Following the surprise departure of director Danny Boyle from the upcoming 25th James Bond film due to “creative differences,” a pair of veteran 007 writers are being brought in to try to get the project back on track.
Things reportedly went off the rails when longtime Bond producers Barbara Broccoli and Michael G. Wilson joined forces with star Daniel Craig to insist that Boyle ditch screenwriter John Hodge and hire a new writer. Boyle’s refusal led to his exit from the project, which is now being delayed from its planned November 2019 release until late 2020.
According to the Daily Mail, Neal Purvis and Robert Wade (who had been involved in every Bond film since 1999’s “The World Is Not Enough”) have been hired — technically rehired, as they were originally attached to the project before being replaced by Hodge at the behest of Boyle.
The original treatment the duo had envisioned for “James Bond 25” (the film’s working title) has been resurrected; they’ll now begin turning the treatment into a full-fledged script.
“The Purvis and Wade treatment they wrote earlier was already signed off before the bromance with Danny Boyle and John Hodge began,” a “Hollywood executive close to the production” told the Mail.
However, the Mail points out that once the script is written, a new director will be hired, who will no doubt want to add his or her own touches to what’s said to be Craig’s final instalment as 007.
This behind-the-cameras turmoil will likely see casting changes, with the fates of actors who had already signed on now placed in doubt.
Actor Said Taghmaoui (“Wonder Woman”, “The Kite Runner”) revealed in a recent interview that he had been cast as the film’s Big Bad: “I’m supposed to do the next James Bond, playing the lead bad guy,” the actor said.
“I was cast by Danny Boyle, and just now he left the project, so, of course, there’s some uncertainty,” he explained. “We don’t know who the director will be, and the producers don’t know if they’re going to go Russian or Middle East with the baddie right now. I literally just received a message saying: ‘If they go Middle East, it’s you. If they go Russian, it’s someone else.’ It’s the story of my life. Always on that line between something that could change my life and something that disappears.”