The clock is ticking and despite that pre-production has already bled over into some production—cameras have been rolling on “Bond 25,” though it’s all second unit photography without the principal cast—the gears keep on turning on the screenplay for the next 007 movie. The Observer reports that Phoebe Waller-Bridge has been hired to “liven up” the still as-of-yet-untitled ‘Bond 25’ screenplay.
Waller-Bridge might be best known by American audiences for playing the recalcitrant droid L3-37 in “Solo: A Star Wars Story,” but she is a critically-acclaimed artist, writer, playwright known for the creating and writing the critically-acclaimed BBC comedy “Fleabag,” and the currently-beloved BBC America black comedic spy thriller “Killing Eve.”
But Waller-Bridge recently announces that “Fleabag” has ended after season two, she’s no longer the showrunner of “Killing Eve,” and has delegated duties and apparently has a hole in her schedule. That’s enough for star Daniel Craig who has reportedly specifically requested her to bring her wit and quirkiness to the screenplay.
Some of this is ironic. One of the issues Craig and co. had with the Danny Boyle/John Hodge version of “Bond 25” was too humorous. Craig was concerned at the time; audiences might think Bond was trying to head in a “Kingsman” direction. Regardless, Craig, like all of the U.K. who are obsessed, has probably been watching “Killing Eve,” that might strike the exact balance he wants.
“Killing Eve” is a wicked serious spy thriller in one regard with serious stakes and consequences—some major characters have already died in gruesome manners—but it’s also witty, sharp, funny and acidly-dripped in black comedy. Perhaps, this kind of panache, confidence, and style is what Craig is hoping Waller-Bridge brings to the project. Craig is also a fan of “Fleabag,” and Waller-Bridge has been in New York recently, where Craig lives, putting on live performances of the series.
The Observer says Waller-Bridge and Craig met and discussed “how to improve the script of Bond 25, which the 007 actor felt needed some ‘polishing,’ by introducing more humor and the offbeat style of writing she is best known for.”
“Bond 25” has gone through many delays in production and release date, and Scott Z. Burns (“Contagion“) was brought on to work on the script in February, but the train appears to be moving, and it’s likely impossible to change course now. Cary Fukunaga is directing. Ben Whishaw, Ralph Fiennes, Naomie Harris, Léa Seydoux are all expected to reprise their previous roles, and Rami Malek is said to play the villain. Presuming the script polish goes through, “Bond 25” should start shooting any day and if it does, the producers Barbara Broccoli and Michael G. Wilson will likely put on one of those press conferences with the cast where they announce the official start of production.