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.

Comparing Daily Mail, Radar Online 007 stories

Daniel Craig in SPECTRE's main titles

Daniel Craig in SPECTRE’s main titles

Radar Online story this weekend saying Daniel Craig is being offered a ton of money to return as James Bond is similar a Daily Mail story from May.

Here’s a quick look:

–The Daily Mail said Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer offered Craig 68 million British pounds ($99 million at the time, $90 million at current exchange rates) to do two more James Bond films. The Mail said Craig turned down the offer.

“The sum included endorsements, profit shares, and a role for him working as a co-producer,” according to that story.

–Radar Online said Sony Pictures is offering Craig $150 million to do two more James Bond films.

The entertainment and gossip website quotes a person it didn’t identify as saying, “Daniel’s the key for a seamless, safe transition as far as Sony and Bond bosses are concerned, and they’re prepared to pay a king’s ransom to make it happen.”

According to this story, Sony is ready to announce it has a new deal to distribute Bond films. Its most recent two-picture deal expired with SPECTRE. The Radar Online story doesn’t mention MGM.

007 Magazine says Craig out, Hiddleston has offer

Daniel Craig in SPECTRE's main titles

Daniel Craig in SPECTRE’s main titles

Graham Rye’s 007 Magazine in a POST ON FACEBOOK said Daniel Craig “has walked away from the Bond role” and that Tom Hiddleston has received an offer from Eon Productions co-boss Barbara Broccoli.

007 Magazine initially didn’t specify in the June 17 post how it obtained the information. In a June 18 response in another thread on its Facebook page, it said it had a source that provided the information.

We tried to imbed the post but our software wouldn’t cooperate. So here’s an image via the message board of the MI6 James Bond website.

Graham Rye Craig

In a separate thread on the Facebook page, in response to skeptics, 007 Magazine said, “As it stands at present, what 007 MAGAZINE has reported is FACT!” Also, “Like any good journalist, we never reveal our sources.” Finally there was this comment:

“If 007 MAGAZINE didn’t have total confidence in our source we wouldn’t have published our comment…(snip) Eon Productions denied claims? Is that the same Eon Productions that denied that Pierce Brosnan had been signed to play James Bond in 1986? ;O)

 

Last month, 007 Magazine went to Twitter to criticize media reports that Craig had left the role. Here’s that tweet:

Craig’s future (or lackthereof) as Bond flared up on May 18 when the U.K. Daily Mail tabloid reported the actor turned down a 68 million pound ($99 million) offer to return for two more 007 films. The BBC, in a small post on May 19, said it had been told by “authoritative Bond sources” that Craig hadn’t made a decision.

Hiddleston earlier this month talked down the chances he’d get the Bond role in stories IN THE DAILY MAIL and THE GUARDIAN.

Eon hasn’t put out a press release yet about any of this.

 

Your guide to 007 click bait, or “Madness! Madness!”

Daniel Craig in SPECTRE's main titles

Daniel Craig in SPECTRE’s main titles

Here’s a quick summary of what we read (well, actually skimmed) so you don’t have to. After a while (say 15 minutes) it’s like the end of The Bridge On The River Kwai and thus, “Madness! Madness!”

The drive for a female James Bond: American actress Gillian Anderson, currently starring in a theatrical production of A Streetcar Named Desire, went to Twitter on May 21 to post some fan art of her playing a female 007.

“It’s Bond. Jane Bond,” she wrote. “Thanks for all the votes! (And sorry, don’t know who made poster but I love it!) #NextBond.”

Naturally, various websites wrote this up, including Time magazine, The Guardian, and The Huffington Post.

Around the same time, actress Priyanka Chopra have a magazine interview where she said she wants to play Bond.

This was chronicled in, among other places the Vulture entertainment news website (part of New York magazine), The Indian Express at least 160 others, according to a Google search.

Evidently, if you’re an actor with sufficient credits and a fan base willing to tweet up a storm, you, too, can have a story written about yourself as a potental James Bond.

In the drive for clicks, the tabloid New York Post decided to push back against the idea with an article titled “Why a Woman Can’t Play James Bond.”

Finally, a sane voice, you might conclude. However, this article isn’t comfort food for traditional 007 fans. Here’s how it ends:

So please, Hollywood, write more spy movies and TV shows for women. After all, the first two seasons of Jennifer Garner’s “Alias” were more exciting and creative than any James Bond movie since “Goldeneye.” Or have a woman play a gender-neutral character like the driving force of “Mission Impossible.” The less Tom Cruise, the better.

But don’t rely on a tired 54-year-old franchise to drive home your point. Your only aim should be making a spy movie that kicks James Bond’s ass.

Pretend you’re the casting director: The U.K. tabloid Daily Mail helped ramp up #NextBond fever last week with a story saying Daniel Craig had definitely quit the role despite lack of official confirmation.

The publication’s sister paper, The Mail on Sunday, decided to stir things up more by having a “Bond-off” about potential successors. It was primarily an exercise in showing off its staff’s expertise in Photoshop, by putting the heads of the usual suspects atop the bodies of Craig and previous 007 actors.

“Across the pond,” another tabloid, New York’s Daily News, did a variation on the same idea, albeit with no showing off of Photoshop skills.

Limbo for the serious James Bond fan Part II

Image for the official James Bond feed on Twitter

Image for the official James Bond feed on Twitter

Last week’s fuss/buzz/kerfuffle (take your choice) about whether Daniel Craig has quit or not as James Bond unleashed a heat, if not much light about what’s next for the film 007.

What follows are some observations until there’s some real news to chew on.

