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Timothy Dalton’s first outing as James Bond landed in 1987 and saw him foiling an arms dealer’s plot to help a soviet general start a world war. Here are 10 things you might not have known about the film…

1) The Living Daylights was nearly a prequel 

The original script for the 1987 flick had a surprise ending that would have made the film a prequel to the entire official series. At the end of the movie, it was intended for Bond to be given his assignment to visit Jamaica and investigate Strangway’s death, which is the mission from Dr No! This script was changed, however, which is fortunate, as it might have made a second film starring Dalton a little chronologically confusing. 

2) Pierce Brosnan landed the role

Brosnan was offered the role of James Bond in The Living Daylights after a three-day screen test. He had been contractually committed to a TV show called Remington Steele, which had just been cancelled; making Brosnan available for the role. However, the media frenzy around Brosnan being cast meant that interest and demand for Remington Steele rose, and the show was renewed for another season – meaning Brosnan would be unavailable to film as 007 for a period of time. This resulted in Cubby Broccoli retracting his job offer. 

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3) Prince Charles and Lady Diana visited the Q Branch set

One of the most iconic gadgets we’ve seen used inside Q branch throughout the 007 series is the Ghetto Blaster – a large boom box that launches a missile. Whilst filming the scene where it’s being fired, there was a Royal visitor to the set – Princes Charles! 

4) Timothy Dalton could have played Bond much earlier 

The Living Daylights wasn’t the first time Dalton was offered the role of 007. He had previously passed up on the role five times, starting back in the late sixties. Dalton insisted each time that he felt he was too young for the part. Eventually, though, in the mid 80s, he felt it was time, and he agreed to play the role of Bond.  

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5) Last Bond film to be scored by John Barry

John Barry’s beautiful and masterful scores are synonymous with James Bond movies. They give the films their sometimes-suspenseful, sometimes-enchanting atmosphere. The Living Daylights was the last film to carry a Barry score. 

6) The cello scene was hard to film 

Throughout the Bond series, there have been some action sequences that were a little tricky to shoot. The cello scene in The Living Daylights was certainly one of them. In the scene, Bond and Kara escape the villains by sliding down a snowy slope on a cello case, whilst Bond uses the cello to steer the case left and right. It took 3 whole days to film the sequence, because the actors kept tumbling off the case, into the snow. 

7) Last Bond Film To Use An Ian Fleming Title (Before Casino Royale)

Before 2006’s Casino Royale, The Living Daylights was the last Bond film to be titled after an Ian Fleming book. The book was called Octopussy and The Living Daylights, and it was a collection of short stories, published in 1996 – two years after Fleming’s death. 

8) Christopher Reeve was offered $1 million to play Bond

Having shot to superstardom from his role as Superman, Christopher Reeve was a huge name in Hollywood in the mid 80s, and after Moore’s departure from the role, producer Albert R Broccoli thought Reeve would be a brilliant fit for 007. He offered the actor $1 million to star as Bond in The Living Daylights. To Albert’s disappointment, the man of steel declined. 

9) Several other famous actors were considered for the role 

With Roger Moore finally retiring from the role of 007 after 7 much-loved films, it left some big shoes to fill, and lots of actors auditioned and were considered for the part. Among them were Sam Neill, who would later go on to play Alan Grant in Jurassic Park, as well as Sean Bean, who eventually came up against Pierce Brosnan’s Bond as villain Alec Trevelyan in Goldeneye. 

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10) Joe Don Baker has played both a villain and an ally 

In The Living Daylights, Texan actor Joe Don Baker plays an arms dealer called Brad Whittaker. Yet in later films Goldeneye and Tomorrow Never Dies, the same actor plays an ally to Bond in the form of CIA agent Jack Wade – a role obviously created to fill the void left by Felix Leiter after his character was mauled by sharks in License to Kill.  

There you have it – 10 things you didn’t know about The Living Daylights! Check out our James Bond section for more 007 articles!

The Living Daylights Trailer


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