The next installment in the long-running James Bond franchise (for now referred to as simply Bond 23), has had its screenwriters announced. They are the returning Neil Purvis and Robert Wade (Casino Royale, Quantum of Solace), with a new addition of Peter Morgan (Frost/Nixon, The Queen, The Last King of Scotland). Daniel Craig will of course be reprising his role as 007, and the film will be produced by Michael G. Wilson and Barbara Broccoli.

Purvis and Wade are no strangers to the Bond franchise, having already helped to co-write the last four Bond movies together (on top of Daniel Craig’s first two Bond films, they also wrote The World Is Not Enough and Die Another Day). So in light of that we can rest easy that the franchise is in experienced hands. But Morgan is the new addition, with his recent Oscar attention (he was nominated for both The Queen and Frost/Nixon) probably being a factor in his being chosen for Bond 23. This will mark the first of the new Bonds (since the Craig “reinvisioning”) that hasn’t had Crash writer/director Paul Haggis helping to pen the screenplay – only time will tell if his absence will be noticeable.

Other than the screenwriters, and that Craig is playing 007 again, we don’t have much other info on Bond 23. We don’t know what the plot of the film is, who will be playing the villain or the obligatory love interest, or even who the director is. But the confirmation of the trio of screenwriters is a strong sign that more information should be released soon.

Even though it seems strange that they would suddenly ditch Haggis as a screenwriter when he co-wrote the last two movies, I am very happy with the addition of Morgan. I always find that he takes subjects and events that seem hard to make into a workable movie and makes them very interesting and tense (the verbal battles in Frost/Nixon are phenomenal). Even if his movies haven’t been action-oriented so far, I still think his style of writing will suit the Bond franchise very well.

As far as the direction Bond 23 should take the legendary spy character, I would like to see Craig’s portrayal become a bit more reminiscent of what we’ve known of the character for years before he came along. Don’t get me wrong, I love Craig’s portrayal of 007 – to quote John Campea of The Movie Blog, “Finally a Bond who looks like he can kick my ass instead of kiss it.” – and don’t want him to fall back completely into the mold of past Bonds. But I would still like to see a bit more of the suave, playful, “lighter” side of the character. I hope the addition of Morgan to the writing roster can accomplish the right balance of the two extremes.

What do you think of the three writers that Bond 23 has acquired, particularly Peter Morgan? What direction would you like to see them take 007 in the next movie?

A production date on Bond 23 has yet to be set.