For best effect, please imagine the following lines spoken aloud by Sean Connery in his unmistakable Scottish brogue.
“So, there’s an army of robot sharks invading the Manhattan sewers, and James Bond has to explore these tunnels and defeat the sharks before they cause a full-scale holocaust. After this, Bond paraglides onto the Statue of Liberty – which is actually a super secret SPECTRE base – and there’s a pitched battle atop the crown, concluding with the villain being stabbed and his blood runs down Lady Liberty’s face as if she’s shedding a tear. Pretty cool, huh?”
These are all genuine events from James Bond of the Secret Service – a draft screenplay by Len Deighton, Kevin McLory and Sean Connery. It’s absolutely dreadful, too, sounding like Austin Powers 30 years before he was ever a glimmer in Mike Myers’ eye. I’ve been leafing through a draft of the script lately and it’s full of hilarious sounding awfulness, from ridiculous location names like “Shark Island” to tin-eared dialogue such as:
“Bond: A robot shark! Now I’ve seen everything!”
Leiter: “If the mafia put these on the market, the victim would go down as another shark attack. But they would sell…”
Bond: “Yes, they’d make a killing…”
Frankly, it feels as if this script, even in PDF form, is composed primarily of cocaine. You can check it out here if you’re desperately curious, but I warn you, only horror and misery lies within.
Of course, this project would eventually go on to become Never Say Never Again, which is today primarily known for Sean Connery clearly being too old to play James Bond. Plus, while the actor wore a wig in every Bond film going back to Dr. No, the wig in Never Say Never Again was an especially unconvincing hairpiece.
Still, it’s at least a whole lot better than what it could’ve been had they stuck with the original script.