Movie Talk

Steven Spielberg was denied 007 directing assignment

Photo: Kevin Winters (Getty)/Everett Collection

It's hard to believe we once lived in a world where people once said "No" to Steven Spielberg.

The director of such action adventure hits as "Minority Report," "Jurassic Park" and, of course, "Raiders of the Lost Ark" seems like he would be a shoo-in to call the shots on a James Bond movie. But back in the late 1970s -- before he had proven himself as the most bankable filmmaker of all time -- Spielberg couldn't score his dream gig.

"I went to [Bond producer] Cubby Broccoli and I asked if I could do one and he said 'No,'" said Spielberg in an interview with The Daily Mail. "I've never asked again. Instead, I made the Indiana Jones series."

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At least bringing the adventures of the swashbuckling archaeologist to life makes for quite the formidable (and lucrative) consolation prize. In fact, according to "The Complete Making of Indiana Jones" by J.W. Rinzler, George Lucas pitched the character of Indiana Jones to Spielberg because of his interest in directing an old-fashioned kind of Bond film ... and while they were both on vacation in Hawaii, at that.

"We were on the beach building a sandcastle at the Mauna Kea hotel after we'd heard that every single seat of the 9:30 a.m. shows [for "Star Wars"] across the country -- the limited-release theaters -- was filled, so we just began talking about other movies, other ideas, other possibilities, and George asked me, 'What do you want to do next?' And I said, 'You know, I've always wanted to direct a Bond picture starring Sean Connery.'"

"But George said, 'I've got something you might like as much as Bond.' And while we continued to build the sandcastle -- which stood against thirty minutes of tide -- George told me the whole story of 'Raiders of the Lost Ark.'"

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Fate came full circle, of course, when Connery was eventually cast as Indiana Jones' father in the third Indy adventure, "Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade" (1989).

Despite being rejected from Her Majesty's Secret Service back in the '70s, Steven Spielberg remains a big James Bond fan ... and is especially fond of the latest 007 adventure, "Skyfall."

"I've seen it once and I'll see it a second time," he said. Hey, us too!

That cast of 'Skyfall' talks to Yahoo! Movies:

'Skyfall' Insider Access