Sean Connery has been retired from acting for the better part of two decades, but his cinematic legend lives on in large part because of his legendary portrayal of James Bond.
In the ’70s, Connery wanted to distance himself from Bond, which opened the door for Roger Moore to take over the role. However, Connery wasn’t quite done with Bond at that point, and he was successfully persuaded to join a rival 007 production that he co-wrote himself.
BBC posted an extended story about Connery’s unmade Bond film, which at various points of production was called James Bond and the Secret Service and Warhead. Although the description makes it sound more like an Austin Powers movie, Connery was apparently game to send 007 up against robot sharks in New York’s sewer system to prevent the remote controlled predators from setting off atomic weapons.
The whole reason that Warhead almost became a movie dates back to Thunderball, the Ian Fleming Bond novel adapted from an unproduced screenplay by Kevin McClory and Jack Whittingham (written before the first James Bond film, Dr. No, ever hit theaters), and thusly spawning controversy over ownership and publication rights. Because of the legal fight that followed, McClory ended up with the rights to remake Thunderball for the big screen 10 years after its release in 1965. In an effort to elevate his divergent Bond franchise, he sought Connery in whatever form he could get him, ending up with the star as a co-author of the script.
BBC’s reporting mentions that Bond’s final confrontation with Spectre would have taken him to the Statue of Liberty (after he defeated the Robo-sharks, of course). Sadly, this hilariously ridiculous story wasn’t the remake of Thunderball that made it to the big screen. Connery did return for Never Say Never Again, but it wasn’t quite as colorful or memorable as Warhead seems to have had the potential to be. Perhaps someday we’ll finally get to see Warhead adapted as a comic or even a film. But for now, it’s just a fascinating “What if?” in Bond’s history.
Would you still be interested in seeing Connery’s unmade Bond film become a reality? Let’s discuss in the comment section below!
Images: United Artists/MGM