Originally written by Ian Fleming, James Bond was supposed to be a bland, boring character used to relay thrilling stories of espionage. Films, of course, have also taken this character and run with it, carving out some of acting's biggest roles. Sean Connery got the ball rolling in 1962, but there have been a number of others playing 007 since then, and a number of additional actors who came short of landing a turn as the sexy spy.
According to a New Yorker interview in 1962, Fleming explained that the name "James Bond" came from an American ornithologist - a Caribbean bird expert and field guide. Fleming said, "I wanted him to be a blunt instrument ... when I was casting around for a name for my protagonist I thought by God, [James Bond] is the dullest name I ever heard." That's why the character works so well in a visual medium: he was designed to be a blank canvas onto which viewers could project their own ideals.
James Bond is considered the longest continually-running film series of all time, and Daniel Craig is the current iteration of 007, having played him four times in the Eon series. As of 2018, Craig plans to continue the role if another film comes to fruition.
But what of the many Hollywood hunks who haven't made the shortlist to play James Bond? Watch this video to find out who nearly scored the classic role.