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Time Out write an open letter to Peter Morgan, Bond 23 writer June 24th, 2009

The team at Time Out have writ­ten an open let­ter to Bond 23 writer Peter Mor­gan, with a cou­ple of Dos and Don’ts. Included are — find inter­est­ing and excit­ing loca­tions, do not copy the Bourne series, make the Bond girl a piv­otal role, give char­ac­ters room to breathe.

The let­ter openly praises Casino Royale’s approach, but is quick to point out the flaws in Quan­tum of Solace.

Dear Peter,

While we at Time Out are thrilled that you, one of our country’s most tal­ented and inquir­ing screen­writ­ers, have accepted the chal­lenge of pen­ning the next James Bond movie, there are a few salient points we feel you might like to keep in mind while writ­ing what will inevitably become one of 2011’s most impor­tant and, we hope, enjoy­able movies. We trust you accept our advice in the friendly spirit with which it’s intended…

Please give the char­ac­ters room to breathe
Per­haps the great­est stride writ­ers Neal Purvis, Robert Wade and erst­while col­league Paul Hag­gis made with ‘Casino Royale’ was giv­ing Bond and his com­pan­ions a real sense of life, depth and emo­tional con­flict. We’re used to Bond the wise­crack­ing automa­ton, but with an actor like Daniel Craig in the role this approach is a ter­ri­ble waste. ‘Quan­tum of Solace’ reduced Bond to lit­tle more than grunts and sneers – a smart thug who faces off against a loqua­cious but rather pathetic vil­lain. You’ve already proved your worth as a mas­ter of ver­bal spar­ring in your pre­vi­ous scripts, so we’re sure you’ll have the mur­der­ous ban­ter down pat. The chal­lenge will be to make us care about Bond again.

Please respect your audi­ence
There’s no doubt that the best of Bond is revealed when there’s a strong sto­ry­line packed with twists, switch­backs and dou­ble crosses: just think of Sean Bean’s decep­tion in ‘Gold­en­eye’, or Vesper’s betrayal in ‘Casino’. As long as your action sequences are grip­ping and your char­ac­ters con­vinc­ingly moti­vated, there’s no crime in keep­ing the viewer guessing.

Please don’t waste your Bond girls
Another of the great plea­sures offered by ‘Casino Royale’ was the chance to see Bond con­fronted by female char­ac­ters who could hold their own: not just Eva Green’s schem­ing Ves­per, but Judi Dench’s frac­tious, com­mand­ing M. Dench was the best thing in ‘Quan­tum’, but she was let down by Olga Kurylenko’s fiery but under­used Camille. It’s a les­son the mak­ers of Bond have been long in learn­ing: these women can be more than just eye-candy. A strong female lead doesn’t just cen­tre the film, she allows writ­ers and audi­ences a chance to get to the core of Bond himself.

Please don’t remake the Bourne series
Both ‘Casino’ and ‘Quan­tum’ were clearly inspired by the down­beat real­ism of the Bourne tril­ogy, but while the for­mer bal­anced gritty action sequences with a wry streak of self-deprecating humour, the writ­ers and direc­tor of ‘Quan­tum’ seemed con­tent with an end­less parade of repet­i­tive shaky­cam punch-ups in grimy locales. So, while action is clearly the lifeblood of the series, remem­ber that Bond always ben­e­fits from a moment of lev­ity amid the mayhem.

Please show us some­thing we haven’t seen before
It’s hard to think of any­where Bond hasn’t been (Antarc­tica? Ever­est? Leam­ing­ton Spa?), but one of ‘Quan­tum’ direc­tor Marc Forster’s bet­ter accom­plish­ments was pick­ing some stun­ning inter­na­tional loca­tions, from the seedy streets of Panama and the bar­ren Ata­cama Desert in Chile to the grandiose opera house at Lake Con­stance in Aus­tria. While the old Bonds were increas­ingly con­fined to traips­ing between MI6 and Moscow bat­tling the same face­less, jab­ber­ing Russkies, the global nature of the new films’ mys­te­ri­ous con­spir­acy means that Bond can now head just about any­where, and beat up just about anyone.

