Screenwriters Neal Purvis and Robert Wade have been penning the scripts for James Bond movies since 1999, but when it comes to the next film in the franchise (which still has no title, release window, or confirmed star), they’re at a loss for how to proceed.
Purvis and Wade were interviewed by the Telegraph this week about their new miniseries based on Len Deighton’s SS-GB, a “what if?” alternate reality story set in 1941 in Nazi-occupied Britain. Of course, the conversation eventually turned to the Bond franchise and Purvis dropped a rather startling revelation about their writing approach. Namely, that current events like Brexit and the election of Donald Trump have rendered reality so ridiculous that they’re not even sure what role Bond could play in it. Says Purvis:
“The thing is…I’m just not sure how you would go about writing a James Bond film now. Each time, you’ve got to say something about Bond’s place in the world, which is Britain’s place in the world…with people like Trump, the Bond villain has become a reality. So when they do another one, it will be interesting to see how they deal with the fact that the world has become a fantasy.”
While the rest of their Telegraph interview is well worth checking out, it’s certainly surprising to hear two veteran writers who have worked on the last six Bond movies admit that they don’t know what to do with the franchise now, what with a Bond supervillain occupying the White House. Of course, the franchise will continue — and if the rumors pan out, expect to see Tom Hardy take over the 007 role for Daniel Craig — but it sounds like it’s going to take some time to figure out what Bond’s function is in the new reality.
Will he go rogue like in some past Bond stories, a return to an old-fashioned Bond story, or even a version of the character we’ve yet to see? It looks like even the franchise’s writers aren’t sure, but whatever version of the character does come next, he’s bound to make a statement.