It’s completely normal, by today’s standards, to have a number of names credited as writers on a franchise film. Just look at the various Marvel Studios films for examples of this. Sometimes, there are up to 6 or more screenwriters on any given project. In the recent Daniel Craig era of the James Bond franchise, all of the films feature at least three credited writers, for example. But there has been a lot of discussion about the script for the upcoming “No Time to Die,” not just because there are now four credited writers (down from six when the film was announced), but also because one of them is Phoebe Waller-Bridge.
The discussion surrounding Waller-Bridge’s involvement in “No Time to Die” seems to stem from the initial idea that she was brought on to help shape the female characters in the film and offer a bit more of a modern take on how “Bond Girls” are treated in these films. Some reports even claim that she completely rewrote sections that involved Ana de Armas’ character, Paloma. But in a new interview with The Independent, Waller-Bridge explains her role as a screenwriter on the film, and why it’s not necessarily as important as many have made it out to be.
“I was in the edit for ‘Fleabag,’” explained Waller-Bridge. “It was an afternoon, and I had the call that Barbara [Broccoli, ‘Bond’ producer] wanted to meet me. The strangest thing is, is that I’d really… I had been sort of dreaming about the idea of it only a few months beforehand. I was like, ‘Oh, wouldn’t it be cool to be involved in a Bond film’ to sort of just put that there in the ether. And then it just came around.”
As for her exact role on “No Time to Die,” it appears that reports that she did a big rewrite are a bit exaggerated. From her explanation, Waller-Bridge was brought on to offer “dialogue polishes” and some “alternatives” for certain scenes..
“They did give me some scenes and then be like, can you write some alternatives for this or have another idea about where it could go in the middle or how it would end,” the writer said. “And then I would just give them options and various scenes and then they would take what they want. But there was a lot people writing – the director [Cary Fukunaga] was a writer on it as well. And there’d been a few writers before.
She added, “You know, Daniel [Craig] is really, really involved from the beginning. [I had] so many great conversations with him about it, constantly in touch with him about it. So it’s a big sort of melting pot of everybody’s ideas the whole time.”
Judging by her words, it appears that Waller-Bridge really was brought in to help polish the existing script, and that filmmaker Cary Fukunaga and Daniel Craig had a lot more input into the script than many fans are probably imagining. Obviously, this discussion is secondary to how good the film actually ends up being. If “No Time to Die” is the send-off for Daniel Craig that fans have been hoping for, it doesn’t matter if 45 writers had a credit on the script. Of course, the inverse is valid, as well—if the film is not great, then you better believe people will be pointing the finger at filmmakers such as Fukunaga and Waller-Bridge.
We’ll just have to see how it all plays out when “No Time To Die” arrives in theaters on April 8.