Finally, we await the Bond pro­duc­ers’ choice of direc­tor with bated breath. Some inter­est­ing names have been rumoured, though we under­stand Danny Boyle has offi­cially denied all knowl­edge and Christo­pher Nolan is busy with all that Bat­man busi­ness. But the Bond films have never been about the big-name direc­tors; in fact, with names like Ian Flem­ing, Roald Dahl and Paul Hag­gis, you could say it’s one of the few major film series where the choice of writer actu­ally mat­ters more than the choice of direc­tor. Which is where you come in, Mr Morgan.

Good luck!

Yours in anticipation,


Comments 9 Responses to “Time Out write an open letter to Peter Morgan, Bond 23 writer”

jef­frey oliver July 5th, 2009

I loved Quantum,and i also loved Royale. For the excep­tion of every­thing being,Ford and Sony. I couldn’t really find any faults?

M July 24th, 2009

well, these are good tips only fol­low­ing all the tips doesn’t always make sense;) I’d stick with “impress us with loca­tions we’ve never seen before” and mak­ing Bond more human, less auto­matic; every­thing else depends on the inspi­ra­tion of the writer and keep­ing the plot rea­soned. am really look­ing for­ward to the next film.

Dim­itrij Colankin September 22nd, 2009


Anton December 11th, 2009

The next movie should be called, KILLING YOURSELF TO LIVE. I think thats a really cool name, there is an old Black Sab­bath song that sounds James Bondish have Black Sab­bath redo the song. For the new movie. I would at least like to meet the rest of the 00s.
Please dont use some of the old titles it weak­ens the fran­chise. Need to keep using those cool titles of the old days.

Pauly February 18th, 2010

No! No! the best choice for the next bond artist has to be “SEAL” his raw vocals are just crammed with energy and tension.

He has the abil­ity to cap­ture audi­ences and lis­ten­ers with his elec­ti­cally charged vocal tal­ent. Just lis­ten to his track ” loaded like a gun” on his album SYSTEM if you need con­vinc­ing or any num­ber of his fast mov­ing or slower bal­lads. He must surely be con­sid­ered a real con­tender for the next Bond movie. He may even play a cameo role such is his pres­ence and dra­matic artistry.

Think about it surely it makes a lot of sense.

River April 25th, 2010

Bond Pro­duc­ers PLEASE TAKE NOTE!
Quan­tum was eas­ily the worst Bond film to date, hands down. I love the Bond films, but have only seen Quan­tum once. Two rea­sons it stunk were the movie itself and the title song made me sick.
1. The first thing that comes to mind was the ter­ri­ble song. I was embar­rassed, even more so when I heard the song that was rejected. Time to let the fans take over and have some say, to vote for the song. Who is approv­ing this stuff? That per­son is one who needs to be sat down and spo­ken to.
2. Mr. Craig is OK but they messed up the tra­di­tional dark-haired actor play­ing Bond, oth­er­wise his is fine.
3. In Casino, the famous (and my favorite part) gun­bar­rel into was miss­ing. Right from the begin­ing with­out that, it was hard to get excited. We got lucky at the end of Quan­tum to see it, but at the end. How is that sup­posed to excit you of about what’s to come?
3. More Bond music too, it has dis­ap­peared the last two films basi­cally.
4. Eva Green was very very nice, she grew on me, but Cate­rina Murino was pretty hot and I hated to see her make an early exit.
5. Lets not for­get about the great gad­gets, the awe­some car was hardly used in Casino. There was noth­ing in Quan­tum.
6. The tor­ture scene in Casino was totally unnec­es­sary. The worst I have seen in a Bond film.
7. The begin­ning of Quan­tum was so bad with the film “jerk­ing” around, being too fast, just made you dizzy sort of, just ssss­ll­looow it down please.

So yes, there are many lessons to be learned from the past 2 screw-ups, espe­cially Quan­tum. It was so bad that any­thing is an improvement.

Look­ing for­ward to Bond being back as he should!!!!

