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Topic: Wade & Purvis discuss Bond 22

ajb007/smile Sounds like W&P are definitely intent on taking Bond into new, formula-free territory. Music to my ears (the Bond theme, of course)
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http://www.the-trades.com/article.php?id=5168

Robert Wade and Neal Purvis: The Voice of Bond 
Interview by Scott Juba
Published: January 29, 2007 

The names Robert Wade and Neal Purvis may not be as widely recognized as the names Daniel Craig and Pierce Brosnan, but they should be. While Craig and Brosnan have given James Bond a face, Wade and Purvis have given him a voice. This talented writing duo penned the scripts for “The World Is Not Enough,” “Die Another Day,” as well as the highest-grossing Bond film of all-time, “Casino Royale.”

As a result, the British Academy of Film and Television Arts honored them and co-writer Paul Haggis with a best adapted screenplay nomination for the script of “Casino Royale.” In total, “Casino Royale” earned nine BAFTA nominations (ten if you count Eva Green’s nomination for the Rising Star Award), due in large part to the deft storytelling skills of Wade and Purvis.

Despite the accolades, Wade and Purvis remain humble about their accomplishments. “We were very surprised by the nominations,” Purvis says, “because it takes something for people to think of Casino Royale as just a good film and not a Bond film.”

Wade adds, “Being nominated is a huge leap forward for a Bond movie.”

In order to take that leap forward, it required “Casino Royale” to return to Bond’s roots and explore what made him the man he is. According to Wade and Purvis, that re-boot of the franchise accounts for a large part of the popularity “Casino Royale” has enjoyed. “The important thing was that Casino Royale was very much a character piece,” Purvis explains. “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.”

This increased focus on establishing Bond’s character is a primary reason why other side characters such as Q and Moneypenny were left out of “Casino Royale” and may not be present in the next Bond film either. “Some people think they should be there, and some people know that they shouldn’t be there,” Wade tells me. “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.”

If either of the characters returns, Purvis says it would be easier to add Moneypenny to the storyline. “Q presents more problems,” he says. “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.”

In the process of making “Casino Royale” more character-driven and less focused on gadgets, Wade and Purvis crafted a gritty, more realistic spy drama than many of the previous Bond films. Yet, as Purvis acknowledges, there are some elements of Bond films that will always be outside the realm of reality. “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.”

Many fans and members of the press considered the casting of Daniel Craig to be an extreme choice until they witnessed his cunning portrayal of Bond. Wade parallels Craig’s journey from criticism to praise with Bond’s journey in the film. “Bond’s sort of struggling against the odds. What’s heroic and affecting about him is that he keeps going, even when everything is against him. So, in a way, it’s kind of like that’s what Daniel did in real life.”

Purvis has similarly high praise for Craig. “He’s 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.”

“Casino Royale” was adapted from Ian Fleming’s novel of the same name. While the writers express sincere respect for the book, they admit that several changes had to be made to the story to make it meet the expectations of today’s movie-going public. “We brought in quite a lot of new stuff,” Wade explains. “In the end, that whole sequence in Venice, there’s nothing of that in the book. It just seemed emotionally right that that’s where their relationship should come unstuck.” He adds, “The book doesn’t have enough for the modern audience that is used to what 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 that it focuses on James Bond.”

Given the success of the book-to-screen adaptation of “Casino Royale,” rumors recently circulated that Bond’s next adventure will be based on Ian Fleming's short story, “Risico.” Wade flatly denies that rumor. “That’s not the case,” he tells me.

While quick to dispel the “Risico” connection, Wade refuses to deny rumors that Vesper’s Algerian boyfriend will be one of the villains in Bond 22. “I can’t comment,” he simply states, leaving the door open for that storyline to potentially take shape.

As for a timetable on the Bond 22 script, Wade says, “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.”

Raising that bar should be easier for Wade and Purvis than for many writing duos, because they share a working chemistry that spans more than twenty years. The pair first met at the University of Kent. “We were put in to share a bunk bed, so we met each other without wanting to,” Wade recalls. “Neal left after one term, so that tells you about that. [Laughs].”

