Prior to the release of Skyfall in 2012, a Bond script was penned by Peter Morgan (Frost/Nixon, The Last King of Scotland). Although some main concepts from this script made it into Skyfall, the storyline was rejected by director Sam Mendes and the Bond producers. Thanks to a new book entitled Some Kind of Hero: The Remarkable Story of the James Bond Films by Matthew Field and Ajay Chowdhury, this original plot has been revealed.
Morgan's script, called Once Upon a Spy, would have explored M's past as an MI6 agent during the Cold War. In the present day, the son of a KGB agent with whom M had an affair threatens to jeopardize her career by revealing this information. She sends Bond in to pay him off, which sets off a chain of events that climaxes with Bond forced to kill M.
Franchise writer Robert Wade said this of the script:
"We always found that really, really difficult to make credible or satisfying. It was very dark and frankly I don't think it really worked. The only thing that remained was M's past comes back to haunt her and she dies at the end."
He went on to comment what he believed inspired Morgan's story, stating, "Neal [Purvis] and I are pretty well steeped in Fleming. I think Peter was more interested in Le Carré. It just didn't work." John le Carré is another author known for his British espionage novels.
With these concepts retained, the script was rewritten without Morgan as a draft entitled Nothing is Forever. This was eventually changed to Skyfall, and the film went on to become the highest-grossing film of the franchise.
For more behind the scenes stories on the production of the Bond franchise, read Some Kind of Hero: The Remarkable Story of the James Bond Films.