Writer Peter Morgan confirms his Bond 23 outline was left incomplete when production was put on hold, departs process, script work is still halted...

Morgan Confirms Incomplete Script

19th October 2010

Screenwriter Peter Morgan has confirmed he did not complete an outline for the 23rd James Bond film before leaving the project. Bond 23 is still lacking a first draft script.

Back in June 2009, EON Productions officially confirmed Peter Morgan ("The Queen", "Frost/Nixon") was joining the regular 007 duo of Neal Purvis and Robert Wade to pen the script for Daniel Craig's third outing as James Bond - the 23rd in the series.

It is understood that Morgan worked on the project from July to October 2009, before pre-production work was suspended (it was later officially confirmed that the film was on ice in April 2010) due to MGM's financial woes. In December last year, just after he had stopped work on the outline, Morgan teased local reporters in Vienna (where he had recently moved with his family) that it was "a shocking story".


Peter Morgan
Above: Writer Peter Morgan pictured in his new home, the city of Vienna.

In an interview published today by ComingSoon, Morgan confirms his tenure on Bond 23 was short. Asked whether he had completed a first draft of the script, Morgan said, "No, no, no, I hadn't gotten that far. I was working on an outline when they said, "We're going to have to stop this process now," and when it came to the point where I was going to commit to doing the Freddie Mercury film, I sort of discussed with my reps that it would probably take me out of all consideration and that's what's happened, and I wish them the best."

Just before EON's official statement about the film's production freeze, producer Barbara Broccoli confirmed Sam Mendes was lined up to direct Bond 23. Industry buzz quickly surrounded Patrick Marber, the acclaimed playwright, who was understood to be wanted by Mendes as Morgan's replacement. Producers said at the time that the switch in writers was 'purely speculation', but it is now clear that a new writer was to be brought in with Morgan departing.

Daniel Craig


Last week, David Wilson (son of producer Michael G. Wilson) spoke about the Bond 23 situation at a press event for the forthcoming videogame "GoldenEye 007" - on which David is a producer.

"We're in a holding pattern to see what happens with the studio", Wilson said. "We support them - we've had a long relationship for a long time and it's really important for us to get going again. They just have to sort out their financial issues."

When pressed for a start date, Wilson revealed "They have a plan going forward, and hopefully everything will go to plan and we hope to be in a position next year to start the film again."

Wilson also confirmed the stalling of writing: "The script's been in development for some time. We often start the scripts about a year before pre-production has begun. So the script has been in development but it's been halted for the time being."

Finally, Wilson put to bed recent speculation about director Sam Mendes' participation, adding "Yes, he's very excited to do this film - and it's a matter of timing too. He's a hot director, and there's a danger he would have to go and work on something else so we have to be patient and optimistic."

Bond 23 is officially on hiatus until MGM's financial future is assured. MGM's debt-holders are currently considering restructuring offers from Spyglass and Lionsgate, with a vote scheduled for 29th October.

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