Surprisingly, their first collaboration came in a music band. “As we were failing as rock ‘n roll people, we started writing screenplays as a sort of side line to make some money and express ourselves. We still regard screenwriting as only a side line. We still hope to make it as musicians.”

Even if their aspirations to be professional musicians are never fulfilled, judging by the level of success they’ve had in the film industry, there’s little doubt that they’ll always have an avenue to let their storytelling voices be heard.

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Re: Wade & Purvis discuss Bond 22

highhopes wrote:

Surprisingly, their first collaboration came in a music band. “As we were failing as rock ‘n roll people, we started writing screenplays as a sort of side line to make some money and express ourselves. We still regard screenwriting as only a side line. We still hope to make it as musicians.”

Well, my band has a vacancy for a percussionist right now...

Seriously, thanks for that, hh, very illuminating. Pity about Risico, though.

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Re: Wade & Purvis discuss Bond 22

highhopes wrote:

ajb007/smile Sounds like W&P are definitely intent on taking Bond into new, formula-free territory. Music to my ears (the Bond theme, of course)
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Casino Royale was a great movie, and the re-boot idea was obviously a good one.  However, I hope they don't throw out the formula completely.  I personally like seeing Q and Moneypenney in the films and I like the gadgets.  Just because the invisible car didn't work out does not mean they should get rid of the gadgets.;)

"A blunt instrument wielded by a Government department.  Hard, ruthless, sardonic, fatalistic.  He likes gambling, golf, fast motor cars.  All his movements are relaxed and economical". Ian Fleming

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Re: Wade & Purvis discuss Bond 22

00-Agent wrote:
highhopes wrote:

ajb007/smile Sounds like W&P are definitely intent on taking Bond into new, formula-free territory. Music to my ears (the Bond theme, of course)
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Casino Royale was a great movie, and the re-boot idea was obviously a good one.  However, I hope they don't throw out the formula completely.  I personally like seeing Q and Moneypenney in the films and I like the gadgets.  Just because the invisible car didn't work out does not mean they should get rid of the gadgets.;)

Definitely a bond film isn't a bond film without some sort of gadgets imo.

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Re: Wade & Purvis discuss Bond 22

s96024 wrote:
00-Agent wrote:
highhopes wrote:

ajb007/smile Sounds like W&P are definitely intent on taking Bond into new, formula-free territory. Music to my ears (the Bond theme, of course)
[line]

Casino Royale was a great movie, and the re-boot idea was obviously a good one.  However, I hope they don't throw out the formula completely.  I personally like seeing Q and Moneypenney in the films and I like the gadgets.  Just because the invisible car didn't work out does not mean they should get rid of the gadgets.;)

Definitely a bond film isn't a bond film without some sort of gadgets imo.

I don't entirely disagree with you guys, although I'm often critical of the Bond gadgets for being over the top and for being a little too convenient. There always seems to be a gadget to fit every situation, however unlikely. But I think W&P have a point -- everyone has gadgets now. And when they say "everyone," I think they mean the general public, too. IMO, One of the reason the gadgets have gone over the top is that reality has caught up Bond. The homing device in Goldfinger? A real gee-wiz item in '64, but 2007? Your Aunt Myrtle's car has GPS now. The gadgets simply don't have the same effect today -- unless they make them so outrageous as to strain believability: the invisible car for instance.

Look at CR -- There were plenty of gadgets in there. We just don't think of them as "gadgets" anymore: Cell phones, portable cardiac defillibrators, laptop computers, tiny grenades that fit on keyrings, listening buds, etc ...

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Re: Wade & Purvis discuss Bond 22

Fish1941 wrote:

Aside from CR, we had other Bond movies that either didn't have gadgets or had a minimal of gadgets - FRWL, OHMSS, FYEO, AVTAK, and TLD (aside from that ridiculous Aston-Martin).

That's true, too.

Nothing wrong with a gadget or two, per se, just keep it tasteful and credible. Just once I'd like to see Bond go to use a gadget and -- damn! -- the thing's a dud and doesn't work.

