Back in 1965, Connery’s fourth outing as James Bond was released, but only after a big production deal.
While Cubby Broccoli and Harry Saltzman had already made three official 007 movies with Eon productions, they had to make a deal with a screenwriter called Kevin McClory.
The problem was McClory had tried to make Thunderball even before the first Connery-led film, Dr No, was released.
He’d written the script, but Bond author Ian Fleming didn’t think he had enough experience, so used the Thunderball story as the basis for his next novel.
But the screenwriter sued and won the film and television rights to the story, all the while Eon were preparing to make their own Bond movies.
So when it came around to making Thunderball they made a deal with McClory that he would be credited as a producer and could remake the film 10 years later.
By the time 1975 arrived, the screenwriter had a film called James Bond of the Secret Service planned to rival Roger Moore’s 007.
And according to the BBC he managed to hire non-other than Connery himself to co-write the screenplay.
Connery had finished playing Bond in 1971’s Diamonds Are Forever and it was very much in McClory’s interest to have the original star’s name attached to his film.
It’s not known how much the actor contributed to the script, which was also penned by Len Deighton, whose novels were adapted into the Michael Caine Harry Palmer spy films.
But in the end the film was called Warhead and while it featured the skeleton of the Thunderball storyline, it also had some goofy quirks.
Apart from a Bond girl called Justine Lovesit and a villain’s lair just like the underwater one in 1977’s The Spy Who Love Me, it’s the robe-sharks that stand out here.
There’s a scene in Warhead where Bond has to battle “remote-controlled, nuclear-weaponised robo-sharks” in a New York sewer.
In the end the similarities with the Roger Moore film (sharks aside) led to McClory filing an injunction against The Spy Who Loved Me, while Eon did the same to him for Warhead.
With such a legal battle going on, Connery and Paramount Pictures left the project.
Of course Warhead was never make but in 1983 McClory saw his wish come true as Connery starred in Thunderball remake Never Say Never Again.
Sadly there were no robo-sharks this time around, just a pretty poor unofficial Bond movie.