You think Pierce Brosnan, you think 1990s-to-early-2000s Bond, James Bond. But did you know that he almost helmed a very different franchise with a B-named character?
During his Reddit AMA yesterday, the actor revealed that not only was he approached for the role in Tim Burton’s 1989 film, but he turned it down:
Yes, I did. I went and met with Tim Burton for the role of Batman. But I just couldn’t really take it seriously, any man who wears his underpants outside his pants just cannot be taken seriously. That was my foolish take on it. It was a joke, I thought. But how wrong was I?
It’s classy of him to act like it was his loss, though all things considered, he did pretty damn well for himself: He went on to star in GoldenEye in 1995, and three more adventures before Daniel Craig took over the title.
Batman and Bond are two very different (but equally enduring) franchises, though the latter better allows for some high-stakes ridiculousness. It seems that it was Burton’s dark vision, rather than the character himself, that turned off Brosnan to the role. In that, he took on the more appropriate cultural icon, where he could shoot the baddies while still being a rakish ladykiller.
Lest Redditors think he had rejected the role out of disdain, the former Bond made it clear that he had no disrespect for the Caped Crusader:
Don’t get me wrong, because I love Batman, and I grew up on Batman. As a kid in Ireland, we used to get our raincoats and tie them round our neck and swing through the bicycle shed…
Aww, we kinda love that mental image, and how he said it was Batman he played as a kid, not Bond. Still, imagining Brosnan as the Dark Knight will occupy the rest of our day… We’ll just watch this compilation of James Bond quotes and pretend he’s a more suave Bruce Wayne:
And then we’ll imagine him singing this song: