James Bond: Sean Connery ‘very sweet’ on last Bond performance after Never Say Never Again

James Bond 'Never Say Never Again' 1983 trailer

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Sean Connery famously kicked off the James Bond franchise 60 years ago in Dr No, returning for four sequels. However, after 1967’s You Only Live Twice the star had had enough and quit the franchise. Yet after George Lazenby’s only outing as 007 in 1969’s On Her Majesty’s Secret Service, the Scottish star was roped back in for a sixth.

United Artists agreed to a then-record salary of $1.25 million for Connery to reprise Bond in 1971’s Diamonds Are Forever, with two films of his choosing to be made afterwards. Of course, following that outing, EON Productions tried to keep him on, but that was it…for now.

Roger Moore bagged the role of Bond and went on to star in a record seven official 007 movies from 1973’s Live and Let Die to 1985’s A View To A Kill. 

However, when he made his penultimate in 1983’s Octopussy, he went up against the original Bond himself in an unofficial remake of Thunderball called Never Say Never Again.

The film’s title was a reference to Connery having said he’d never play Bond again and so his wife suggested the movie be called Never Say Never Again.

However, fans may be surprised to know that even after that, the Scottish legend went on to portray 007 two more times.

The first was shot on the set of 1998 flop The Avengers, in which the movie’s director Jeremiah S Chechik filmed him pretending to be Bond to the camera in a special birthday message for Ralph Fiennes.

Interestingly, the latter star was once considered for 007 back around GoldenEye when Pierce Brosnan bagged the role but was eventually cast as M in the Daniel Craig era.

The last time Connery reprised Bond came 22 years after Never Say Never Again, when he signed on to voice 007 in the video game adaptation of his second movie of the franchise, 1963’s From Russia With Love. 

The EA game featured both Connery’s likeness and new voice-over work by the star. The actor, who was living in The Bahamas, recorded his final time as Bond at Compass Point Studios in Nassau with Terry Manning.

On having the opportunity to reprise 007 yet again, Connery said at the time: “As an artist, I see this as another way to explore the creative process. Video games are an extremely popular form of entertainment today. And I am looking forward to seeing how it all fits together.”

In a previous interview, 007 expert Mark Edlitz, author of The Many Lives of James Bond and The Lost Adventures of James Bond shared with Express.co.uk: “One day after Connery recorded his lines, the audio engineer checked the tape. However, the engineer didn’t hear the star’s voice during playback. For some reason, Connery’s entire day’s work was missing. Blank.”

Manning phoned up the EA Games producer who was panicking but reassured them that he’d be able to sort it out. Luckily, the audio engineer had worked with the original 007 star for many years so knew he could count on the Bond star.

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Edlitz added: “The engineer called Connery and the actor came back and recorded the entire day’s work without charge. It was a generous thing to do. Incidentally, the reason that Connery played Bond again was that his grandchildren loved video games and he thought it would appeal to them. Very sweet.”

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