Pierce Brosnan was dropped from playing James Bond because he demanded $42 million (GBP22 million) to reprise his role as the superspy for a fifth time.

Producers balked at the demand and axed the 51-year-old Irishman - in favour of finding a new 007 for the upcoming 21st Bond blockbuster CASINO ROYALE.

Brosnan has spoken of being "surprised, disappointed and saddened" that Die Another Day, which grossed $456 million (GBP240 million) will be his last outing as 007 - but claims his wage "was an honest fee in terms of how much blood, sweat and tears I put into the role".

But industry magazine VARIETY's editor-in-chief PETER BART says Brosnan "priced himself out of the market" with a reported "compensation package" that "would total north of $40 million".

15/02/2005 13:48