About that No Time to Die writing credit

Phoebe Waller-Bridge

Screenplay credits in movies can be elaborate and that was certainly the case with 2021’s No Time to Die. Four people got a piece of the credit, including actress and scribe Phoebe Waller-Bridge.

As you may recall, Waller-Bridge’s participation caused quite a bit of fuss. Among the many articles written was a September 2019 Daily Mail article by Baz Bamigboye. That piece quoted an executive the scribe didn’t identify as saying, “Phoebe’s contribution was great — far greater than we’d anticipated. She’s the savior of Bond, really. She was across the entire script.” (Bamigboye now works for the Deadline entertainment website.)

Eventually, the writing team of Neal Purvis and Robert Wade as well as director Cary Fukunaga received the screenplay credit with Waller-Bridge. Purvis, Wade and Fukunage were credited with the plot.

Now, a new Daily Mail story quotes Waller-Bridge that she maybe wasn’t the savior after all.

But she admits to being underprepared after signing up for the project, resulting in many of her early suggestions being dismissed by producers of the long-running franchise. 

‘I should naturally have done a lot of Bond research… I didn’t do a huge amount of research for it,’ she told Masterclass acting scheme students during a recent talk at London’s Haymarket Theatre. 

‘I’m not very good at homework. That says a lot.’

According to the article, Waller-Bridge said, “It is fun playing in someone else’s sandpit for a while as you learn stuff.” She also said she hadn’t been told the movie would end with Daniel Craig’s version of James Bond being killed. That had already been baked into the story

Of course, Waller-Bridge wasn’t the only writer whose work was hyped. The Playlist in a February 2019 story proclaimed Scott Z. Burns had been retained to “overhaul” No Time to Die’s script. Burns has a reputation as a script doctor and probably was well paid. In the end, his name wasn’t included in the screenplay credit.