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15 Things You (Probably) Didn't Know About Goldeneye

15 Things You (Probably) Didn't Know About Goldeneye

15 Things You (Probably) Didn't Know About Goldeneye
Danielle de Wolfe
09 January 2015

While plenty has been. deservedly, made about Daniel Craig's reboot of the Bond franchise, it's worth remembering a time pre-Die Another Day's invisible car when Pierce Brosnan made for a damn fine 007.

His first and greatest outing was in 1995's Goldeneye, which saw him battle a double-crossing Sean Bean and a thigh-crushing Famke Janssen, while trying to ensure that his hair looked really really good throughout.

To celebrate the film's 20th anniversary, no really, here are 15 things you probably didn't know about it.


Pierce Brosnan holds the enviable record for killing the most people in one Bond film, with a record-breaking 47 kills in just 130 minutes.


The Goldeneye theme was written by Bono and The Edge and you can actually a hear a mercifully unused version of the song by Bono here.


While the book itself isn't based on an Ian Fleming story, the title was taken from the name of his Jamaican estate, where he wrote the Bond novels. Fleming himself got the name from two places: the book Reflections in a Golden Eye and Operation Goldeneye, a contingency plan he developed in WW2 in case of a Nazi invasion in Spain.


Ace of Base were originally slated to sing the theme and even recorded a song ready to be used but their record company mysteriously took them off the project. The song was later re-recorded and released in 2002, with every reference of "Goldeneye" being replaced with "the juvenile". You can take a listen here.


Before Pierce Brosnan signed on, both Mel Gibson and Liam Neeson were approached to play 007. They both passed on the project and Brosnan was chosen, with his small salary of just $1.2 million allowing the producers to up the stunt quota.


Given that he had a three-film contract, Timothy Dalton was originally set to star in a third Bond film, with the rumoured title The Portrait of a Lady. There was even a poster for the film, which was said to involve the Chinese Secret Service, showcased at the 1990 Cannes Film festival. Legal issues and the eventual parting of ways of Dalton and producers meant that it was never to be.


It was the first Bond film to use CGI in scenes including the external shots of Severnaya and the train/tank crash.


Extensive cuts had to be made to the film in order for it to receive the necessary ratings in the US and UK. Scenes that got the chop included Sean Bean's gunshot wound in the prologue and Bond giving Famke Janssen's femme fatale a brutal rabbit punch. These cuts did make their way back to the 'Ultimate Edition' DVD in the UK but not in any form in the US. 


Both Sean Bean and Pierce Brosnan previously auditioned for the role of 007 for The Living Daylights. Brosnan was offered the part but turned it down due to commitments to Remington Steele.


A contest was launched surrounding the release of Licence To Kill where one winner was offered the chance to cameo in the next Bond movie. Even though it was a surprising six years later, the lucky woman ended up behind Famke Janssen in the casino scene, wearing a black and gold dress.


The Rolling Stones were offered the chance to sing the theme but they turned it down.


Minnie Driver's small role came about at an extremely opportune moment for the actress as she was broke and living on a beach in Uruguay at the time. She explained that her agent called to say: “Do you want to come and be in this Bond movie? They’re paying, like, five grand.” And I was, like, “Fuck, yeah! Sure!” So I came back and did that. But that’s why I’m so suntanned in that, because I’d been living on a beach for a year."


John Woo was initially offered the chance to direct but he turned it down.


In the original screenplay, there was an implication that Judi Dench's M almost had a fling with Bond years back but the line "...whose boyish charms I might actually have succumbed to ten years ago" was changed to "...whose boyish charms, although wasted on me..."


Anthony Hopkins was first choice for the role of Trevelyan but he turned down the role. Alan Rickman did the same, as he was tired of playing the bad guy,