It's the "more is more" tendency that the Bond films sometimes exhibit that ruins the idea.

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Re: Wade & Purvis discuss Bond 22

Though Purvis and Wade may have been overridden or edited by higher powers, their names appear prominently as the writers of previous Bond flicks . . . whose writing was generally less than remarkable.  A big reason for the success of "Casino Royale," a B+ script in its final form (I'm guessing that if some of the excised scenes were included the grade would go up significantly), is the strength of Fleming's novel, which they cannibalized freely and which served as an anchor point for the story.  And they had Paul Haggis, however much some people consider him a hack, to help revise the script.  I'm not convinced that starting with their own original story they're up to the task.  Of course, I was wrong about Martin Campbell being able to direct the film properly, so I'll be happy if I'm wrong.  But Purvis and Wade are "C-" writers in my opinion.

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Re: Wade & Purvis discuss Bond 22

Like that they don't feel wedded to the Bond formula, the only formula they or any writer should be worried about is the one that makes a darn good movie.  Wish they'd drop the family-centric plots, though, don't really care that Mr. White wants to blow things up to get back at his mummy or some such...

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Re: Wade & Purvis discuss Bond 22

They seem to be trying to drop a hint...Moneypenny will be back, perhaps Q will not---at least, not in the immediate future.

I can live with that.  I completely understand what they're saying about the proliferation of 'gadgets' in escapist-adventure film fare nowadays (though it's a bit of a cop-out to imply 'we're not even going to try to compete'), but my hopes are buttressed by the notion that perhaps they're going to stick with the literary influence:  i.e., Bond survives on his wits---and a healthy measure of old-fashioned toughness---rather than leaning upon conveniently foreshadowed gimmickry.

"Blood & Ashes"...AVAILABLE on Amazon.co.uk: Get 'Jaded': Blood & Ashes: The Debut Oscar Jade Thriller
"I am not an entrant in the Shakespeare Stakes." - Ian Fleming
"Screw 'em." - Daniel Craig, The Best James Bond EverTM

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Re: Wade & Purvis discuss Bond 22

I like that they seem to be exploring more of Bond, and even into Bond 22.  They obviously like Craig in the role, and seem inspired to give him the meaty stuff.  Good. ajb007/bond

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Re: Wade & Purvis discuss Bond 22

I give much credit to Fleming's original material as well and the film's fidelity to it. However, I think the writers of the film did an excellent job with the dialogue. Bond's conversations with Vesper were smart, witty, and genuinely engaging, unlike much of the weak, double-entendre-laden banter that passed for dialogue in movies past. Leiter and M were both given memorable lines that enhanced their brief appearances. Of course, the actors get a lot of credit for fine delivery, but they had good stuff to work with.

As far as gadgets are concerned, I support the less-is-more approach. The briefcase in FYWL is one of my favorites, but I would be happy if I never saw another tricked-out car.

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Re: Wade & Purvis discuss Bond 22

Gassy Man wrote:

Though Purvis and Wade may have been overridden or edited by higher powers, their names appear prominently as the writers of previous Bond flicks . . . whose writing was generally less than remarkable.  A big reason for the success of "Casino Royale," a B+ script in its final form (I'm guessing that if some of the excised scenes were included the grade would go up significantly), is the strength of Fleming's novel, which they cannibalized freely and which served as an anchor point for the story.  And they had Paul Haggis, however much some people consider him a hack, to help revise the script.  I'm not convinced that starting with their own original story they're up to the task.  Of course, I was wrong about Martin Campbell being able to direct the film properly, so I'll be happy if I'm wrong.  But Purvis and Wade are "C-" writers in my opinion.

Great article btw HH -can always count on you to supply us with some fantastic reads.

Gassy, while your take on Wade & Purvis is a bit harsh but I think you raise the most valid point on this thread.  Yes, they did very well with CR and using Flemings novel as its focal point -I rate the writing higher than you, but it's not a big deal. 

The true test for Wade and Purvis is indeed coming if they are now going to back away from the Fleming novels completely and strike out on a new Bond story all their own.  As a fan of the franchise -I truly wish them both the best of luck.

