Saint mark, i took your point as being that Dalton was dropped because the US audience didn't warm to him as Bond. I'm sure there's a lot of truth to that - it is a business after all.
My point was that it is very hard to discredit Dalton's performance when he was so underserved. As you said, LTK was perhaps written before Dalton was cast as generically as possible and then refined for Brosnan....
Brosnan becoming unnavailable because of Remmington Steel opened the door for Dalton. They probably gave the script a brief 'Dalton pass', and Dalton was left with a bit of a mess tonally. Just guess work there, but that seems to be the narrative.
Personally i'd have preferred to have gotten Brosnan in his prime, or even Lewis Collins.
If Casino Royale had been written as a rather generic piece more suited for Brosnan i'm sure Craig would have found it equally handicapping to have to adapt. As it was Craig's debut came as a fully formed commitment to this grittier change in direction.
Btw, i prefer Craig to Dalton as a candidate, mooting him for the role since 1998's Love Is The Devil. But it's clear that we never got to see the best of Dalton.
Edited by Odd Jobbies, 25 June 2014 - 02:49 PM.