How not to write a Bond 25 story

Poster for SPECTRE

Like a cancer metastasizing throughout the body, The Mirror’s July 8 story saying Daniel Craig is definitely returning as James Bond is spreading through the media.

Various outlets, including the Los Angeles Times,  Fox News and Esquire have summarized the Mirror story.

However, The Mirror’s original and the stories based on it have mostly overlooked some key facts. Very important facts. Here are some of them.

There’s nobody to pay Daniel Craig — yet. The Mirror & Co. depict Eon Productions boss Barbara Broccoli as having a firm lock on his services.

Problem: Eon doesn’t pay the bills of a Bond movie. The studio or studios involved do.

Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer is Bond’s home studio. But it can’t release its own movies. It needs a studio partner to co-finance and distribute MGM films. And, for the moment, there is no Bond 25 distributor.

Maybe MGM reaches an agreement later this year. Maybe a commitment from Craig (even a verbal commitment) helps that process. But until it happens, nobody is available to actually pay Daniel Craig if he, indeed, is coming back.

There’s no director yet. You can’t have a movie without a director calling the shots. Maybe Bond 25 will get a director later this year. But until it does, not much is going to happen.

There’s no script yet. Neal Purvis and Robert Wade were hired to come up with a story, according to the Daily Mail’s Baz Bamigboye, who has had a number of 007 scripts proven correct this decade.

The duo have had more than four months (and perhaps longer) to work up a story. But until a director comes on board, things can only go so far. Directors love to tweak story elements, etc. And that process can’t begin until you have a director, etc.

What’s this John Logan reference? The Mirror says John Logan, who worked on Skyfall and SPECTRE, is working on Bond 25. There’s no evidence that’s the case.

If it really is true, that would be a big turnaround. Thanks to the Sony hacks of 2014 (Sony Pictures released the last four 007 films), it’s known that Eon was unhappy with Logan’s first draft for SPECTRE, something that eventually led to the return of Purvis and Wade.

If (and that’s a HUGE if) Logan really is involved with Bond 25 that’s a major change. But, of course, you’d have to be familiar with the history to make note of that.

Has anything changed the past three months? In April, Page Six, the gossip operation of the New York Post also said Barbara Broccoli pretty much had Daniel Craig committed.

Has something actually changed since that report? The Page Six story got nowhere near the attention the Mirror has. Regardless, it’s a notable piece of background.

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4 Responses

  1. Where are your sources? This is a story like the Mirror, also without a source.

  2. //Where are your sources?// Sources for what? That studios pay for movies? Generally known. Albert R. Broccoli in his career financed one movie, The Trials of Oscar Wilde. (See the Albert R. Broccoli biography on the Bond DVDs.) When it didn’t do well, he never self-financed again. Eon has never self-financed a Bond movie.

    That there’s no distributor? One hasn’t been announced.

    That there’s no director? One hasn’t been announced.

    That the Sony hacks revealed issues with John Logan’s early drafts? I read some of them and there were articles written about SPECTRE’s script issues. Here’s one of them:
    http://defamer.gawker.com/new-bond-script-leaks-execs-scrambling-to-fix-awful-en-1670479885

  3. Broccoli violated the two cardinal rules of producing.

    Max Bialystock: The two cardinal rules of producing. One: Never put your own money in the show.

    Leo Bloom: And two?

    Max Bialystock: [yelling] Never put your own money in the show!

  4. @Richardo: The only major exception I can think of is George Lucas self-financing Star Wars sequels (but *not* the original film). But that’s the exception that proves the rule. Here’s a story about how that developed. It certainly has never been the case with James Bond films.

    http://deadline.com/2015/12/star-wars-franchise-george-lucas-historic-rights-deal-tom-pollock-1201669419/

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