Cary Fukunaga Will Offset A Purvis & Wade Script
As Sam Mendes, Marc Forster and Martin Campbell did before him, Fukunaga will be working from a script by Neal Purvis and Robert Wade. The duo has worked on every Bond film since 1999's The World Is Not Enough, with various co-collaborators helping steer the ship. Paul Haggis, for example, contributed to the scripts for Casino Royale and Quantum of Solace, while John Logan had a co-writing credit on Skyfall and Spectre. Purvis and Wade were originally slated to write Bond 25 until Danny Boyle brought on his regular collaborator John Hodge to craft a new script. Once Boyle was off the movie, Purvis and Wade were rehired and began work afresh.
Some critics have accused the duo of being detrimental to the success of the franchise. While Casino Royale and Skyfall both took Bond in new directions and felt refreshing in the context of the Bond mythos, both Quantum of Solace and Spectre felt lifeless by comparison, as well as major steps back for established character progression. They were also responsible for Die Another Day, often categorized as the worst Bond film ever. Purvis and Wade clearly know how to work within the confines of the Bond world as well as to the producer’s specifications, and the chances are they’ll stick around longer than any director attached to the franchise.
That all means Fukunaga will have to either offset a script’s weaker parts or figure out how to work well with the duo. Of course, Fukunaga is the director who managed to deal with the notoriously difficult writer of True Detective, Nic Pizzolatto, so he’s used to such collaborations.
Cary Fukunaga Simply Gets Bond 25 Moving
It seemed inevitable that the release date for Bond 25 would be moved once Boyle left the project, and many feared the movie would be stuck in pre-production limbo. Fukunaga’s hiring gets people excited for Bond again – check out the many franchise doubters who are now enthusiastic about its future thanks to this news – but crucially, his involvement gets the project back on its feet.
In a franchise age where there are multiple superhero movies a year and the market is crowded with big-budget spectacles, Bond is more old-fashioned, but it’s already been three years since Spectre and Daniel Craig isn’t getting any younger. To delay further stalls the whole franchise and shakes confidence in investors and distributors (including Annapurna Pictures, who paid top dollar for co-distribution rights in the USA). Clearly, something needed to happen.
A new director, one who has people excited, and an achievable release date keeps Bond moving forward. This may seem like a pretty benign thing but given discussions on whether James Bond can even be relevant in 2018, it matters that the franchise can still keep going for reasons beyond nostalgia.
Nothing else is known about Cary Joji Fukunaga’s tenure as Bond 25 director beyond shooting dates and the return of Craig. It remains to be seen what focus the story will take – will Blofeld and the Spectre organization return or will that plot point be dropped given Christoph Waltz's disinterest? Whatever the case, after much grumbling over whether the world really needed another James Bond movie, Fukunaga has audiences newly enthused. That alone helps solve a multitude of Bond 25’s problems. It may very well be that the risky choice for director is ultimately the safest bet possible for the franchise.
- James Bond 25 (2020) release date: Apr 08, 2020