In a new interview on the Kevin Pollak Chat Show, comedy legend Dick Van Dyke claimed that he was called in to discuss replacing Sean Connery as James Bond in 1968 as Connery had spoken out publicly about leaving the franchise.
While the gig eventually went to George Lazenby, Van Dyke insisted he'd been offered a shot at it--until he reminded producers how bad his English accent had been in Mary Poppins.
Here's the pertinent bit of the conversation, as transcribed at CBM:
“I was doing [Chitty Chitty Bang Bang],” Van Dyke said, referring to Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, “Sean Connery had spoken about leaving the Bond pictures. He had done several at the time. Cubby Broccoli actually pulled me in and asked me if I wanted to do Bond.”
A quizzical Pollack replied, "No, he didn't," but Van Dyke emphatically replied, "Yes, he did!"
"I said, 'Have you heard [my British accent]?" Van Dyke said. "And [Broccoli] said, 'Oh, that's right! Forget it!'"
He also said that while Daniel Craig is a "wonderful actor" with "great physicality," he feels the Skyfall star lacks the panache to be Bond.
Of course, that's coming from Van Dyke. The only time I ever remember him getting in an onscreen scrap was when Mary Tyler Moore repeatedly kicked his butt on an episode of The Dick Van Dyke Show. Well, that and many years later when he was the villain in Night at the Museum...!
You can check out the full interview below.