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DAD writers Neal Purvis and Robert Wade give an indepth interview

13-Dec-2002 • Die Another Day

"Die Another Day" and "The World Is Not Enough" writes Neal Purvis and Robert Wade have given their most indepth interview ever to In Focus magazine.

In the article they talk about their work on "Die Another Day" and how they approached writing the new film, talking the problem of a new Q, and Bond`s competition among many other topics. Here is a small sample of their interview:

Now you make him vulnerable in Die Another Day by cutting him off from MI6, correct?
RW: Yes - and he`s distrusted. It means he`s not just fulfilling Her Majesty`s pleasure - he`s got something to prove. He`s got to reclaim his identity as Bond, in a way.

It sort of hearkens back to Licence to Kill - another film in the series where Bond is disconnected from his regular duties.

But the difference is that in Licence to Kill, he did it for personal reasons; he voluntarily kind of went out of the system. It was about revenge. But in Die Another Day, he has to prove himself. This is more of a quest to find out whether they`re right to distrust him - to find the traitor in their midst, and to prove that he`s still James Bond and that he didn`t crack under torture. So in a way, it`s more of a rear-guard action for him.

This film brings back some classics - like the Aston Martin and the bikini entrance. What drives those sorts of self-conscious choices?
RW: Well, this is an anniversary film - and it was right to celebrate it. I mean, it is a bit indulgent, but films are so self-referential now anyway. It was just fun to draw on all the knowledge.

And also, this is the film in which we have a transition to a new Q. We sadly lost Desmond Llewellyn. And so we thought, It`s a nice tribute to him - and also sort of goes along with the 40th anniversary - to get a lot of the old gadgets and sort of show another side to the Q labs. And so we`ve got the very first gadget that Q gave Sean Connery, which is the briefcase, and Bond sort of handles it a little bit.

NP: And so it`s the actual briefcase from that film, isn`t it?

RW: Yes, it is. One of the things that Neal and I are interested in is trying to ease in elements from the Ian Fleming novels - because it just adds a little bit of texture. And so in introducing the new Q [John Cleese], we started with Bond calling him Quartermaster, which is the origin of the name Q - he`s the quartermaster of the Secret Service. And only by the end of the scene, where`s he`s been won over by Q`s gadgets, does he call him Q. Obviously, a Q scene has to be a fun scene, but we wanted to just seed in the idea that he earns the endearment Q.

How did you approach writing John Cleese`s dialogue differently than Desmond Llewellyn`s?
RW: Well, some of it`s very similar. But just as one`s grown up with Desmond Llewellyn, one`s equally grown up with John Cleese. So we sort of wrote it with his qualities in mind, and then sent it to him - and he had his own suggestions about what he would actually say in that situation. And John Cleese is no mean writer, and he knows what he`s good at - so you`re not going to argue with him too much.

What does director Lee Tamahori bring to the series?
RW: Well, he was very keen on making a fast-moving movie. And also he was keen on actually sort of upping the amount of action in it, and the scale of the action.

NP: There was also a bit of inspiration in choosing Christian Wagner as the editor - he`d worked with John Woo and Tony

Thanks to Umpire for the alert.

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