W.W. Lewis, III May 21st, 2010

I think Mr. Craig if Great as the lat­est James Bond, and hope to see in more Bond films to come. There are many books writ­ten about James Bond which have not as of yet been made into films. It must be very hard to have to try to make each new Bond film, bet­ter than the last. With the new Mr. Craig, we have now an oppor­tu­nity to explore what he was like, when new in the ser­vice. On that note, there is a series of 5 books called the Young Bond series, all of which should be turned into movies. (this would call for another new actor of course!) Best of luck in your future endeavors

Niels June 7th, 2010

There are plenty of flaws in both Casino Royale and Quan­tum Of Solace. One thing that is absent from both of these movies is the good taste in music. Yes I did like You Know My Name and No I didn’t like Another Way To Die but the songs are not impor­tant at this point. The score is and David Arnold just man­aged to com­pose to of the most non­melodic and unin­ter­est­ing Bond scores of all time. This is embar­rass­ing. Lis­ten to OHMSS and TLD and DAF. These are maybe the best film scores ever done. Bring­ing back the Walther PPK as Bonds weapon of choice was a major bonus for Quan­tum Of Solace. I like the dark­ness of the new Bond movies but maybe we should look at Tim­o­thy Dal­tons movies. He is prob­a­bly the best Bond so far. Either him or Con­nery. The vil­lains were awe­some and the ladies mat­tered — As men­tioned before. I didn’t think the Quan­tum orga­ni­za­tion was very inter­est­ing. The idea of mak­ing another Spec­tre failed com­pletely. Of course the writer can’t do any­thing about the music but Bond is an intel­li­gent man. Not a brain­less thug. That is what makes both CR and QOS kind on unin­ter­est­ing. Bond is sim­ply too stu­pid. And yes. I agree on the fact that the next Bond movie should not be a Jason Bourne rip off — Even though Jason Bourne is a rip off from Bond — Amne­sia? Read “You only live twice” and “The man with the golden gun” to find out where that idea came from. Bourne sucks. Yes the loca­tions have always mat­tered. Also the cast­ing. DAD and QOS had the two worst cast­ing I have ever expe­ri­enced in the Bond movies. Also give the vil­lains some trait marks. I liked Le Chiffres bleed­ing eye like i Liked Odd­jobs hat and Scara­man­gas third nip­ple. That is the only way to make a decent movie. The hench­men in both CR and QOS were very weak. If that is real­ism than it doesn’t suit Bond very well even though I don’t think we should go back to another Jaws or May­day. I must con­fess that I don’t like Daniel Craig that much — Due to his look, but that is beside the point. Bond shouldn’t be so prim­i­tive. Give him sme gad­gets but keep it down to earth a bit. No Sci-Fi like invis­i­ble cars and cars that turn into sub marines and stuff like that. I really liked the stunts in the old Bond movies. Action has to be kind of orig­i­nal. The vil­lains in the Bond movies all had originl ideas on how to kill Bond but in the two lat­est movies they were very prim­i­tive. I want another scene like the laser­beam scene in Goldfin­ger or the scene in For Your Eyes Only where Bond and Melina are being dragged behind a big boat through a reef full of sharks and YES — I do miss the sharks in the Bond movies. Watch Licence To Kill to get some cool ideas. The last thing I want to say is this: It could be nice if Bond didn’t turn into a roque agent for once. He is pro­fes­sional. He is not to be very imo­tional all the time even though there should be some depth in the love scenes — Just as there is in the books. These are the words and yes — Do read: The man with the golden gun, Moon­raker, The Spy Who Loved me, Dia­monds Are For­ever and Live and Let Die for inspi­ra­tion. There is plenty in these books that has not yet been used.

BlackNL January 12th, 2011

I am a Bond fan who sees great poten­tial in more Bond Movies.

With our tech­nol­ogy, an new Q being R needs to be deve­olped as a char­ac­tor. R would have sound wave, internet,and even more futur­is­tic gadgets.

I rec­om­mend using a dou­ble, dou­ble Bond. A secret 007 agent with a twin !!! There are so many options that could since Bond into the future. Maybe even a female bond with feman­ist overtones !!!

Please keep Bond in our future.