The Bond That Got Away

Posted on June 25, 2007

Details have emerged about a new James Bond script written by Sean Connery. Connery would have starred in the film as Bond, who fights a giant robot shark in the New York sewers, parachutes onto the Statue of Liberty and waterskis on the Hudson River. The discovery of the finished script (which was not filmed because Cubby Broccoli sued to stop the project) has sent Bond fans into a frenzy.

Sadly, however, it was never filmed and exists today in a few recently unearthed sketches and photographs. Warhead never made it in front of the cameras, let alone on to the big screen, falling victim not to SPECTRE, but to a bitter and complicated legal battle.

Not only would Connery have starred, but he co-wrote the script with top thriller writer Len Deighton and personally chose and scouted the international locations. Bond aficionados have always vaguely known about "the great lost Bond movie". But only now has it become apparent just how close it came to being filmed in 1977. And the full extent of Connery's involvement - not just as the star, but also as producer and in the unfamiliar role of scriptwriter - is only now clear.

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The information came out when Robert Sellers, author and Bond fan, announced he was writing a book on the maverick Irish producer Kevin McClory, who figured in a string of legal cases over Bond rights from the 1960s to the 2000s and who died last year. McClory worked with Ian Fleming on a screenplay for Thunderball in the late 1950s, even before it was published as a novel. Sellers was contacted by a former friend of McClory, who insisted on remaining anonymous but agreed to a meeting in a Hampstead caf´┐Ż. Sellers was surprised when the mystery man turned up with a copy of the script for Warhead, bearing the names of Connery, Deighton and McClory as co-writers.

He was amazed when his source then handed over never-before-seen snaps of Connery on a location visit to New York and artwork for key scenes in the film. "I didn't know they even existed," said Sellers, whose book The Battle For Bond is published by the small Tomahawk Press in Sheffield and should be in shops this week. "Bond fans have heard of Warhead," he said. "It's like a mythical sort of beast, almost the Holy Grail, this Bond film that never was. "But if you search the internet or look in Bond books or magazines, there's nothing visual at all about Warhead. So it was quite a revelation to see the pre-production artwork." Sellers added: "He actually had the original script... This wasn't a proposal or a suggestion, this was an actual script, a fully-fledged, finished screenplay."

Sellers could hardly contain his excitement as he leafed through pages telling a dramatic story in which the mysterious disappearance of planes in the Bermuda Triangle is the work of the criminal organisation SPECTRE. They are intent on causing havoc by exploding a nuclear warhead under Wall Street, delivered by a robotic hammerhead shark via the city's sewers. 007 not only has to battle mechanical sharks, but also a massive villain called Bomba. "You had an underwater base that rises out of the sea, you had helicopter attacks on the Statue of Liberty," said Sellers. "It would have been the most extravagant Bond film ever."

Robot sharks in New York! A giant villain named Bomba! The Bermuda Triangle! Do you think that Daniel Craig is up for it? Probably not. Everyone knows that robot sharks are just so over.


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