James Bond is the singularly most-recognizable spy character of all time, thanks to the immense popularity of both Ian Fleming's iconic novels, and the string of blockbuster films the franchise has yielded over the years. The Bond saga has given rise to the extensive careers of actors like Sean Connery and Daniel Craig, and people still flock to see them today.
However, no process is ever smooth in Hollywood, and oftentimes these actors had to compete with several others for the role. Some of them weren't even the studio's first choice! In the case of these 12 actors, we can't help but wonder what their version of Bond would have looked like.
The veteran actor of stage and screen was already a massive force in Hollywood, especially thanks to movies like My Fair Lady. He was considered to be the star of Dr. No, but ultimately lost out to Sean Connery.
In a decision that ultimately looks hilarious to us now, Neeson was offered the role in 1994 for the upcoming Goldeneye, but turned it down because he "wasn't interested in starring in action movies." How times have changed.
This one probably isn't surprising given Caine's knack for playing British spies. In fact, that was actually why he turned the role down: he was worried about being typecast.
Everybody's favorite actor who never survives any of his movies auditioned quite hard to play Bond in Goldeneye, and while he lost the role to Pierce Brosnan, EON liked him enough to offer him the role of lead villain Alec "006" Trevelyan instead.
Dick Van Dyke
Van Dyke was highly interested in the role, and auditioned for the role when Sean Connery first left the franchise. Producer Albert R. Broccoli wasn't impessed with Van Dyke's "English" accent though, which probably isn't surprising for anybody who's seen Mary Poppins.