By Bill Desowitz | Thompson on Hollywood June 28, 2014 at 4:04PM
Turnabout is fair play, as veteran James Bond scribes Neil Purvis & Robert Wade have been reinstated to add a bit of witty repartee to the upcoming "Bond 24," according to the reliable Baz Bamigboye of UK's DailyMail. Purvis & Wade, franchise staples since Pierce Brosnan's "The World is Not Enough" (1999), turned over the screenwriting reins to John Logan for "Bond 24" after he was brought in to polish their work on "Skyfall," which, of course, become the first billion Bond in franchise history.
While tag-teaming the scripting of Bond is not unusual, the return of Purvis & Wade has caused "polite turmoil," according to an exec, and will push production back on "Bond 24" from October to December, but still on course for its 2015 release (October 23 in the UK and November 6 domestically).
This obviously means that director Sam Mendes, Bond star Daniel Craig, and producers Michael Wilson and Barbara Broccoli are not adverse to more verbal banter between 007 and the new Moneypenny (Naomi Harris) and Q (Ben Whishaw). Yet now that the franchise has acquired sole ownership of arch-villain Ernst Stavro Blofeld and his SPECTRE terrorist organization, there's anticipation of even a greater link to the Sean Connery era.
But while "Skyfall" brought back a sense of Connery-like droll humor (particularly during the meet cute scene with Q in the National Gallery), there have been some members of the Bond family that want to see 007 have more fun. Director Michael Apted ("TWINE") flatly declared that the tougher "Skyfall" "isn't a Bond film," even though he enjoyed it immensely.
And John Cleese (who played the fumbling gadget master in "Die Another Day" after being introduced as Q's assistant in "TWINE") bemoaned that Bond is now "gritty and humorless," with action that goes on way too long.
So back come Purvis & Wade to add their expertise and perhaps ensure that Bond doesn't get too dour (a la "License to Kill" and "Quantum of Solace"), despite the best intentions to add new layers of meaning and embrace his darker side.