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Liam Neeson Reveals He Turned Down The Chance To Play James Bond

Liam Neeson Reveals He Turned Down The Chance To Play James Bond

While Liam Neeson has carved out a career in his late 50s and early 60s as an ass-kicking, take-no-prisoners action hero in “Taken,” “Taken 2,” “Non-Stop,” “Unknown” and “The Grey,” with “Run All Night” in the can and “Taken 3” shooting, this renaissance might have come earlier in his career.

Speaking with Hull Daily Mail (via Dark Horizons), Neeson reveals he was pursued for one of the most famous franchise stars in the history of cinema—James Bond. This would have been in the era after Timothy Dalton, where a number of contenders were looked at for the role that eventually went to Pierce Brosnan. So why did Neeson bow out?

“I was heavily courted, let’s put it that way, and I’m sure some other actors were too,” he explained. “It was about 18 or 19 years ago and my wife-to-be [Natasha Richardson] said, ‘If you play James Bond we’re not getting married!’ And I had to take that on board, because I did want to marry her.”

Liam Neeson: Oscar nominee, action star and husband of the year? Guess so, but if Eon Productions ever wants to change gears when Daniel Craig is done, maybe they should circle back to Neeson…

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This is no revelation. He's not referring to the official EON James Bond productions, or the role that went to Brosnan. All this was reported in the mid 90s. Kevin McClory wanted to do a second remake of Thuderball, like his Never Say Never Again, again using his rights to that property. Neeson's Bond film would have been a competing production against GoldenEye, but it never happened.

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