Are preliminary plans already being laid for Bond 26? This is the intriguing hint delivered in a story by showbiz gossip columnist Baz Bamigboye.
Writing about Phoebe Waller-Bridge in his regular column in the UK’s Daily Mail newspaper (27th September), Bamigboye claimed that Phoebe, who was hired by EON at Daniel Craig’s behest to ‘add a layer’ to the screenplay for No Time To Die, ‘is being licensed to work on a future James Bond film’.
As Bamigboye points out, Waller-Bridge was introduced to Bond 25 to punch up the screenplay’s dialogue spoken by the female characters, but soon she was carrying out other dialogue work, too, and also apparently helped clarify some of the dialogue in the scenes which involve genetic warfare.
Bamigboye revealed that he was told by an (un-named) source: ‘Phoebe’s contribution was great – far greater than we’d anticipated. She’s the saviour of Bond, really. She was across the entire script’.
In Bamigboye’s estimation, Waller-Bridge is effectively being asked to join the regular Bond family and contribute to a future 007 production: ‘How much she’ll actually work on Bond 26 will depend on who directs it. Will Cary Joji Fukunaga return or will it be someone else?’
In Bamiboye’s view, Waller-Bridge, 34, is the star with the golden pen: as he noted, her smash-hit BBC TV show Fleabag won three Emmy awards in Los Angeles last week. Moreover, just days after winning this hatful of Emmy awards, she was poached by Amazon and signed a rumoured $20 million-a-year deal to create new shows for Amazon Prime Video. She commented to the media: ‘I’m insanely excited to be continuing my relationship with Amazon. It really feels like home’.
Bond, James Bond
What clues have we been given about Waller-Bridge’s contribution to No Time To Die? Interestingly, in August, she dropped some strong hints to the Hollywood Reporter about her overall views of James Bond. She explained that she is being respectful to the Bond tradition, and observed: ‘A lot has been made of me coming on board because I’m a woman, and that’s wonderful. But also I can’t take credit for the movie that was written. It’s Cary’s movie’. However, she added that there is something about James Bond that has always intrigued her.
Similarly, in comments made by Waller-Bridge and cited in the July issue of Total Film magazine, she said of her time working on Bond 25: ‘It’s been fantastic. I love the franchise and the character, and I am really excited to be part of it’. She said she loved that Bond ‘exists in the grey area of the world. He does terrible things, and yet he does it for the right reasons’. She also pointed out that her contribution had been to ‘make sure there is an authenticity to all the characters’.
Watch this space for further Bond 25 news as it develops. You know the name, and you know the number.
Bonded: A recent ‘No Time To Die’ photocall in Matera, Italy