DarkHorizons has today posted what their source is claiming is a script review of James Bond 20. I must say that I'm personally sceptical about the details contained in the script review. Spoiler warnings do exist for this piece so you'll have to highlight it to read it, Web TV users please view the printer friendly version of this document to read it.
To begin with it's best that you read the review as it appears on DarkHorizons and then read the commentry below it.
“I just finished the third draft to the twentieth James Bond film last night. It’s 132 pages in length, scripted by the writing team of Neal Purvis and Robert Wade, is dated 4/23/01, and has the title “Terminus” on the cover sheet. If I were to describe the tone of it in relation to the legacy of 007 films, it’s a cross between “The Living Daylights” and “For Your Eyes Only”. It has the sweeping epic feel of ‘Daylights’ (Bond travels from Australia to Ireland to Morocco in this one) and the realism of ‘Eyes’ (Bond is seriously hurt a few times throughout the script and is good and bloodied by the end – which reminded me a lot of Mel Gibson in the denouement of “Lethal Weapon 2”). Purvis and Wade have written a serious-minded Bond adventure here, with a fairly engaging storyline.
The script opens without much exposition — a first for a 007 film, I think. It opens with Bond and two other British agents chasing down an IRA cell in Sydney. No one can explain why the IRA is in Australia right off, but one of the members was responsible for an attack that killed several SAS agents years before. Soon enough, the cell knows they’re on their trail, so they go on the run. Bond is the only one of the three to figure out that they’ve wired Sydney with proximity bombs — closing off the main arteries in and out of the city. A large biochemical explosive has been rigged in the basement of a prominent opera hall to go off. Again, no one knows why.
In the first fifteen pages, Bond figures out that the other members of the IRA cell are decoys — the main villain (his pursuer) is the only true terrorist. There is no IRA cell whatsoever. He flees on a motorcycle, then escapes via a new bullet train (Sydney doesn’t have one though). After a pretty exciting fight that takes place on top and within the train, Bond wounds the operative, but he gets away. Now, Bond has to make it **back** to the opera house before it goes off. This is where the suspense really ratchets itself. Needless to say, Bond makes it (barely) to the house, yet loses the rest of his team.
Sir Edmund Terminus is described as a well-respected British industrialist and, at one point, “an older, refined version of Bond himself.” The villain’s plot is this: his family was murdered years before in a botched SAS operation against the IRA (the same one that triggered 007’s involvement … how convenient!) Now Terminus has a vendetta against England, so he’s put up faux IRA cells across the globe and plans to level the economic stability of the world by detonating biochemical weapons. The trick? The weapons are already all in place — one will be detonated every 24 hours once the sun crosses a computer-pinpointed “terminus” on the globe.
Bond’s ally is a redheaded Irish terrorism expert named Ariel Stiph (pronounced ‘Stiff’ and who has marginally better lines than Denise Richards’s improbable Dr. Christmas Jones), though her intentions are veiled in secrecy throughout. You’re never quite sure if she’s working for Terminus or not — they have a strange history that’s never explained. One problem: she says (by my count) “something doesn’t feel right” three times, in regards to the pseudo-IRA attacks. Also ringing false: we’re simply told that other agents have defused the other bombs around the world. Bond defuses three in the film himself, but all require abnormal feats and derring-do. Why not simply pare the threat down to three?
The action scenes are well-scripted, but seem somewhat a retread of “The World is Not Enough”, we have the standard underwater-search-for-the-hideout scene, yet another ski chase, and a major set piece in the Moroccan desert, involving tanks and a slick little Q plane. If nothing else, the end of “Terminus” has a bit of shocker to it. It marks the first time — at least in my knowledge of the Bond canon — that the 007 universe will be markedly different next time around. If done correctly, it will provide dignified (and logical) closure to a Bond character.
All in all, I felt that this script is much different than TWINE, despite having the same writers. It’s good – quite good, in my opinion – but could use some more inventive action sequences and better dialogue throughout. It might be the first time that Brosnan has good, solid material to work with.
I’m sure some more work on the script would help, and I’m sure the writers are well into their fifth or sixth draft. Hell, by this point, they might not even be working with the same storyline, for all I know. It’s much better than TWINE, but it’s still a far cry from ‘Eyes’ – a highwater mark, in my opinion. “Terminus” seems to occupy the same world as ‘Eyes’ and ‘Daylights’ in terms of realism in a fantastical world.”
Now onto the commentry which contains far less spoilers;
The review has rumoured elements that have appeared online throughout it, which is bound to raise some eyebrows. One will note the IRA connection was mentioned as a possible plot in October of 2000. Brosnan at the time denied that the plot would revolve around the IRA as he didn’t want the Bond series to affect a very real and volatile situation.
The mentioning of the Opera House will also raise eyebrows. Sydney was a prominent location in Mission Impossibile 2 and hence is unlikely to be featured in Bond anytime soon. If the producers were keen on sending Bond to Australia (finally!) then no doubt they’d pick the other major city Melbourne in Victoria, or perhaps even Brisbane in Queensland.
If we can rely on Spy Reports we’ll note that the script makes no mention of an Ice Cave (though it does make a mention of a ski-sequence) and rather than mentioning a Hovercraft it mentions a Q-Plane.
On the upside its mentioning of an Irish assistant, Ariel Stiph, does have connections to the recently rumoured Irish beauty Jean Butler. But again if this review was ‘fan made’ then they would most likely be aware of the Butler rumour.
So there you have it! Is this an elaborate fan made deception or the genuine article? We'll wait and see. Until then discuss it in the Bond 20 Forums where mkkbb has created this thread to discuss the review.
Finally a big thank you to 'Beamer', Dave Ebersole and mkkbb for alerting me to the news!
Dark Horizons has posted this information
Not unsurprisingly yesterday’s apparent script review for a Bond 20 possibility entitled “Terminus” has, like “Final Assignment”, turn out to be bogus and officially denied by MGM. This is about the fourth such type of rumoured storyline out there and each has fallen through, making one wonder whether even if a real synopsis comes out that anyone would believe it (Bond film news, like “Star Wars”, is rife with misinformation). Anyway my apologies for including it and/or confusing anyone. Thanks to the ‘LA Football Girl’.
Seems that our suspicions were warranted to begin with. But let's look forward to some real news in the future!