Alfred Hitchcock was James Bond creator IAN FLEMING's top pick to direct the first 007 film, according to a newly discovered letter.
In a telegram sent to mutual friend and novelist Eric Ambler in 1959, Fleming asks whether the horror master was available to make Thunderball.
The message reads, "Would Hitchcock be interested in directing?"
Fleming goes on to outline the film's plot in the telegram, which has been published on website Letters Of Note, but Hitchcock turned down the offer because he was busy working on Psycho.
Filmmaker Terence Young stepped in after it was decided Dr. No would be the first Bond movie, starring Sir Sean Connery as the superspy.
Thunderball later became the fourth Bond movie in the series.