On This Day: Sean Connery Suited Up to Play James Bond One Final Time in ‘Never Say Never Again’ in 1982

by Megan Molseed
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On this day, thirty-nine years ago, actor Sean Connery prepared to step into his famous James Bond tux for one last round of filming; as the actor was ready to once again portray the agent with a ‘license to kill’ in the 1983 film, Never Say Never Again.

This time, however, would definitely be Sean Connery’s final run in the role as the iconic secret agent.

Sean Connery’s Unique Portrayal Of A Favorite Agent

Few could argue that every James Bond film is a unique masterpiece. But Sean Connery’s final go at playing the 007 special agent is one of the more unique stories within the James Bond universe.

Never Say Never Again opened to incredible reviews, and found almost immediate success. However, the new James Bond film was in an odd position at the box office that year; going up against another James Bond film. This one featuring Roger Moore as the iconic 007 agents in the film Octopussy.

How, exactly, did the 1983 box office end up pitting James Bond against James Bond?

This is because this particular iconic 007 flick isn’t entirely a part of the wildly popular James Bond movie franchise.

An All Star Return To The Bond Films

Never Say Never Again, which was officially released in 1983, featured a remarkable all-star cast including Kim Basinger, Max Von Sydow, Klaus Maria Brandauer, Barbara Carrera, Bernie Casey, Rowan Atkinson, and, of course, Sean Connery as 007.

When Sean Connery arrived on set to begin filming Never Say Never Again, on September 27, 1982, it had been over a decade since he had slipped into the famous 007 tuxedo while sipping his shaken – not stirred – martini’s.

Before this, Connery had declared his time portraying Bond was over; after the release of the 1971 James Bond vehicle, Diamonds Are Forever.

According to reports, the actor felt he was getting to be a bit too old to play the secret agent. After all, the 007 agent is known for his suave and debonair personality just as much as his impressive stunts.

But, Connery was once again up to fighting villains as only 007 knows how. Twelve years after he initially said farewell to his 007 character,

Plus, the payday Connery received from his final turn as Bond was way more than the actor could pass up.

Bond Facing Bond at the Box Office

Never Say Never Again, is based on the 1961 James Bond novel, Thunderball.

However, this novel had already been made into a 1965 Bond film. Starring Sean Connery, under the Eon Productions studios, the studios behind the James Bond movie collection.

When Connery was approached by Kevin McClory in 1982 to revisit this story – this time as an aging agent – Connery felt he was ready to once again play 007. For a cool $5 million and a share of the profits, that is.

A good deal for the actor, for sure. But, this unique set of circumstances meant that Connery’s last James Bond film isn’t a part of the James Bond movie library that already existed.

And, the Eon Studio was already planning to release Moore’s Octopussy that same year. Meaning the two James Bond films Never Say Never Again and Octopussy would be working in direct competition with each other.

In all, Octopussy was a smash-hit at the Box Office bringing in an impressive $187.5 million in profits; while Connery’s Never Say Never Again raked in a cool $160 million.

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