Craig to do Bond 25 before Purity, /Film says

Daniel Craig in 2012 during filming of Skyfall.

Showtime’s CEO said Daniel Craig will play James Bond again before doing the limited series Purity for the pay channel, /Film reported.

“He’s doing Bond first,” /Film quoted David Nevins, Showtime’s president and CEO, as saying. “I can’t say anything about what I know or don’t know about Bond. That’s not my area.”

Purity is a 20-episode series based on the Jonathan Franzen novel that originally was supposed to be produced this year.

Last month, Eon Productions announced Bond 25 would be released in the U.S. in November 2019. A distributor for the movie hasn’t been announced yet.

Here’s an excerpt from the /Film story.

The schedule for Bond 25 could mean that Craig is not available to shoot Purity until 2019. “It’s possible,” Nevins said.

Craig is still committed to Purity, according to Nevins. “I think so, yeah,” Nevins assured.

/Film also quoted Nevins as saying Craig is “in most episodes” of Purity.

UPDATE (9 p.m. New York time): The Hollywood Reporter has a story with the same quotes. THR specifies Nevin made his comments at the Television Critics Association’s summer tour. At the end of the story, the entertainment news outlet says Craig “has yet to officially sign on for Bond 25.”

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A few Bond 25-related questions

Image for the official James Bond feed on Twitter

Bond 25 hasn’t been in the news lately. We have no news to offer, but we do have some questions.

Has Purity gone into production yet? That’s the 20-episode series for Showtime where Daniel Craig is a star and an executive producer.

It’s still listed as being in “pre-production” on the actor’s IMDB.COM PAGE.

If that’s the case (and IMDB.com has occasional accuracy issues) then it’s going to be a while before Craig would be available to play James Bond again.

To film 20 episodes could easily take six months (that’s a little more than a week of filming per episode). And we’re almost to the mid-point of 2017.

UPDATE (June 21): Reader Bond on the Box points to a May 23 Variety story about the Becoming Bond television show about George Lazenby as providing a sign that Purity is in production. It quotes a “a gaffer on Craig’s new Showtime series ‘Purity’” about Craig.

How’s that Bond 25 writing going? In March, Baz Bamigboye of the Daily Mail reported Neal Purvis and Robert Wade had been hired to develop a Bond 25 story.

That was never officially verified. However, Bamigboye had a number of scoops about Skyfall and SPECTRE that were proven correct. So that March story caught the attention of a lot of fans.

More than three months have passed. Do they have a first draft? (Color this blog skeptical.) Maybe a treatment? Or are all involved still throwing out ideas to see which ones stick?

How’s that search for a Bond 25 distributor going? In April, The New York Times reported five studios were trying to cut a deal with Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer to distribute Bond 25.

The five: Sony Pictures (which has released the last four 007 films),  Warner Bros., Universal, 20th Century Fox and upstart Annapurna. The latter is a movie production company that’s about to release its first film, Detroit, a drama about the 1967 race riots in that city, in August.

Since then? No word.

For now, there have been reminders of the Bond franchise’s proud past, including last month’s death of Roger Moore and this month’s 50th anniversary of You Only Live Twice. The future remains to be seen.

Craig to be paid $250K per episode for Purity: Variety

Daniel Craig in 2012 during filming of Skyfall.

Daniel Craig in 2012 during filming of Skyfall.

Daniel Craig, the current James Bond, will make an estimated $250,000 per episode for the Showtime limited series Purity, Variety said.

The estimate is contained within a package of stories about escalating star salaries for television, on broadcast, cable and premium channels.

Purity is Craig’s main project for 2017. (The actor hasn’t said whether he’ll be back for Bond 25.) It will consist of 20 episodes , with half to be telecast in 2017, the remainder in 2018. The actor also is an executive producer of Purity and Variety doesn’t specify if that’s part of the $250,000 per episode figure.

While a handsome figure, Craig’s estimated pay isn’t at highest level for television stars.

Mark Harmon, star of NCIS, which has run for more than a decade on CBS, receives an estimated $525,000 per episode. Lauren Graham and Alexis Biedel of Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life on Nexflix get $750,000 an episode for a run of four 90-minute installments. It’s a continuation of a 2000-2007 series. The stars of The Big Bang Theory on CBS receive an estimated $1 million per episode.

Variety said it “conducted a wide survey of actors, executives, attorneys, agents, managers, and other representatives in an effort to offer a snapshot of the earnings power of talent at all levels in primetime, late-night, daytime, and news.”

Stories by Variety include a piece about movie stars flocking to TV projects and how soaring salaries for stars are rattling TV.

Craig’s Purity television series will be completed in 2017

Daniel Craig in SPECTRE's main titles

Daniel Craig in SPECTRE’s main titles

Daniel Craig’s Purity limited television series on Showtime will complete production in 2017, according to the DEADLINE: HOLLYWOOD entertainment news website.

The site quotes Showtime CEO David Nevins as saying Purity “will largely be completed during the course of 2017.” As a result, Nevins said, the series doesn’t preclude Craig, 48, from doing another 007 film depending on “when they do the next James Bond movie.”

