Neal Purvis and Robert Wade, writers of five James Bond films including Casino Royale, Quantum of Solace and the in-limbo Bond 23, have been tapped to write a new international action-thriller for Parkes MacDonald/Imagenation.

The script will be written based on an original idea (hoorah!) from Michael Lieber and Walter Parkes, who will serve as producers on the untitled project alongside Laurie MacDonald. Here’s the concept as Risky Business has it:

The story takes place among the nomadic Taureg tribes of West Africa, an area rich with uranium that has become a focal point for both energy companies and terrorist states. An American anthropologist is thrust into this geopolitical mess when he must travel back to the Sahara to help a former research subject who has been accused of a terrorist attack.

It sounds like the kind of political intrigue mixed with blockbuster action that we’ve seen a lot of over the last few years. Sometimes those films hit the mark (the Bourne trilogy), other times they aren’t fully embraced as intended (Green Zone for example, which didn’t even make its $100 million budget back), often because audiences don’t want to be beaten over the head with a political message or pay to see something they see covered on the news everyday.

Success and disappointment for Matt Damon mixing politics with action - 'Bourne' and 'Green Zone'

In that way Purvis and Wade are apt choices to the write a script based on the idea, as the Bond films often marry politics with action (usually a lot more emphasis on the action, but still). The pair were just two of the writers on the last two Bond films, along with Paul Haggis (Crash). And even if Quantum of Solace didn’t live up to the mark set by Casino Royale (I know there are some of you who REALLY hated that movie), there was still enough in there for me to enjoy the ride.

Parkes had this to say about the new project that Purvis and Wade are writing:

“At its heart, this is an action movie set within a world that is morally complex, alluring and completely real — which is why Robert and Neal, whose work spans James Bond to John Le Carre, are uniquely suited to bring a project like this to life.”

With the next Bond film in development hell right now as an unfortunate result of MGM’s ongoing financial troubles, I guess Wade and Purvis wanted to move on and get started on something new. This project isn’t exactly worlds away from 007 – but hey, at least it’s based on an original idea.

Source: Risky Business