Not many people get three different cracks at the same franchise—but Sean Connery’s not most people. In the early 1960s, Connery defined Ian Fleming’s hero in
From Russia With Love,
Thunderball, briefly retired, reassumed the Walther PPK again after the brief and unfortunate reign of George Lazenby (who will eternally be known as the Bond in the crushed-velvet bodysuit), and finally returned several years later in an ill-advised, toupeed stint as a middle-aged Bond in
Never Say Never Again. His seven films all in all are matched only by Roger Moore, who portrayed 007 from 1973 to 1985. Time will tell if Daniel Craig, whose brooding, misanthropic Bond owes a great deal to Fleming’s novels, can reach the same heights as Connery, but he’s started out with a bang:
Casino Royale and
Quantum of Solace, the first two films of the Craig era, grossed more than a billion dollars worldwide together.