The 21st James Bond film is still on track for a November 2005 release according to MGM chief Chris McGurk...

Bond 21 Still On Track
20th April 2004

Despite the ongoing rumours about the future of Pierce Brosnan as 007, the style direction of the 21st Bond film, and Hollywood gossip of an MGM / Eon Productions bust-up, the next James Bond movie is still on track for a November 2005 says MGM chief Chris McGurk.

McGurk, who joined MGM as Chief Operations Officer and vice chairman back in 1999, spoke to Variety this week in an attempt to lay some of the wild rumours to rest.

"Like any good production relationship between top-tier producers and a studio, you're always going to have disagreements," McGurk told Variety this week. "We had a lot of disagreements on the last Bond ["Die Another Day"], and they all got sorted out to everybody's satisfaction."

Jinxed 2003

2003 was largely spent working on the ill-fated "Jinx" spin-off franchise, and some industry watchers expected Bond 21 to suffer a set-back because of the creative talents being diverted towards Halle Berry's project.

Written by Neal Purvis and Robert Wade (who now are in the process of penning Bond 21), the script was well received by Halle Berry, but the project was axed by MGM citing the reason that rival studios suffered disappointing box-offices for similar style films that year ("Charlie's Angels: Full Throttle", "Lara Croft 2").

Right: Bond 21 writers Robert Wade and Neal Purvis


Despite the `Jinxed` set-back, the timetable for Bond 21 is still on course. Purvis & Wade have been working on the Bond 21 script since late February, and the writers said at the time they were working under the premise that Pierce Brosnan would be returning for a fifth time.


Creative Decisions

Recently, Brosnan has spoken publicly about his status for Bond 21, openly admitting he has not been approached by the producers to sign yet, despite his desire to complete a fifth and final film.

"I certainly would love to do a fifth Bond and then bow out, but if this last one is to be the last one, then so be it", said Brosnan at a press junket for his latest film "The Laws of Attraction" last month.

Reports now claim Purvis & Wade are writing for a "generic" Bond, until the casting has been finalised.

"All creative decisions are mutual between the studio and the producers", McGurk explained.

"They make recommendations and both sides can say yea or nay. We're going to go through the same process on this one".

Bond 21 production is still scheduled to begin "early next year" for a probable November 2005 release, McGurk says. Decisions about a director, and who will play Bond, will be made "in the next few months".

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