While filming Diamonds Are Forever, Live and Let Die was chosen as the next Ian Fleming novel to be adapted because screenwriter Tom Mackiewitz thought it would be daring to use black villains, as the Black Panthers and other racial movements were active at this time.
Sean Connery was originally slated to reprise his starring role but no amount of money could tempt him to sign on. The producers turned to an actor they had originally wanted to play Bond back in 1962, Roger Moore. At that time, Moore had to turn down the role because he was committed to play Simon Templar in the successful television series “The Saint”. But by time “Live and Let Die” was ready to go into production, Moore was available to take on the role. Guy Hamilton did return to direct his third Bond film and “Live and Let Die” does have a feel similar to “Diamonds are Forever”. Bernard Lee and Lois Maxwell reprised their roles as “M” and Miss Moneypenny but Desmond Llewelyn is notable for his absence, the only time “Q” has not appeared in a Bond film. Also missing, this time permanently, is the evil organization SPECTRE and its leader Blofeld. Except for one uncredited cameo, Blofeld never again appears in a Bond film.
Mankiewicz had thought of turning Solitaire into a black woman, with Diana Ross as his primary choice. However Broccoli and Saltzman decided to stick to Fleming’s caucasian description, and Jane Seymour, who will later play in the TV series The Medicine Woman, was cast for the role. Yaphet Kotto was cast while doing another movie for, United Artists, Across 110th Street.