Technically, Brosnan’s contract ran out when he finished snogging Halle Berry on the set of the current Bond film, “Die Another Day,” which opens next week. Producers, mindful of the fiasco that ensued with the last changing of the guard — anyone remember Timothy “I’m really a Shakespearean actor” Dalton? — were eager to protect the franchise. Pierce, whose film career was rather lackluster until he got behind the wheel of that Aston Martin, was eager to protect his fat paychecks. So it’s probably safe to say that the contract negotiations were coy but cordial.
Pierce is on his way to emulating his idol, the always and forever Bond Sean Connery, who stayed in the saddle far into his dotage. The Navan-born Brosnan will be 52 years old when the next film goes into production in 2005, but we’re sure he’ll still have the kind of looks that make the ladies swoon. Just like Connery, who was voted People magazine’s “Sexiest Man Alive” at the ripe old age of 65.