Craig is the star and an executive producer of Purity. The series will run for 20 episodes, to be telecast in 2017 and 2018 over two years.

Purity is the most time-intensive of Craig’s current non-007 projects. He’s a cast member of Logan Lucky, a heist movie directed by Steven Soderbergh that begins filming in the fall. He also is in the cast of an off-Broadway production of Othello, which runs Dec. 5 through Jan. 15.

As for Bond 25, no schedule has been announced as Eon Productions co-boss Barbara Broccoli produces non-007 films.

Daniel Craig’s dance card begins to fill up

Bond spat out an obscenity after reading the articles.

Daniel Craig during filming of Skyfall.

Daniel Craig’s acting schedule over the next year or longer is starting to firm up. So, here’s a summary of where he stands with non-007 projects.

LOGAN LUCKY: Heist movie directed by Steven Soderbergh.

Status: In talks, according to Deadline: Hollywood.

Timing: Filming sometime in the fall. Deadline: Hollywood said pre-production began with last weekend’s Coca-Cola 600 near Charlotte, North Carolina.

Details: Soderbergh typically directs lean productions with ensemble casts. Channing Tatum has been described as the movie’s star by The Hollywood Reporter.

OTHELLO: Off-Broadway play.

Status: Announced, will be part of the New York Theatre Workshop’s 2016-2017 season.

Timing: No precise schedule disclosed.

Details: Craig will play Iago.

PURITY: 20-episode miniseries.

Status: Goes into production in 2017. Will be shown on Showtime pay-cable channel in 2017 and 2018.

Details: Craig will play “Andreas, a German provocateur who crosses paths” with a young woman named Purity, who is also known as Pip, according to The Hollywood Reporter. He will also be an executive producer.

Timing: No precise production schedule disclosed. If all 20 episodes are produced in 2017, it could take six months (which assumes less than one-and-a-half weeks per episode).

 

Craig’s Purity miniseries lands at Showtime

Daniel Craig and Christoph Waltz in December 2014. event.

Daniel Craig and Christoph Waltz in December 2014 event.

Daniel Craig’s Purity miniseries will be televised by the Showtime cable network, THE HOLLYWOOD REPORTER said.

Besides starring the 20-episode series, the current screen James Bond will also be an executive producer, according to the entertainment news website. Production is scheduled to begin in 2017 and the 20 episodes will be televised over two years, the website said.

In February, Variety reported that producer Scott Rudin was shopping around the project to various bidders, including Showtime and Netflix.

Here’s an excerpt from The Hollywood Reporter story:

The series…centers on a young woman named Purity (who is known by the name of Pip) who, in search of answers about herself and her family, winds up interning at South America at the Sunlight Project, a group which deals with all the secrets of the world. It’s described as a story about youthful idealism, fidelity and murder. Craig is eyed to play Andreas, a German provocateur who crosses paths with Pip.

Todd Field will write, direct and exec produce Purity. Scott Rudin, Eli Bush, Franzen and David Hare will also exec produce. Haren and Franzen will also serve as writers on the series, while Field will direct all 20 episodes.

Besides Purity, Craig is scheduled to do a stage production of Othello later this year and may appear in Logan Lucky, a heist movie directed by Steven Soderbergh.

There has been plenty of speculation whether Craig will return for a fifth turn as 007. For the moment, there’s no way to determine when Bond 25 may come out. Studio Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, which controls half of the 007 franchise, doesn’t have the resources to release a movie on its own. MGM’s 007 contract with Sony Pictures expired after SPECTRE. MGM has yet to reach an accord with Sony or any other studio.

 

Another non-007 project for Craig emerges

Daniel Craig and Christoph Waltz in December 2014. event.

Daniel Craig and Christoph Waltz in December 2014.

Daniel Craig may star in a limited made-for-cable-television series, VARIETY REPORTED.

The entertainment website posted a story Saturday evening about the project, which represents another non-007 outing for the 47-year-old actor. Here’s an excerpt of the story by Cynthia Littleton:

Showtime is in talks for a big commitment to a limited series starring Daniel Craig in an adaptation of Jonathan Franzen’s novel “Purity,” to be produced by Scott Rudin and written by Todd Field.

Rudin is said to have held a round of meetings with Showtime, Netflix and at least three other outlets earlier this week in search of a straight-to-series order.

Given the auspices, the project generated significant heat and multiple bidders. Industry sources said producers were seeking a 20-episode order but it’s not clear if that is the exact deal under consideration at Showtime. Sources cautioned that the talks were early and other bidders were still in the mix.

Craig already is scheduled to appear in an off-Broadway production of Othello this year, though details of that project, such as precise dates, are sketchy.

Some 007 fans would like Bond 25 to come out in 2017. The exact schedule of the Othello play could affect that, assuming Craig returns for a fifth turn as 007. The cable television production, if it comes to pass, could also.

The actor, following the production of SPECTRE, was non-committal whether he’ll continue in the role. Michael G. Wilson, co-boss of Eon Productions, has said Craig isn’t under contract, though Wilson added he expects Craig will be back for Bond 25.

Craig in a 2012 interview with Rolling Stone made it sound as if he were under contract for two more Bond films. What changed in the interim has never been explained.