James Bondscreenwriters Neal Purvis and Robert Wade have reportedly signed up to write the new, as-yet-untitled 007 film. The pair have worked as co-writers on every movie in the spy franchise since 1999’s The World is Not Enough. Daily Mail reporter Baz Bamigboye today tweeted that both writers had been “hired” for the new movie, but that lead actor Daniel Craig was “still deciding whether he will do it”.
Speaking to The Telegraph in February, the writers hinted that the next film would have to be a radical departure from 2015’s Spectre. Wade said: “Spectre felt like it closed off a certain way of doing Bond. And I think whatever happens next will be quite different.”
Nonetheless, the fact that they have been hired this early suggests the studio may have learnt a hard lesson from Spectre, when they were only brought in as script doctors much later on.
Purvis revealed to The Telegraph just how difficult the writing process for Spectre was. “People were already in pre-production on the film, and they wanted to see things all the time,” he said. “And sometimes they couldn’t decide what they wanted until they’d seen it written. So you write scene upon scene upon scene. You write so much. But how it finally got shaped was probably down to [Sam Mendes,] the director.”
But Mendes, who also directed 2012’s Skyfall, will not be returning for the 25th Bond film. “I loved every second of it, but I think it’s time for somebody else,” he said at last year’s Hay Festival.
If Craig follows Mendes in quitting the franchise, it will leave the biggest role in British cinema up for grabs. Bookmakers have recently seen a flurry of betting on who will replace the 49-year-old, who has now played Bond for more than a decade.
Yesterday, BoyleSports slashed the odds on Poldark star Aidan Turner donning the Bond tuxedo to 3/1, after a number of high-stakes bets. But the bookies currently place Tom Hardy and Michael Fassbender as the frontrunners, both at 5/2.