Friday, March 21, 2014

Eddie Murphy to Play James Bond?

Back in 1992 I was working on the movie poster for 'Boomerang' (art directed by Alex Swart), a film starring Eddie Murphy. Eddie was always a problem, he wouldn't do photo shoots and hired a relative to do the on set photography that we had to use. It was bad, especially for our use. So we were already severely limited.

 'Boomerang' was a romantic comedy but word came down from Paramount - Eddie had to be seen in a tux for the poster, and we should make him look as distinguished as possible - because Eddie wants to be the next James Bond. The last Bond film, 'Licence to Kill,' had been a disappointment in 1989 as was the star, Timothy Dalton.

The series was in flux, there was still no Bond sequel in production three years later. In fact, Timothy Dalton stated at that time, "My feeling is this will be the last one. I don't mean my last one, I mean the end of the whole lot. I don't speak with any real authority, but it's sort of a feeling I have."

 That's when Eddie Murphy decided he'd be perfect as the international super-spy and word went out he wanted the part.

As absurd as it sounds, in many ways he was the frontrunner. No other Box Office draw was stepping up, eager to claim the role. Industry insiders reasoned at the time that 'Licence to Kill' had been so deadly serious maybe a lighter approach was what was needed. Murphy's star was at its peak in 1992 and he had the clout; indeed if Bond had been a Paramount Pictures property instead of MGM/UA he would have secured the role.

 Despite the limitation of Eddie in a tux (a body double shot with a stripped on head that's basically an illustration so much work had to be done) 'Boomerang' netted $131 million at the box office but the role of James Bond eluded him, eventually going to Pierce Brosnan for 1995's 'Goldeneye', a successful reboot of the series.

Here's the extended trailer -  beware of trailers that give away too much of the film, it usually means the movie is baaaad. Dig those crazy shoulder pads - on the guys!

Classic TV fun at TVparty!