LA Times says Bond 23 script ‘isn’t ready’

The Los Angeles Times is reporting that Bond 23’s future is murky not only because of financial problems at Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer but also because, “The script isn’t ready,” according to THIS STORY BY STEVEN ZEITCHIK.

A sampling from the story which cites “sources” without getting more specific:

Oscar-winning director Sam Mendes worked on the script last spring, the sources said, polishing the contributions of “Frost/Nixon” screenwriter Peter Morgan. Morgan, in turn, had rewritten parts of an earlier screenplay by Bond veterans Neal Purvis and Robert Wade.

EON has typically developed a script to a point of their satisfaction before sending it to the studio that will finance and distribute the given film (a pairing of MGM and Sony Pictures for the past two films). That has yet to happen with the new Bond, which is to be financed and distributed by MGM.

The creative issues around the new Bond are notable because it means that even if MGM’s financial wrinkles were ironed out…it would mean the movie would still not be ready to go.

MGM and Eon Productions Ltd., the 007 production company headed by Michael G. Wilson and Barbara Broccoli, declined to comment, according to the article.

Meanwhile, Entertainment Weekly‘s newest issue has Bond actor Daniel Craig on the cover saying, “Goodbye Mr. Bond. The Inside Story of How the 007 Series is Falling Apart — and the Battle to Save It.” You can read a teaser for the story BY CLICKING HERE. A sample of the teaser:

These are dark days for James Bond fans. It will likely be years before 007 returns to the screen, thanks to money troubles at MGM, Bond’s longtime studio, which has been up for sale since November. Even Daniel Craig seems to have moved on, signing up for the lead in a different potential franchise, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo.

The MI6 007 fan Web site has already attacked the story.

MI6 Rumour Rating: Elliot Carver would be proud – making the best of a slow news week. Reheated tabloid headlines glossily repackaged with quotes from sources not connected to the current events, and subsequent (contrary) updates by EON and Daniel Craig arrogantly ignored. Skip it.

You can read the entire MI6 critique BY CLICKING HERE.

UPDATE: This portion of the LA Times article caught our eye:

Legal agreements apparently prevent the Bond film from being extricated from the studio by Bond producers Barbara Broccoli and Michael Wilson, the tight-lipped pair who control the franchise through their EON Productions company.

MGM actually controls half of the 007 franchise, going back to when United Artists (later acquired by MGM) bought out Eon co-founder Harry Saltzman. Also, the LA Times has a link for Michael Wilson’s name. But the link leads you to a different Michael Wilson than the co-boss of Eon.