With the apparent return of Neal Purvis and Robert Wade to script Bond 25, naturally there are more questions.
No Bond 25 story yet? After all this time?
According to the Daily Mail’s Baz Bamigboye, Purvis and Wade are the first writers to be hired.
Given Bamigboye’s record with scoops proven correct about Skyfall and SPECTRE, you have to take him seriously.
But the first to be hired 16 months after SPECTRE debuted? We’re not talking a first draft or a treatment (story outline). We’re talking about turning on the old word processor and confronting a blank screen.
By contrast, MGM announced in November 2012 — while Skyfall was still in theaters — that John Logan had been hired to write the next two installments. Eventually, that was changed to one, but the studio wanted everyone to know things were full speed ahead.
Purvis & Wade again? This will be their seventh (or 007th if you like puns) consecutive Bond film effort.
To put that in perspective consider this: Richard Maibaum had 13 Bond writing credits. But his longest streak was five (all 1980s Eon Productions efforts).
Also, the hiring comes less than two months after Purvis told The Telegraph, “I’m just not sure how you would go about writing a James Bond film now.” Evidently, something came up.
To be clear, this blog has not bashed the writing duo. But their hiring for Bond 25 begs the question whether Eon casts a very wide net. Are there really so few writers suitable for the job?
On the other hand, it is a tough job as the likes of John Logan, Paul Haggis, Bruce Feirstein and others have found out over time.
John Logan and Jez Butterworth, who also worked on the last two 007 films (Logan credited both times, Butterworth only once) were brought in by director Same Mendes.
What does this say about when Bond 25 eventually comes out?
As noted above, Logan was on board to write Bond 24 (later titled SPECTRE) in November 2012. He didn’t submit his first draft until March 2014.
If indeed Purvis and Wade are just getting started, 2019 seems a stronger possibility than 2018. Once a first draft is delivered, months of rewrites usually ensue. If, say, a script is hammered out in early 2018, there’s still casting and numerous other details.
“In any event, no camera will roll on Bond 25 until next autumn at the earliest,” Bamigboye wrote in his story.
And, for now, there’s no confirmed James Bond and no studio to distribute the movie.