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Re: Wade & Purvis discuss Bond 22

Smoke_13 wrote:
Gassy Man wrote:

Though Purvis and Wade may have been overridden or edited by higher powers, their names appear prominently as the writers of previous Bond flicks . . . whose writing was generally less than remarkable.  A big reason for the success of "Casino Royale," a B+ script in its final form (I'm guessing that if some of the excised scenes were included the grade would go up significantly), is the strength of Fleming's novel, which they cannibalized freely and which served as an anchor point for the story.  And they had Paul Haggis, however much some people consider him a hack, to help revise the script.  I'm not convinced that starting with their own original story they're up to the task.  Of course, I was wrong about Martin Campbell being able to direct the film properly, so I'll be happy if I'm wrong.  But Purvis and Wade are "C-" writers in my opinion.

Great article btw HH -can always count on you to supply us with some fantastic reads.

Gassy, while your take on Wade & Purvis is a bit harsh but I think you raise the most valid point on this thread.  Yes, they did very well with CR and using Flemings novel as its focal point -I rate the writing higher than you, but it's not a big deal. 

The true test for Wade and Purvis is indeed coming if they are now going to back away from the Fleming novels completely and strike out on a new Bond story all their own.  As a fan of the franchise -I truly wish them both the best of luck.

I'll second that. 22 really will be the acid test for P&W, because they'll be completely on their own. But I like to give people the benefit of the doubt. Although it's true that CR was based on Fleming, the novel's plot was pretty basic, IMO, and P&W and Haggis did a nice job expanding the basic story, I think. And I think one of the reasons is that they were freed from the formula. So I think there is reason for optimism, despite past deficiencies.

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Re: Wade & Purvis discuss Bond 22

On general principle, I refuse to give anyone named Wade too hard a time. For all I know he could be distantly related to me. I have lineage extending to England after all.

And truthfully speaking, I enjoyed every Bond film that the duo has written. They may not have been the strongest, but they were still, in my opinion, better than a few earlier installments.

Now having the vote of confidence on their side in a major way, I think they have a real opportunity to really get creative and explore new ideas with the character to show great new facets of the Bond universe while still keeping it something that we all can identify with.

I really get tickled when I hear people say that CR didn't feel like a Bond film when I know full well where all the music hints were thoughout the picture, where all the characteristic ticks were installed, and how each Bondian norm found its beginning. ajb007/bond

I've said it so many times, I forget how many now. I still want to see Bond in Australia. It's been 44 years, and he still hasn't visited the Oceana continent. If nothing else, we've learned that that part of the world is just as advanced and sophisticated as anything found anywhere else.

Whether Bond 22 will visit it, I don't know, but I hope it will in my lifetime.

I too noticed that the ability to come up with new gadgets forces one to seriously step out of the gigantic box. Everyone is loaded to the teeth with electronics now. It's hard to come up with something innovative and yet not ridiculous. (Oh dear Lord, I think the only thing worse than an invisible car would be one that flies! ajb007/amazed) We've had tricked out vehicles through the duration of the Brosnan era. Let's give innovation MacGuyver style a chance to show itself.

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Re: Wade & Purvis discuss Bond 22

I thought there was a flying car in TMWTGG...

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Re: Wade & Purvis discuss Bond 22

That was sooooo cool.

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Re: Wade & Purvis discuss Bond 22

DAWUSS wrote:

I thought there was a flying car in TMWTGG...

Oh snap! You're right! ajb007/insane

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Re: Wade & Purvis discuss Bond 22

The thing is about gadgets now is that as humans wever pretty much invented all we need to know. A Japanese/UK team has invented the worlds first working cloaking device, a UK team has invented a teleport (can only work on atomic sized objects at the moment)and the UK/US JSF Lighting fighter being developed will be fitted with laser cannons!

Gadget wise weve done it or doing it! Nothing is a surprise anymore.

This means that the writers can concentrate on getting good plots and characters again and let the effects and gadgets deal with themselfs.