Both the Daily Mail and BBC were opaque: There were dueling media accounts last week by the Daily Mail (which said Craig quit and turned down 68 million British pounds to do two more movies) and the BBC (which said Craig hadn’t quit and a decision wouldn’t be made for “a while.”).

For many, the decision which to believe was easy. The BBC is a prestigious media outlet while the Daily Mail (or Daily Fail, according to its critics) is a sloppy U.K. tabloid.

Still, both relied on unidentified sources of information. The Daily Mail cited “insiders,” including “one LA film source.” The BBC cited “authoritative Bond sources” (Barbara Broccoli? Michael G. Wilson? An Eon publicist?).

In a lot of instances, you have to not identify sources to break a story. But there’s the drawback that, in the end, the reader has to trust the outlet. In this case, the two outlets — one prestigious, the other not — are equally opaque in how they obtained their information.

Tabloids have been right in the past: Tabloids have been correct about Bond news in the past. That doesn’t mean each new story — such as last week’s Daily Mail story about Craig — should get an automatic pass. But people do tend to forget when their information has turned out to be right.

One such story occurred four years ago when the Daily Mail insisted that Naomie Harris was playing Moneypenny in Skyfall. The initial publicity said she was playing an MI6 agent named Eve.

Harris denied she was playing Moneypenny. The MI6 James Bond website ran a story in January 2012 that amplified that point.

Although little has been revealed about her Bond Girl role in the upcoming “Skyfall”, a lot of talk has been generated by the casting of Naomie Harris. Tabloids ran wild with speculation that the actress would be playing Miss Moneypenny, but Harris has finally put that story to bed.

(snip)

Despite Harris categorically stating in the interview that she will not be playing Moneypenny in the film, one tuned-out sub editor at the Mail still managed to slip the falsehood into her unrelated travel report from the Maldives, printed in the same issue of the newspaper. (emphasis added)

Months later, the Daily Mail was proven to be correct.

Again, the Daily Mail has a bad journalistic reputation. But, for some reason, it has had 007 scoops proven correct. Many of them were reported by Baz Bamigboye, but he hasn’t been on the Bond beat since late 2014. Skepticism is understandable. Still, all sorts of stories about both Skyfall and SPECTRE were proven correct.

People, incorrectly, believe something isn’t official until there’s a press release: Contracts can be signed and commitments made — all very official, and legally binding — before there’s a public announcement.

Example: Ford Motor Co. hired Boeing Co. executive Alan Mulally as its new chief executive officer on Friday, Sept. 1, 2006. Mulally signed his contract on that date. His hiring, however wasn’t announced until four days later, Tuesday, Sept. 5, the day after the U.S. Labor Day holiday. The Sept. 1 date didn’t become public until a subsequent filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission about terms of the new CEO’s contract.

In other words, Mulally was legally Ford’s CEO for four days before the company informed the public. That’s as official as it gets. A press release is the end of the process and not the beginning.

 

Moore speaks up on behalf of Craig

Seven-time 007 Roger Moore, as he has done in the past, spoke up on behalf of actor Daniel Craig.

Moore put out a post on his twitter account on Friday, apparently referring to a Daily Mail story late Wednesday saying that Craig had quit the role after four Bond movies. That story cited “insiders” and quoted a “LA film source.”

The BBC came out with a short item on Thursday quoting “authoritative Bond sources” that Craig had not and a decision won’t happen “for a while.” There has been no official statement on the topic. Before these dueling stories, there have been many articles discussing possible future Bonds.

Moore has often complimented Craig, including a 2012 interview with Time magazine. So it wasn’t surprising that Moore’s tweet on Friday followed that pattern.

Daily Mail says Daniel Craig is out as 007

Daniel Craig in SPECTRE's main titles

Daniel Craig in SPECTRE’s main titles

UPDATE (May 19): The BBC reports that “authoritative Bond sources” say Daniel Craig hasn’t made up his mind and no decision is expected soon. CLICK HERE and see the item with a time stamp of 07:56.

ORIGINAL POST: The U.K. tabloid newspaper and website the DAILY MAIL said turned down a 68 million pound ($99 million) to do two more 007 films.

In the past, the Daily Mail had a number of scoops about 2012’s Skyfall and 2015’s SPECTRE that were proven to be true. The bulk of those stories were written by Baz Bamigboye, but he been writing about other entertainment subjects since late 2014.

Here’s an excerpt from the new story by Rehema Figueiredo:

Insiders said Craig turned down a £68million offer from MGM studio to return as Bond for two more films following last year’s hit Spectre. The sum included endorsements, profit shares, and a role for him working as a co-producer.

One LA film source said: ‘Daniel is done – pure and simple – he told top brass at MGM after Spectre. They threw huge amounts of money at him, but it just wasn’t what he wanted.’

There has been a lot of speculation that Craig, 48, was quitting Bondage and even more about possible replacements. Almost all of those stories cited how Craig some in some interviews shortly after SPECTRE finished filming that he would rather slit his wrists than do another Bond film.

However, the Daily Mail is the first outlet to go out on a limb and state definitively that Craig was out. Craig has done the last four films, starting with 2006’s Casino Royale. Craig also was a co-producer of SPECTRE.

What follows is in the for what it’s worth category (and not an endorsement of the Daily Mail story):

SPECTRE ended with Bond driving off in the Aston Martin DB5 with Madeleine Swann (Lea Seydoux).

Just before filming began, the script had Bond saying, “We have all the time in the world,” a line originally from On Her Majesty’s Secret Service, spoken by George Lazenby’s Bond, just before (and after) his wife Tracy (Diana Rigg) is killed. The finished version of SPECTRE didn’t have the line.

To read the entire Daily Mail story, CLICK HERE.