Though well-known as the face of the Mad Max franchise, Mel Gibson was nearly James Bond at one point and is now opening up about why he turned down the offer. The role of James Bond is not an easy one and the casting for Agent 007 is a challenge that is faced every couple of years. The most recent Bond, Daniel Craig, ended his run in 2021's No Time to Die and following this, the search for a new Bond was immediately underway. While a new choice has yet to be made, several names have come up, but it looks unlikely that any concrete announcements will be made anytime soon.
For years, numerous names were tossed around for Bond, many of whom would never get the part, including Michael Caine, Terrence Stamp, James Brolin, Sam Neill and Clive Owen. Some would audition early in their careers, but never get it until much later, such as the case with Timothy Dalton and Pierce Brosnan. The most famous case is that of actor Idris Elba who was open to accepting the part of James Bond, but with every passing year, slowly has started to lose interest in the role, recently admitting that he feels he would not be able to commit to portraying such a character for such a long term, and he's not the only one to feel this concern.
In an interview with JoBlo, Mel Gibson revealed that he was approached to portray James Bond, but turned it down. The actor recalled being offered the part during the making of The Year of Living Dangerously, though was concerned at the long commitment required for the role, citing Sean Connery as an example. See what Gibson explained below:
I got offered the James Bond movies when I was like twenty-six, which is like forty years ago, okay? And they said, hey, we want you to be the next James Bond. And I thought about it; I was in Australia, I was working with Peter Weir. And I did think about it, and I sort of turned it down – for that reason. Because I thought, look what happened to poor Sean, he got stuck there for like three decades.
How Mel Gibson Would've Been Different Craig's Bond
Mel Gibson is known for being a very serious filmmaker in Hollywood, having become a household name with the Mad Max movies, he would go on to take on more serious projects before entering the world of directing films starting with The Man Without a Face. He would later take on more epic projects such as Braveheart, The Passion of the Christ and Apocalypto. Being methodical in his approach to directing and starring, taking on the role of James Bond at such a young age would have been a very different experience for Gibson.
It is unknown how Mel Gibson's portrayal of 007 would have been like, but based on his older and current roles, he most likely would have delivered a unique and different performance than the ones that have made it to the screen. His Bond could carry the rugged demeanor of Daniel Craig, but possibly also have the charming wit of Pierce Brosnan's portrayal. While moviegoers can only imagine what Gibson's James Bond would have been like had he accepted the role, this is one casting decision that will forever be lost to time.