With WGA settlement, no excuse for Bond 25

Image for the official James Bond feed on Twitter

James Bond fans are breathing easier because it appears there won’t be another Writers Guild strike, like the 2007-2008 walkout that affected Quantum of Solace.

That strike is the default explanation for Quantum’s script issues. “If only there hadn’t been the strike the movie would have been a lot better,” goes this way of thinking.

That’s despite evidence the situation was a lot more complicated. Quantum had script issues before the stike, Still, when the legend becomes fact, print the legend and all that.

This time around, the Writers Guild of America reached a last-minute contract agreement. Members will participate in a ratification a vote.

Meanwhile, not a lot is really known about the Bond 25 scripting process. Baz Bamigboye of the Daily Mail has reported that longtime 007 screenwriters Neal Purvis and Robert Wade have been hired for another go.

There has been no official confirmation (as usual) but given Bamigboye’s record in sniffing out scoops about Skyfall and SPECTRE, it’s practically a given among 007 fans.

In any case, if Purvis and Wade are back in Bondage, a WGA strike won’t be an excuse. And, to be fair, they’re not the only ones who should be held held responsible.

Eon Productions boss Barbara Broccoli oversees her screenwriters. Bond 25 has no director at this point. Directors are known to throw their weight around with screenwriters. That’s a wild card no one can foresee right now.

Bond 25 has no distributor. When one is selected by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, its executives (especially if that studio helps finance the movie) will want a say on the script. Another wild card whose impact won’t be known for some time.

Some fans imagine a Bond 25 script is almost ready. Right now, that’s a matter of faith, not fact.

To sum up: The quality of Bond 25’s story remains to be seen. We just know a WGA strike will have nothing to do with it.

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WGA reaches tentative deal

Writers Guild West logo

The Writers Guild of America reached a tentative agreement on a new contract, the union said in a statement issued early today.

“Your Negotiating Committee is pleased to report that we have reached a tentative agreement with the AMPTP that we can recommend for ratification,” the union said.

AMPTP is the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers, which negotiates for the studios.

One of the issues involved writer pay for short seasons for original series on streaming services, which often no more than 13 episodes (and often fewer) compared with 22 a season on broadcast networks.

“We also made unprecedented gains on the issue of short seasons in television, winning a definition (which has never before existed in our MBA) of 2.4 weeks of work for each episodic fee,” according to the statement. “Any work beyond that span will now require additional payment for hundreds of writer-producers.”

The settlement, now subject to a ratification vote, prevents a strike that could have disrupted production of TV shows and movies. Bond 25, now in early stages of pre-production, won’t be affected by a WGA walkout the way 2008’s Quantum of Solace was.