007 scribes Neal Purvis and Robert Wade recently
talked about their work on Casino Royale and have
revealed some details on the upcoming film Bond 22...
Purvis & Wade On Bond 22
29th January 2007
James Bond scribes Neal Purvis and Robert Wade talked to The
Trades this week about their work and of the upcoming "Bond
22". Purvis & Wade have been the regular writing duo
for 007 since 1998, delivering scripts for "The
World Is Not Enough", "Die
Another Day" and, most recently, "Casino
Royale". Although Oscar-winner Paul Haggis got a lot of
media attention for the success of "Casino Royale",
it was Purvis & Wade who massaged Fleming's story in to a
modern day movie format and produced the first draft screenplay.
The pair enjoyed a BAFTA
nomination for Best Adapted Screenplay at this years' awards, to which Neal Purvis was pleased, "We
were very surprised by the nominations, because it takes something
for people to think of Casino Royale as just a good film and
not a Bond film." Wade added "Being nominated is a
huge leap forward for a Bond movie."
Above: Neal Purvis and Robert Wade
on the "Casino Royale" Venice set at Pinewood Studios
As well as ushering in a new
007 in the shape of Daniel
Purvis & Wade also took Bond's character back to the roots
of Ian Fleming's first
novel - a factor which was key to the
movie's success explained Purvis. "The important thing was
that Casino Royale was very much a character piece. It's something
you really couldn't do with the other Bonds, because they were
already up and running. If you gave them a problem, it wasn't
something they could carry throughout the film very easily because
it was something that just appeared there and then."
The first act of "Casino Royale" and the finale
in Venice did not feature in Fleming's novel, and is a product
of Purvis & Wade's imagination when they expanded the
1953 story for a modern day audience.
"We brought in
quite a lot of new stuff," Wade explained. "In
the end, that whole sequence in Venice, there's nothing
of that in the book. It just seemed emotionally right that
where their relationship should come unstuck. The book
doesn't have enough for the modern audience that is used
the Bond movies give you. We had quite a lot of work to
do. But, in the end, the great thing about the book is
focuses on James Bond."
And a lot of that focus is well spent says Purvis, "[Daniel
Craig] is such a good actor that he can convey things without
being given a line. And also, once you saw the way the film worked,
he just feels like an unstoppable force. A Bond film is meant
to be entertainment, so it has to be slightly removed from reality.
This one is much closer to reality. It's still a heightened world
though, where you try to make a card game a major part of financing
terrorism. It's just extreme."
Aside from the media controversy surrounding Craig's casting
as Bond, some fans were upset before the cameras started rolling
for other reasons. Despite them not appearing in Fleming's novel
on which the film is based, the absence
of mainstays Q and Moneypenny ruffled a few feathers. Many assumed that for Bond 22, when Bond
is a fully fledged double-0 agent at MI6, they would be a shoe-in.
But is this the case? "Some people think they should be
there, and some people know that they shouldn't be there," Wade
explained. "With the way Casino Royale ends, you know there's
still unfinished business for Bond. He may say, ‘The name's
Bond, James Bond,' but there's still a lot of stuff churning
up inside him. So, if you're going to explore that, and we've
got this great actor to do that with, what you don't want to
do is suddenly clamp it down with all these familiar elements
that keep your focus off him. He's the great asset." Purvis
went on to say that out of the two characters, it would be most
likely for Moneypenny to 'return' in Bond 22, "Q presents
more problems. People have all got gadgets now. Other films have
lots of gadgets as well... The idea of Q coming back, for the
moment, it's just not a high priority."
MI6 previously reported that John Cleese
still had an option remaining of the next film to feature
two appearances ("The World Is Not Enough", "Die
This was widely expected to be "Casino
Royale" until news broke that the film would not feature
that Cleese only found out second-hand. Further
to Dame Judi Dench playing M, Cleese reprising his role
as Q for a fresh-faced 007 at the beginning of his career
throw up yet more continuity issues for the fan base to discuss.
Purvis & Wade were, understandably, a little more cagey
when quizzed about the upcoming Bond 22 script. The pair refused
to comment on whether the
plot featured Vesper's Algerian boyfriend being a central character
in Bond's quest to topple the organisation
that Le Chiffre worked for. Wade simply said, "I can't comment",
which will no doubt cause fans to assume the plot is alive and
Italian actor Giancarlo
Giannini (pictured opposite) this week confirmed that
he will be reprising his role as Rene Mathis
in Bond 22, and that the uncertainty of his character's
motives would be cleared up as one of the "good guys".
He also mentioned that the 'double agent' status of Mathis
with Mr White's organisation would ultimately be a lynch
pin to Bond's success.
One rumour did get shot down though - the perpetual title
guessing game dreamt up by fan sites and media sources
alike. Wade firmly dismissed the
possibility of Bond 22 being titled "Risico", after one of Fleming's
The timetable for Bond 22 also received some reinforcement.
MI6 previously reported
that January 2008 was the target
date for principal photography.
Wade backed this up by
saying "The idea is for the movie to start shooting
at the beginning of next year. It would be nice to have
the draft next week. [Laughs]. The sooner the better. It's
not an easy thing to do, because the bar was raised with
the last picture, so we have to raise our game again."
From the comments made by Purvis & Wade, and also what they
refused to confirm or deny, earlier
reports that Bond 22 would be a direct continuation of "Casino Royale" seem to
stack up. For the first time in the Bond series, it would appear
that Bond 22 could be seen as a direct sequel to the previous
film in the franchise, despite there being many opportunities
for this inter-film continuity in the past.