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Re: Wade & Purvis discuss Bond 22

Gassy Man wrote:

Though Purvis and Wade may have been overridden or edited by higher powers, their names appear prominently as the writers of previous Bond flicks . . . whose writing was generally less than remarkable.  A big reason for the success of "Casino Royale," a B+ script in its final form (I'm guessing that if some of the excised scenes were included the grade would go up significantly), is the strength of Fleming's novel, which they cannibalized freely and which served as an anchor point for the story.  And they had Paul Haggis, however much some people consider him a hack, to help revise the script.  I'm not convinced that starting with their own original story they're up to the task.  Of course, I was wrong about Martin Campbell being able to direct the film properly, so I'll be happy if I'm wrong.  But Purvis and Wade are "C-" writers in my opinion.

Based on their first two films, that's evident.  They were working with a formula that was invented and perfected by Richard Maibaum.  BUT let's keep in mind that Maibaum's best Bond films borrowed heavily from the Fleming material (DN, FRWL, GF, TB, OHMSS, FYEO).  The rest of his films, especially with Mank or Wood involved were, well, not up to snuff.

I hope that P&W will be able to continue to borrow from the Fleming material as much as they were able to with CR

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delliott101 wrote:
Gassy Man wrote:

Though Purvis and Wade may have been overridden or edited by higher powers, their names appear prominently as the writers of previous Bond flicks . . . whose writing was generally less than remarkable.  A big reason for the success of "Casino Royale," a B+ script in its final form (I'm guessing that if some of the excised scenes were included the grade would go up significantly), is the strength of Fleming's novel, which they cannibalized freely and which served as an anchor point for the story.  And they had Paul Haggis, however much some people consider him a hack, to help revise the script.  I'm not convinced that starting with their own original story they're up to the task.  Of course, I was wrong about Martin Campbell being able to direct the film properly, so I'll be happy if I'm wrong.  But Purvis and Wade are "C-" writers in my opinion.

Based on their first two films, that's evident.  They were working with a formula that was invented and perfected by Richard Maibaum.  BUT let's keep in mind that Maibaum's best Bond films borrowed heavily from the Fleming material (DN, FRWL, GF, TB, OHMSS, FYEO).  The rest of his films, especially with Mank or Wood involved were, well, not up to snuff.

I hope that P&W will be able to continue to borrow from the Fleming material as much as they were able to with CR

I don't think they ever came close to Maibaum, with characters, dialogue, or plotting, but I agree that the closer they stay to Fleming, the better!

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Re: Wade & Purvis discuss Bond 22

Gassy Man wrote:
delliott101 wrote:
Gassy Man wrote:

Though Purvis and Wade may have been overridden or edited by higher powers, their names appear prominently as the writers of previous Bond flicks . . . whose writing was generally less than remarkable.  A big reason for the success of "Casino Royale," a B+ script in its final form (I'm guessing that if some of the excised scenes were included the grade would go up significantly), is the strength of Fleming's novel, which they cannibalized freely and which served as an anchor point for the story.  And they had Paul Haggis, however much some people consider him a hack, to help revise the script.  I'm not convinced that starting with their own original story they're up to the task.  Of course, I was wrong about Martin Campbell being able to direct the film properly, so I'll be happy if I'm wrong.  But Purvis and Wade are "C-" writers in my opinion.

Based on their first two films, that's evident.  They were working with a formula that was invented and perfected by Richard Maibaum.  BUT let's keep in mind that Maibaum's best Bond films borrowed heavily from the Fleming material (DN, FRWL, GF, TB, OHMSS, FYEO).  The rest of his films, especially with Mank or Wood involved were, well, not up to snuff.

I hope that P&W will be able to continue to borrow from the Fleming material as much as they were able to with CR

I don't think they ever came close to Maibaum, with characters, dialogue, or plotting, but I agree that the closer they stay to Fleming, the better!

I agree that P&W didn't come close to Maibaum, for the reasons you mention... it's like if you copy a copy of something, it seems fake.  P&W need to find their own voice and style.. THEIR take on the Fleming original.  It looks like they will do that, based on Casino Royale.

Perhaps this reboot will help them do that (or maybe this IS the reason for the reboot).