Purvis+Wade

Licence renewed! In some dramatic James Bond news, a British newspaper columnist has exclusively revealed that the veteran Bond scriptwriters Neal Purvis and Robert Wade have been contracted to pen the storyline for the next James Bond movie, which will be number 25 in the smash-hit EON series, and the pair’s (00)7th contribution to the franchise.

The confirmation of the new contract for Purvis and Wade came from Baz Bamigboye who, in his gossip page for the Daily Mail newspaper, often reproduces ‘news’ that film studios wish to put into the public domain. He has had a very good track record on 007 news in the past, and has also been talking to studio sources in Los Angeles.

According to Bamigboye, in contrast to the last Bond film Spectre – where John Logan was the main scribe and Purvis and Wade were brought in for rewrite work to ‘refresh’ the script – this time the experienced duo are the first to be hired. And on the subject of Daniel Craig and his possible return as 007, Bamigboye notes that the Bond producers Barbara Broccoli and Michael G. Wilson ‘would like him to return for Bond 25, but the truth is he hasn’t decided yet – though I hear he’s keener to do it than not’.

As for the filming schedule on the as-yet-untitled twenty-fifth entry in the series, Bamigboye suggested that the cameras could role on the new production this coming autumn: ‘Craig has completed two non-Bond films back-to-back – Kings and Logan Lucky – and he’s planning to lead a TV adaptation of Jonathan Franzen’s novel Purity‘. Bamigboye continued: ‘The actor’s in terrific form at the moment. He was electrifying alongside David Oyelowo in Othello at New York Theatre Workshop (directed by hot Sam Gold and produced by Broccoli)’. In relation to the important choice of director for Bond 25, Bamigboye also reflected that, while Sam Mendes (who shot Skyfall and Spectre) announced that he would not work on any more 007 movies, ‘never rule anything out in showbusiness’.

So there you have it. After quite a news drought on the Bond front in the last year, this latest report is very welcome indeed, and appears to confirm that the pieces are now being assembled for the next James Bond movie at last.

Write Another Way

Starting with The World Is Not Enough (1999), Neal Purvis and Robert Wade have worked on six James Bond scripts, and have carefully mined all the Ian Fleming books and short stories for additional material and inspiration for their plotlines. While there are obviously no clues as to the concepts that might shape their Bond 25 script, earlier this year (in January), when the pair were publicising their new ‘alternate history’ TV thriller series SS-GB, they did offer some carefully-worded thoughts on the evolution of the Bond series after Spectre.

Speaking to the UK’s Telegraph newspaper, they pointed out that finding a fresh story will be ‘a big challenge’, as the real world seems to have become stranger than fiction in recent months. In addition, Robert Wade said that Spectre had ‘felt like it closed off a certain way of doing Bond’, and whatever happens next ‘will be quite different’. However, despite the enormity of the scriptwriting challenges posed by the Bond movies, both men have made it very clear over the years that they still enjoy the inevitable ‘brainstorming’ that is an essential part of the film-writing process. Moreover, they have carved out a highly-respected reputation in the industry for delivering imaginative scripts to tight deadlines. As Neal Purvis told the Sunday Express back in 2012, when reflecting on the last-minute creation of the haunting single-word title for Skyfall, there is nothing like a deadline ‘for concentrating the mind’.

Welcome back, Mr. Purvis and Wade – we’ve been expecting you…

BAFTA award winners