Steven Spielberg Says He Offered To Direct A Bond Film In The '70s, But Was Turned Down

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by Kevin Jagernauth
November 23, 2012 10:02 AM
12 Comments
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Who would have thought at the beginning of the '70s tWho would have thought at the beginning of the '70s that the guy who directed "Duel" would emerge ten years later with two the biggest films of the decade under his belt, with "Jaws" and "Close Encounters Of The Third Kind." But looking back, it's also interesting to consider what could have been. While Spielberg no longer has to chase jobs and has scripts coming to him, back then, he was still a filmmaker on the rise looking to make a name for himself. You might recall the budding filmmaker sent a script to the fake movie company the CIA set up for the operation outlined in Ben Affleck's "Argo," and had things gone differently, Spielberg would have taken on one biggest franchises of all time.

Catching up with the Daily Mail, Spielberg reveals he once offered his services for a James Bond movie. "I went to Cubby Broccoli and I asked if I could do one and he said: 'No’," Spielberg said. And it seems that once bitten is twice shy. "I’ve never asked again. Instead, I made the 'Indiana Jones' series," he shared. 

So, why not call up him up now? Well, time may heal all wounds but it doesn't write checks. Speaking with EW last year during a Q&A for "Super 8," Spielberg recounted the Bond story but added why it's unlikely he'll take it on at this point. "When I first started making movies, the only franchise I cared about and wanted to be part of was James Bond. When I started out as a TV director, my pie-in-the-sky dream was to make a little movie that would get some notoriety, and then [the late Bond series producer] Cubby Broccoli would call me and ask me to direct the next James Bond picture," he said. "But I could never get Cubby Broccoli to hire me—and now, sadly, they can’t afford me."

We'll just have to leave what could have been to our imagination with this one. But what do you think -- would Spielberg have delivered a great Bond movie? Let us know below.

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12 Comments

  • Daniel | November 28, 2012 9:47 PMReply

    I concur, I think it could've [potentially] been brilliant. James Bond as a whole was a bit goofy then, with Roger Moore in the role (in my humble opinion, of course), so it does depend, I suppose, on how well Spielberg could've reigned it in – but given complete creative license, I imagine he would've been able to make a very taut spy thriller, not far off from Jaws-level of top-notchness. (Just, you know, without the shark.)

    Though I admit I'm a bit baffled too about why this story is suddenly so popular. Hasn't Spielberg mentioned this any number of times in his career – especially given how central "being rejected" supposedly was to his and Lucas's choice to go off and concoct Indiana Jones? I swear it's in at least half a dozen, decades-old Indiana Jones documentary thingys (not to mention Wikipedia, and in several biographies about Spielberg).

    And maybe it's just my memory (and I don't doubt there could've been some ulterior motivations involved, as well), but I distinctly remember that the main reason given for why Spielberg had been rejected was because Broccoli wanted to ensure James Bond was always directed by a British filmmaker – thus, Spielberg would've been out by default.

    (Please, somebody tell me I'm not going senile and remembering this wrongly.)

  • DJP | November 23, 2012 1:30 PMReply

    The movie would have sucked because Roger Moore was Bond in the 70s.

  • DJP | November 23, 2012 1:30 PMReply

    The movie would have sucked because Roger Moore was Bond in the 70s.

  • Casey Moore | November 23, 2012 10:36 AMReply

    Really, instead of running a story just for hits you could have reviewed and posted your favorite short films and maybe given some deserving directors some publicity a chance. You could review or discuss your favorite film books.

  • Mongoosecmr | November 23, 2012 12:36 PM

    I swear this site has the highest number of whiny asses reading and commenting out of any film blog I read. It's an opinionated news blog for mostly mainstream film. If you want something different go somewhere else

  • Casey Moore | November 23, 2012 11:50 AM

    It is about expecting the best from people. Guess I was wrong to do so. I expect something different from The Playlist.

  • Evan | November 23, 2012 11:35 AM

    Really you're going to get angry at The Playlist because they put out a tiny "What If?" story. Why don't you go write your own article on your site... Oh wait you'd rather read someone elses article and and get angry then actually do your own work.
    Keep on putting little nuggets like this out I would have loved to see a Spielberg Bond movie and I bet in whatever alternate dimension that it exists in its pretty sweet!

  • Casey Moore | November 23, 2012 11:02 AM

    I didn't miss it. That story is almost a month old. Yall know this article is purely for hits, and you could have done a lot better.

  • Kevin | November 23, 2012 10:53 AM

    Here's our short films feature in case you missed it: http://blogs.indiewire.com/theplaylist/short-cuts-5-short-films-you-need-to-know-20121029

  • Mike | November 23, 2012 10:35 AMReply

    From a visual standpoint alone - absolutely.

    Remember the staging for the assassinations scenes in Munich? Incredible.

  • Casey Moore | November 23, 2012 10:33 AMReply

    Why is this a news story? This story has been told and retold for decades.

  • tristan eldritch | November 23, 2012 10:30 AMReply

    "But what do you think -- would Spielberg have delivered a great Bond movie?"

    Spielberg would have directed the shit out of a Bond movie in the 70s/early 80s. Shame it didn't happen.

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