Neal Purvis and Robert Wade, 007 screenwriters in residence for 15 years, confirmed this week to Collider.com that THEY’RE DEPARTING THE 007 FRANCHISE. That ends a run of five films, tying them for second among credited screenwriters in the 23-film series produced by Eon Productions.
The writing duo stir mixed reactions among fans. The thing is, it’s difficult to exactly measure the contributions they made to their five Bond films. They shared the screenplay credit with other writers on four of their five films. Some of those other scribes (in particular, Paul Haggis on Casino Royale) won praise. Stories SUCH AS THIS ONE mentioned Haggis and his Oscars without mentioning Purvis and Wade who wrote the early drafts of the script. Meanwhile, late drafts referred to Haggis’ contributions as revisions of Purvis and Wade’s work.
It does appear Purvis and Wade worked hard to evoke Ian Fleming without always having a lot of Ian Fleming material to work with aside from Casino Royale. They managed to rework story elements from Moonraker that had been dropped while the 11th 007 movie was being developed for 2002’s Die Another Day. For Skyfall, they used parts of the You Only Live Twice and The Man With the Golden Gun novels as a springboard for the story.
Writing a James Bond movie is undoubtedly a lot harder than it looks, something Paul Haggis found out when he returned to write a second 007 film, Quantum of Solace. Still, Eon kept bringing the duo back, even if they hired others to revamp their work.
We noted Purvis and Wade are tied for second among credited Eon-Bond screenwriters. The person they’re tied with is Michael G. Wilson, Eon’s co-boss who had a bit of inside track to co-write his five 007 movies from 1981 through 1989 given that Albert R. Broccoli was his stepfather. No. 1, of course, is Richard Maibaum, whose 13 Bond script credits between 1962 and 1989 aren’t likely to be surpassed.
Purvis and Wade can say they’re going out on a high. Skyfall, their finale, is now the No. 1 movie in 007 ticket sales unadjusted for inflation. John Logan, the latest scribe hired to revamp a Purvis-Wade script with Skyfall, has been hired to write Bond 24 and Bond 25.
You can CLICK HERE to view the Collider.com story on Purvis and Wade. You can CLICK HERE to read a 2002 interview HMSS’s Tom Zielinski had with the writers. You can CLICK HERE to view a 2007 interview HMSS had with Purvis and Wade.
Filed under: James Bond Films Tagged: | Albert R. Broccoli, Bond 23, Casino Royale, Die Another Day, Eon Productions, Ian Fleming, James Bond Films, John Logan, Michael G. Wilson, Moonraker, Neal Purvis, Paul Haggis, Quantum of Solace, Richard Maibaum, Robert Wade, Skyfall, The Man with the Golden Gun, The World Is Not Enough, Tom Zielinski, You Only Live Twice