Joshua Rich
July 29, 2004 AT 04:00 AM EDT

The actor known as Bond, James Bond, says he’s turning in his license to kill. ”That’s it,” reports Pierce Brosnan. ”I’ve said all I’ve got to say on the world of James Bond.”

In an interview with EW, the 51-year-old Irish star answers the question that’s dogged him since his last mission on ”Her Majesty’s Secret Service,” 2002’s ”Die Another Day”: Will he return for his fifth Bond movie? ”Bond is another lifetime,” he says, ”behind me.”

Before we jump the Walther PPK (Bond geek alert!), it’s worth noting that contract disputes between Bond stars and EON Productions, which makes the movies, are as common as finding vermouth in 007’s liquor cabinet. Speculation in the 1970s and ’80s regularly had Roger Moore leaving the series, though he wound up sticking around for seven movies. Sean Connery famously sat out 1969’s ”On Her Majesty’s Secret Service,” only to return for 1971’s ”Diamonds Are Forever” when he was paid the then-astronomical sum of $1.25 million. This could be a bargaining ploy by Brosnan, who isn’t under contract to EON; he’s said to have tired of the series’ increasingly silly scripts, and he may have priced himself out of the role. But there are rumors EON (which did not return calls for comment) severed ties with Brosnan; Bond movies tend to take on a new sensibility — and leading man — every decade or so, and Brosnan’s been at it since 1995. Either way, says ”Tomorrow Never Dies” (1997) director Roger Spottiswoode, ”I was surprised that Pierce was even thinking of doing another one. He’d done it, he’d had enough — I was pretty sure he’d made enough money. And you know, they do become a trap.”

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