ewan McGregor, as well as Aussies Hugh Jackman, Heath Ledger and Eric Bana.
Regardless of who fills the substantial charismatic and acting void left by Brosnan's departure, many will feel he has chosen to leave the role at a peak.