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Longtime 007 screenwriters return to pen new Bond 25 script

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Sep 14, 2018, 3:04 PM EDT

Everything old is new again when it comes to the James Bond universe. According to Variety, longtime 007 screenwriters Neal Purvis and Robert Wade have been tapped by franchise keepers Eon Productions to write the screenplay for Bond 25 (working title).

Normally that would not seem unusual, since Purvis and Wade have been involved in the last six Bond scripts going back to the Pierce Brosnan era and 1999's The World is Not Enough (for the record, their best work was on Daniel Craig's first outing as Bond, Casino Royale; their worst was Brosnan's last entry, Die Another Day, by a country mile). In fact, they came up with a treatment for Bond 25 as well, but they were politely shown the door when director Danny Boyle was brought on board to helm the movie.

Boyle wanted to work with his own writer, John Hodge, so the Purvis/Wade treatment was set aside. But now that Boyle himself has exited the project over unspecified creative differences — scuttling Hodge's script in the process — sources close to the production say that producers Barbara Broccoli and Michael G. Wilson have re-enlisted Purvis and Wade to turn their initial outline into a full-blown screenplay.

Still to be determined: who exactly is going to direct the picture now that Boyle is gone. Several candidates have popped up on the radar and Broccoli is said to be taking meetings in Los Angeles. The director is also subject to outgoing 007 Daniel Craig's approval. Whoever the final choice ends up being, that person will surely want to have a say in the script as well.

Boyle, meanwhile, apparently hired actor Said Taghmaoui to play the villain in his version of Bond 25, although the poor guy doesn't know if he still has a job depending on how the screenplay turns out.

And people wonder why it takes years to get movies made.

Bond 25 still has an official release date of Nov. 8, 2019 despite reports that say otherwise, so the writers had better hustle with that script and the producers need to nail down a new director if they want to stick to that date. Otherwise they might as well change the title of the movie to Better Late than Never.