1. Report: Bond 23 development also hampered by creative differences

    By Matt Weston on 2010-08-06

    Another week, another media report questioning the future of James Bond. Today, it’s the Los Angeles Times, which claims MGM’s massive debt is not the only complication facing Bond 23.

    Daniel Craig as James Bond

    Daniel Craig as James Bond

    According to the paper’s unnamed source, the picture’s script remains unfinished and continues to be the source of creative differences between James Bond writers and producers.

    The script for Bond 23 was penned by regular 007 collaborators Neal Purvis and Robert Wade (The World is not Enough, Die Another Day, Casino Royale and Quantum of Solace) and polished by newcomer Peter Morgan (The Queen). The LA Times also claims Sam Mendes, who is unofficially attached to direct the film, worked on the script last spring.

    The paper’s source claims “creative discussions among the writers and producers” have hampered the film’s development. The LA Times doesn’t elaborate on the specific nature of the alleged scripting issues, but speculates that it may owe to the lofty expectations placed upon a film which it claims will be framed as a trilogy-closer to Casino Royale and Quantum of Solace.

    The report notes that a completed script has not been delivered to the studio; however, this is likely owing to MGM struggling under the weight of almost $4 billion of debt, rather than a stalemate among the film’s creative team. Studio executives were reportedly hoping Bond 23 development would proceed on schedule for a 2011 release date when Sam Mendes boarded the film earlier this year.

    With an uncertain timeframe for Bond 23, Sam Mendes is prepping a screen adaptation of Ian McEwan’s novel On Chesil Beach. Daniel Craig, meanwhile, was recently signed to star in the anticipated adaptation of Stieg Larsson’s The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, which will begin filming later this year. Craig is also currently shooting Cowboys & Aliens, for which he has an option for a sequel.

    The LA Times notes that switching Bond actors for Bond 23 “is not believed to be on the table”.

    MGM and Danjaq declined to comment to the LA Times, while the paper’s call to the offices of Eon Productions was not returned.

    The LA Times’ report coincides with Entertainment Weekly’s cover story this week, which claims the Bond series is “falling apart”. However, the magazine offers no new information to back up its sensationalist claims.

    Development on the latest James Bond film has been suspended since April 2010.

    Keep watching for all the latest Bond 23 developments.

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