According to a report by a showbiz writer in the UK, the veteran screenwriters Neil Purvis and Robert Wade have now delivered their ‘rescue’ work on the Bond 24 screenplay originally drafted by the Oscar-winning writer John Logan.
Writing in the UK’s Daily Mail newspaper today (Friday, August 1), the gossip columnist Baz Bamigboye, who has developed a fairly reliable track-record on breaking 007 news, claimed that now ‘all’s well on the Bond front’ following some earlier behind-the-scenes bother over a disappointing first draft delivered by John Logan.
Bamigboye first revealed in the same newspaper on June 27 that previous Bond screenwriters Purvis and Wade had been re-hired by the producers. The talented duo, who penned five 007 screenplays, had decided to take a break from Bond screen-writing after the smash-hit success of Skyfall, but had been called in by the producers and agreed to carry out some additional work on the Logan B24 screenplay, including to ‘punch up’ the script, inject some humour and add some extra interplay between the main characters.
In his latest update on the story, Bamigboye claimed today that the writers answered a fire-alarm call from 007 actor Daniel Craig and director Sam Mendes to ‘rescue’ the screenplay and add some ‘thrills’. An un-named ‘source’ allegedly told Bamigboye at the end of July that Purvis and Wade have now delivered their work, and the green light has thus been given for filming to start in late November or early December.
Bamigboye’s informant apparently also told him that: ‘Everyone’s excited, and all the systems are pumping away at full speed’, adding that Purvis and Wade’s script is ‘substantially different’ from Logan’s: ‘There was an awful lot of work to do. It was a big job. The impression was given that Purvis and Wade were hired to add jokes – but it was a bigger deal than that’.
Bamigboye’s source also claimed that Mendes himself was instrumental in persuading Purvis and Wade to return to the Bond fold, and that the Skyfall director, in conjunction with Daniel Craig and Purvis and Wade, all worked together as a team during the re-writing process.
Make of all this what you will. As with all such UK media reports, the watchword here is caution. Journalists tend to love dramatic language to embellish their stories. However, if anything, the main message of the story is a reassuringly optimistic one: Bond 24 is well and truly on track and shaping up nicely, which is excellent news for 007 fans.
Interestingly, for those of us who love speculation about our favourite spy, another story emerged recently which claimed that the B24 screenplay included some wintry scenes set in a north Scandinavian country, with Bond having to lie low there after a mission nine years in the planning has gone horribly wrong. Again, the JBIFC is unable to verify the truth or not of this information.
Recent reports have suggested that locations for Bond 24 will include Italy, Morocco and Austria, with some filming also being carried out in Switzerland. The JBIFC understands that recce scouts have also checked out some locations in London. Casting for B24 is currently ‘ongoing’.