Last week we heard that the Bond producers (Barbara Broccoli and Michael G. Wilson) had hired Purvis and Wade to pen the script for the upcoming James Bond film. The exclusive news came from a renowned Bond reporter, so although the story seemed like it came out of nowhere, it must be taken seriously.
What is the significance? Well, the producers haven’t officially stated that they’ve gone into pre-production and how could they when they don’t have a partner to help distribute the film along with MGM Studios? From all this, we can spot a familiar trend: the Broccolis are keeping everything close to their chest. (Probably a reflex after the embarrassing amount of info leaked by the Sony hacks during SPECTRE’s production.)
This means that the Broccolis are probably further into production than they’d like to admit. First we heard of them scouting locations in Croatia, then buying a Huey helicopter in February (turns out that it’s not for Bond 25) and now they’ve officially hired writers. That’s a very strange thing to do if you don’t yet have the distribution problem solved, because paying writers this early can easily backfire. Could it be that the producers are on the verge of pre-production? Or perhaps even production?!
As of mid-March, they’ve done quite a lot for Bond 25 considering the fact that they’re mainly occupied with other projects (theatrical plays and a film). In fact, the producers have started several things which are absolutely necessary to begin with principal photography. Such as:
– Location scouting (Abu Dhabi, UAE* and Dubrovnik, Croatia). *rumoured last December
– Making a preliminary draft of the script (Purvis and Wade getting hired).
All the producers need to do before filming is to get another distributor which would secure the budget, find a suitable director and finally, cast the main actors – starting with James Bond himself. Craig hasn’t talked about his return since October so it’s anyone’s guess if and when he’ll make a decision. (It’s worth noting that he only has Purity left this year.)
As previously hinted throughout, I think there’s a fair chance that they’ve already done some of these things but just haven’t told us yet.
In the end, the Broccolis’ secrecy has made it difficult for anyone to guess how far into production they really are. A Bond 25 premiere in late 2018 is still theoretically possible (with filming starting later this year) but quite unlikely because of the new historical war film that they’re producing. If they can’t find another distributor and Daniel Craig stays silent about returning, then 2019 is the year we’ll get Bond 25.