With Danny Boyle out as director, Bond 25 is getting a script re-write from long-time franchise screenwriters Neal Purvis and Robert Wade. Boyle had been working on his own script draft with his old Trainspotting collaborator John Hodge, but obviously the film will go in a different direction now that Boyle has exited.
Boyle joined the production back in March and the move immediately engendered talk about the director “saving” the franchise. But things reportedly went south after Boyle clashed with Daniel Craig, Barbara Broccoli and Michael G. Wilson over creative differences. Boyle was specifically upset over the film’s Russian villain, and got into a dispute with Craig over the casting of the main bad guy.
Now The Daily Mail reports that, with Boyle and Hodge out, Eon has turned to a pair of familiar scribes in Neal Purvis and Robert Wade to get Bond 25 into shape. Purvis and Wade actually wrote the original treatment for the film, before Boyle and Hodge came aboard and began working on their own story. The returning writers will now revisit their treatment and work it into a script. Reportedly, the studio wants a greater emphasis on female characters for the 25th go-around of the James Bond franchise.
Purvis and Wade of course have been fixtures of the Bond franchise going back to 1999’s The World Is Not Enough. The team has worked on the scripts for all the Craig Bonds, beginning with 2006’s Casino Royale and running through 2015’s Spectre. In total, the Craig Bonds have grossed $3.17 billion worldwide. Craig will return for his fifth time playing 007 in Bond 25, and it’s expected to be his last go-around as the venerable secret agent.
After the abrupt and apparently acrimonious departure of Boyle, it’s no surprise to see Eon turning to the old stand-bys Purvis and Wade to get a script written. Now the question is who will take on directing chores for Bond 25. Early candidates to tackle the job include Baby Driver director Edgar Wright, Sharp Objects helmer Jean-Marc Vallée, American Animals‘ Bart Layton and White Boy Rick’s Yann Demange. But the most intriguing name on the short list of potential Bond 25directors is S.J. Clarkson, who previously worked on the Netflix series Jessica Jones, and is currently attached to Star Trek 4. If Clarkson were to land the Bond 25 gig, she would become the first female director in the franchise’s long history.
But even if Clarkson were to become the first woman to direct a Bond film, it’s unlikely that Bond 25 would stray too far from the familiar formula. The return of Purvis and Wade seemingly guarantees the movie will try to play it safe as it seeks to continue the franchise’s run of box office success.