Dossiers issued in August, 2010

Daniel Craig was “just getting started” – keen to continue with Bond 23

The James Bond 007 actor has told the LA Times in an interview on the set of his latest sci-fi / western Cowboys and Aliens.

He is certainly optimistic and keen to continue to return to Bond 23 and the James Bond role but news of the new James Bond movie is not even filtering down to Mr. Craig – let alone the fans.

“You probably know more than I do,” Craig said. “It is what it is. Unless MGM can sort themselves out, we can’t make a movie. It’s hard to talk about things that aren’t happening. There will be more to say when things are happening. I’m really keen to get going, it’s as simple as that. And I’m hoping that, in a while, we will.”

“I felt as if we were just getting going and that we’d get the chance to make a couple more,” the actor said. “I’d like to fulfill the circle with the story. But, yes, there is nothing really to say until whoever gets that house [at MGM] in order. There’s no chance of getting it made until those things are taken care of.”

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Creative differences to delay James Bond 23 further?

By now Bond fans will be familiar with the hiatus on Bond 23, largely due to the MGM financial position. However, in this article by Steven Zeitchik, of the Los Angeles Times, it seems it might be more than money preventing Bond from moving forward… agreement on a shooting script might also threaten a swift recommencement of production.

The LA times published the following:

The secrecy valued by EON scares off most public comment on the film’s status, but sources familiar with the situation who spoke on condition of anonymity say that creative discussions among the writers and producers have also hampered the process.

Oscar-winning director Sam Mendes worked on the script last spring, the sources said, polishing the contributions of Frost/Nixon screenwriter Peter Morgan. Morgan, in turn, had rewritten parts of an earlier screenplay by Bond veterans Neal Purvis and Robert Wade.

EON has typically developed a script to a point of their satisfaction before sending it to the studio that will finance and distribute the given film (a pairing of MGM and Sony Pictures for the past two films). That has yet to happen with the new Bond, which is to be financed and distributed by MGM.

The creative issues around the new Bond are notable because it means that even if MGM’s financial wrinkles were ironed out — in the form of a potential Time Warner acquisition of MGM, a corporate link-up with Spyglass or Summit Entertainment or, perhaps, the arrival of a white-knight outside financier for Bond — it would mean the movie would still not be ready to go. And by the time it was, it could run into actor scheduling issues, extending an already long layoff.

The exact script issues on the new Bond remain shrouded in mystery, but the difficulties aren’t entirely surprising given the abundance of top creators and a franchise with ever-more complex mythology. Moreover, the new Bond film has always been framed as the third in the trilogy that began with “Casino Royale.” And with the need to wrap up many dangling plot lines — in this case, Bond’s quest for resolution after the death of romantic interest Vesper Lynd, among others — the third movie in a trilogy is typically hardest to lock down.

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Doom & gloom in the presses as reporters debate the future of Bond 23

We always hear “It’s not over until its over”, but the cover designers of Entertainment Weekly clearly do not live by this motto.

The filmic magazine has plastered their cover with a headline that reads: “GOODBYE MR. BOND”. But as readers of and any Bond fan will tell you, 007 may be stalled but his story certainly is not over.

The sensationalized story tells us that we wont see James Bond 23 for years to come, not just because of MGM’s troubles but because of Daniel Craig’s recent acceptance of a role in the Hollywood adaptation of The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo.

It will likely be years before 007 returns to the screen, thanks to money troubles at MGM, Bond’s longtime studio, which has been up for sale since November. Even Daniel Craig seems to have moved on, signing up for the lead in a different potential franchise,The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. The last time the Bond series was put on this sort of “indefinite” hold was back in the early 1990s, after a series of legal battles (and Timothy Dalton) nearly wrecked the series. It took six years to get it up and running again.

“No franchise can afford to be away from screens for that long anymore,” says an EW source but Bond fans will recall the events that lead to the chasm between Licence To Kill and GoldenEye and the long but ultimately satisfying wait between Bond 20 – Die Another Day – and Daniel Craig’s debut in Casino Royale.

As much as we reject this sensational story and others like it, we at believe that they their headline is right on one count… it will and has been a battle to save Bond, but one the production companies – even MGM should it survive – will be implicitly stronger for winning.

One thing is for sure, James Bond on your front cover seems to be a sure way to sell magazines.

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