Phoebe Waller-Bridge, the creator of the hit shows Fleabag and Killing Eve, has been brought in to polish up the script for Bond 25 at the request of the film’s star, Daniel Craig.
It’s one of the most anticipated films of 2020 but it’s fair to say that Bond 25 has had a troubled history. The next adventure of 007 has been in development for over three years but took a while to get off the ground after some difficulties with distribution rights. The situation only worsened when Sam Mendes, the director of the previous two films, announced that he would not be returning for a third. Star Daniel Craig publicly stated that he would rather “slash his wrists” than reprise his role as the gentleman spy.
But Craig eventually signed on, as did the famed British director Danny Boyle to oversee the film. Boyle worked on a script with his long-time collaborator, John Hodge and filming was scheduled to begin. However, Boyle stepped away from the project in April 2018, citing creative differences with the production suffering yet another setback. A number of directorial candidates were mentioned but the position was filled by Cary Joji Fukunaga, the director of True Detective and Maniac.
It’s been a case of full steam ahead for Bond 25 since Fukunaga was appointed. He will become the first American man to direct an official Eon-produced Bond film and it has been announced that Craig, Léa Seydoux, Ben Whishaw, Naomie Harris, and Ralph Fiennes will all reprise their roles from 2015’s Spectre. Bond mainstays, Neal Purvis and Robert Wade will pen the story but it seems as if they will have another writer to collaborate with on the project.
It has been reported that Phoebe Waller-Bridge has been brought on board to polish up the script. The 33-year-old is the creator and star of the hit BBC comedy, Fleabag which aired its final episode in April 2019. This isn’t the only link between Bond and the hit BBC comedy. Andrew Scott had a major role in series two of Fleabag and played the villain in the 2015 Bond film, Spectre. Waller-Bridge is also behind another hit television show, Killing Eve, which is produced by BBC America.
It has been claimed that Waller-Bridge was asked to join the production by the star, Daniel Craig in order to bring an off-beat humour to the script. Other sources suggest that Bohemian Rhapsody star Rami Malek will play the film’s villain and that Bond will drive an electric car during the film.
It’s an important moment for the Bond franchise. After the astronomical success of Skyfall, things went downhill critically and commercially for the 2015 follow-up, Spectre. In April 2019, Craig overtook Roger Moore to become the longest-serving Bond but he won’t continue in the role forever. Speculation has been rife surrounding his potential replacement with actor likes Idris Elba, Cillian Murphy, and Richard Madden usually at the top of the list of suggestions.
Regardless of which actor takes on the role, James Bond will remain an iconic character for so many reasons. There are so many companies and industries which owe a great deal to this character whether it’s tuxedos or Aston Martin cars. The casino and drinks industry also owes credit to Bond with online casino Betway ranking him amongst the best examples of gambling in popular culture and Smirnoff launching their very own James Bond vodka.
It’s an iconic character which is why it is such a surprise to see Phoebe Waller-Bridge’s name in connection with the upcoming film. The Brit is clearly a hugely talented writer and will be hot property for film studios following her recent success, but Bond 25 isn’t an immediate next step for her career.
But that may be unfair. Her subtle off-beat style of comedy could lend itself well to the franchise and there are perhaps the characters of Fleabag and James Bond have more in common than many immediately think. Waller-Bridge has experience of writing crime with Killing Eve so perhaps this move makes a lot more sense than many would assume. It’s been a long journey trying to get Bond 25 over the line but let’s hope that Waller-Bridge can help it achieve similar levels of success to her previous work.
Garon Cockrell is the Founder and Editor of Pop Culture Beast and host of The Pop Culture Beast Show. He founded the site over seven years ago to have a place on the internet to write about the things he loved. Since then, Garon has become a best-selling author (Demonic and Other Tales), an award winning screenwriter (Best Screenplay 2013 Motor City Nightmares Film Festival), and a cast member on the top rated podcast, Never Not Funny.