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John Wayne’s leading lady almost cast as female James Bond before Sean Connery | Films | Entertainment

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Speaking previously with Variety, Semple said: “Frankly, we thought he was kind of unbelievable and as I recall, even kind of stupid. So Gregory thought the solution was to make Bond a woman, ‘Jane Bond’ if you will, and he even had a plan to cast Susan Hayward in the role.”

The screenwriter also shared that Ratoff claimed to have once had a relationship with Hayward, meaning he thought it would be more likely to persuade her to play 007. However, it was never meant to be as the producer died in 1960 and the rights to Casino Royale were sold by his widow.

Meanwhile, EON Productions secured the rights to the other Bond movies and cast Sean Connery in 1962’s Dr No.

In the end, Casino Royale hit cinemas in 1967 with David Niven playing an older Bond in a parody movie.

It wasn’t until 1999 that EON gained the rights to Fleming’s first 007 novel when Sony Pictures exchanged them for MGM’s rights to Spider-Man and made their film version starring Daniel Craig in 2006.


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