Are Purvis & Wade back? Bond 24 script crisis reportedly delays filming

Screenwriters Neal Purvis and Robert Wade are on board Bond 24 and filming is delayed until December, if a report by the Daily Mail’s Baz Bamigboye is to be believed. He also says that Sam Mendes and his team have started scouting for locations.

Bamigboye turned out to be right on the money with a number of Skyfall scoops, the main one being Eve being Miss Moneypenny, something denied on numerous occasions of the producers and Naomie Harris, and so any Bond 24 related news from him may also be spot on.

John Logan was originally hired to write Bonds 24 and 25 as a two story arc, but that idea was dropped in order to secure Sam Mendes again, who would commit to just one more film.

Purvis and Wade, who have been involved with five Bond films starting with The World Is Not Enough, announced shortly after Skyfall that they were retiring from the Bond films, although didn’t rule themselves out from returning in the future.

Earlier in the year Logan said the first draft of the script was almost complete, which several Bond commentators suggested was unexpectedly late.

He also revealed that he had worked closely with Sam Mendes on the storyline and that Daniel Craig, Barbara Broccoli and Michael G Wilson all had input into the story.

Bamigboye quotes the usual unnamed sources as saying there is “polite turmoil” behind the scenes, but with time running out to get the script into shape all involved must be under considerable pressure. The long term Bond scribes have been asked to “punch up” Logan’s script and add more gags. This is a reversal of how the pair have worked in the past when they have delivered the early drafts, which are later spruced up by other writers.

The stakes are high following Skyfall‘s success and the producers know what can happen if they startfilming with an unfinished script, as happened with Quantum of Solace.

Purvis and Wade are sometimes criticised by fans, despite writing the early drafts for both Casino Royale and Skyfall. However, they do both have an in-depth knowledge of the books that allows them to sprinkle their scripts with Flemingesque touches and at least some of the criticisms levelled at them are unfair.

For example, the last act of their original script for Die Another Day was a long way from what was eventually filmed, at the insistence of director Lee Tamahori.

If this story does have any basis in truth – and I strongly suspect it is right in most respects – it means Bond 24 is starting off on the wrong foot already. Perhaps they will have time to put things right with the filming delay, but unless the October 2015 release date is changed the shooting and post-production schedule is going to be extremely tight.

Source: Daily Mail

What do you think of this news? Is it good or bad that Purvis and Wade are coming back or does it not matter? Let me know your thoughts below.

David Leigh founded The James Bond Dossier in 2002. A fan of 007 since the age of 8, he is also author of The Complete Guide to the Drinks of James Bond. You can order a copy here if you don't own it already.

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