MI6 reports from The Orange Word talk with Bond
writers Neal Purvis & Robert Wade at the British
Purvis & Wade Talk Bond & Jinx
9th March 2004
MI6 and members of the "Keeping The British End Up" discussion
forums were in attendance at The Orange Word talk with
Bond writers Neal Purvis and Robert Wade on Monday 8th
at The British Library.
Purvis and Wade were interviewed by Tanya Seghatchian in
between clips of their films, and the discussion explored
bringing to life one of the most famous characters in the
world, James Bond 007, as well as their work on their other
films such as "Let Him Have It", "Return To
Sender", "Johnny English" and the canned "Jinx" project.
After the talk the floor was opened up to questions from
The pair who met at the University of Kent, where they shared
a room with a bunk bed, have written a total of 31 films
together. Having penned the last two Bond outings, "The
World is Not Enough" and "Die Another Day",
Purvis & Wade are in charge of writing the next adventure
due out on November 18th 2005.
Above: The British Library, London
Wade revealed that his favourite Bond films include "Goldfinger" and "From
Russia With Love" as they are "pure cinema", explaining
that "it's artificial but it's better than life:"
"If you blow it you won't
get that chance again"
When asked by a member of the audience if they want to make
Bond more Flemingesque, Robert Wade’s initial response
was that this should really be “Flemingian - to get
the Ian in!”.
Both admitted that it was impossible
to make a traditional spy thriller for today's box-office
demands, but Wade referenced the first part of "Die
Another Day" as quite classically Fleming.
Left: Purvis & Wade in Cadiz, Spain, during the shooting
of "Die Another Day".
The pair revealed that they have been working on the Bond 21
screenplay for a couple of weeks. "Obviously all the cliches
are already in place", said Purvis.
"Internal conspiracy is dead, it's
The writers had the idea of a person using a motor boat engine
to attack someone in Bond 21, but they thought it had already
been done so it is unlikely to make the screenplay. They quipped
that "finding new ways of blowing stuff up is hard". "The
twentieth film was harder than the nineteenth. But character
is the thing, it's finding new ways to explore the character."
Bonding For Brosnan
The hot question from the floor was about Brosnan and
the `will he, won't he` rumours surrounding the actor.
response, after much pressure, was that “as far as
we are aware Pierce is still James Bond”.
expanded a little more about their work with Brosnan, "[He
is] a great Bond and he gives you a lot to work with as
a writer. Seriously, he is very good at suggesting an undercurrent.
He shows that there is a shadow on this man.”
They also talked candidly about the cancelled ‘Jinx’ project
saying that they were “disappointed” and that it
was shelved at the last minute by MGM because similar style films
("Charlie's Angels: Full Throttle", "Lara Croft
2") had under performed at the box-office and the risk of
an $80m-90m budget could not be justified. “Halle Berry
wanted to do it, we wanted to do it and the producers wanted
to do it,” they explained.
The biggest surprise though
was discovering that Stephen Frears ("Dangerous Liaisons", "High
Fidelity") had been lined up as the director and they had
been working on the project for two months.
One of other highlights of the evening was discussion of earlier
drafts of their films. Purvis & Wade revealed that for "The
World Is Not Enough", after landing on The Millennium Dome,
Bond was originally to have quipped “Well, at least its
useful for something”.
Their next film, "Return To
Sender", has just finished
shooting and will be released later in 2005. The story, which
was first written by the duo 14 years ago, is about a man who
writes to death row inmates and sells their final letters.
Thanks to Neal Purvis & Robert Wade, The Orange Word, The British
Library, and forum members phillipwhitfield and overkill.
Bond 21 Coverage