Looking through John Logan's script for "Spectre"

I thought it may be interesting to talk about John Logan's original scripts for Spectre before he left the production.

Having looked through the Sony emails, I imagine many of us would expect Logan's work to be radically different to what we ended up with on the screen. The simple irony is that it really isn't. From the evidence I've been able to glean it would seem that the fundamental structure of the film and the main beats are all intact in the finished film. It's also interesting to know that many of the big ideas, locations and set-piece had been decided on as early as early/mid 2013.

I was under the impression that P&W undertook a page one rewrite. However, it was Logan who devised the Day of the Dead opening, the Rome meeting and car chase, the Mr. White scene, the Austrian spa and plane chase, the North African train ride and the finale in London. The actual details of these sequences obviously changed considerably, but the foundations set by Logan seemingly never changed throughout the process.

Additionally, the idea of Bond falling in love and leaving MI6 was always the big "hook" of the film from the outset. Additionally, the whole "everything is connected" angle was something that figured very early on in Mendes's conception of the film.


Here are some details of Logan's first draft:

- Interestingly, the whole MI6 team are in the field for the opening sequence. Bond is posing as a cage fighter in Amsterdam where he is fighting a man named Valenti. Q is posing as Valenti's medic throughout the fight. It all leads to a grand boat chase. Valenti is essentially the Sciarra of the script, however Bond does not kill him in the opening. Instead 007 fakes his own death and escapes, Bond reencounters Valenti later in Rome at a masked ball.

- The "Blofeld" reveal also happens during the opening sequence. You don't physically see the character, instead you witness Bond decipher a book code which yields the name "Blofeld". Apparently, the sequence had a tinge of WWII/enigma machine about it. I'd love to know more about this as all the studio execs are in agreement that the name reveal is terrific.

- Logan introduces the idea that there is a mole within MI6, with even characters like Moneypenny being under suspicion. Apparently this would have led to paranoia developing back in London with the allies being picked apart; especially MP and Tanner who are said not to get along.

- Additionally there is no reference made to Franz Oberhauser (it would appear that the half-brother nonsense came during P&W's run at the script). In Logan's draft, Blofeld is an African warlord with a grudge against Britain going back to there colonial days. It would also be revealed that Blofeld's real name is Joseph Ki-Embu (Chiwetel Ejoifer had agreed to play the role).

- In the first draft there is no plane chase in Austria, instead reference is made to "Parkour on skis".

- It would seem that Mendes had a rather different plan for the "iconic henchman" role. In the final film we got Mr. Hinx, however, in the Logan script we meet a Black-Ops CIA agent named Charlotte. She essentially fills the role that Hinx plays in the final film and turns up at all the intervals he does (eg; reference is made that it is her who finds the dead Mr. White in the chalet, chase Bond in Rome and be involved in the Austrian plane chase). Charlotte would have started the film as Bond's ally in Rome, only later to be revealed as a Spectre operative. During the ski chase Bond would give Charlotte an "iconic" wound to her face.

- It should also be mentioned that there is no reference to Oberhauser, C or "Nice Eyes". In fact, Blofeld's scheme involves blowing up a NATO base in the first draft.


All in all, I like what I hear. I think the idea of incorporating the Blofeld character early on is a far more effective method than the one deployed in the film.

After this Logan did an additional draft that switched Amerstdam for Mexico City and the Day of the Dead. The big difference here was that MP would have been invovled and suffered great wounds that lead to her going to hospital. The general consensus was that Logana's second draft was "worse" than the execs imagined which of course paved the way for P&W to return.
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Comments

  • Posts: 287
    007 faking his death...again? No.
    I'm not a fan of Blofeld being an African Warlord. That just doesn't seem in keeping to his character. Sure, it's different, but not fitting.
    I kept thinking they were going to keep a mole inside MI6 amongst the team, making C the red herring, and Tanner being the real traitor. I think it would have added more surprise to the film for sure and maybe even added to the whole security risk thing going on.
  • ShardlakeShardlake Leeds, West Yorkshire, England
    Posts: 3,185
    So we are saying that P&W are responsible for the brother nonsense? To be honest most of Logan's first draft sounds far more interesting than the generic lazy version we actually got.

    I didn't read the early scripts like some but got the idea the brother element was from Logan and now we are saying this is actually P&W?

    Might need to make a big apology to the man, here was me thinking they'd just tried to rescue Logan's script not change this element when actually it was them that bought the most controversial element of the film into the story.

    If this is the case then nothing else can change things going forward more than getting rid of those 2, it seems Logan is getting the blame from me and others for something that those 2 were actually to blame for.

    I'm sure M being the traitor was still JL's but they got rid of that but it seems they got rid of allot more, while I'm not sure about the African warlord element it sounds more intriguing than the Oberhauser nonsense and also while the original PTS I'm not sure about from the description the Blofeld reveal does sound so much better than what we got and it feels like it was going to be more of just a mission rather than the personal rubbish we got.
  • Posts: 12,013
    I am glad they didn't go with the African warlord as Blofeld. I thought Chiwetel Ejiofor was meant to play C, which would have fitted him better. But Blofeld as a young African warlord? And people thought making him Franz Oberhauser was a bad idea! That would have been so much further away than the source material!
  • Sounds interesting, and given EON's habit of reusing some old ideas, we may see some of this stuff surface in future films.

    I'd love to read any draft at all of Spectre, but haven't been able to find them anywhere on the internet. Unless anyone wants to send them to me...
  • ShardlakeShardlake Leeds, West Yorkshire, England
    Posts: 3,185
    Making him Franz Oberhauser was a bad idea probably one of the worst in the whole series history, quite frankly it would have at least been separate to Bond if they'd gone with the African warlord, I know which one I'd rather live with.

    I'm getting more and more annoyed about this element.
  • WalecsWalecs On Her Majesty's Secret Service
    Posts: 2,100
    I'm also curious, where can I download SPECTRE's scripts?
  • doubleoegodoubleoego #LightWork
    Posts: 11,090
    Wow Logan's original draft has a lot of good ideas. I like the African War lord angle and I really don't give a shyte where Blofeld is from or what his skin colour is but for the sake of not upsetting fans, they could have just not named the character Blofeld and kept him as an African War lord.

    Seems like Logan dropped the ball with his second draft but it seems his original work was at tge very least better than his second effort and more interesting than the final product. EoN now really need to concentrate on hiring serious writing talent and I think Bond 25 is a pivotal outing because quite frankly I'm getting frustrated and bored with the time wasted and the serious lack of judgement and overall lack of good management of making these films. I hate to say it but other movies are doing better. Bond has years of experience, goodwill and access to the best of things; why is there such a problem at such a basic level? Come on, EON do better!
  • Walecs wrote: »
    I'm also curious, where can I download SPECTRE's scripts?

    You can't. Links where they were formerly available in the Sony leaks are now inactive. The only way to get it is if someone who previously downloaded it wants to send it to you. And nobody on here seems willing...(?)
  • edited December 2015 Posts: 61
    I'd rather they keep the Legion backstory.
  • Posts: 3,166
    "Parkour on skis". Man that would of been great, i was so hoping for Craig on skis in this one...
  • DoctorNoDoctorNo USA-Maryland
    Posts: 462
    doubleoego wrote: »
    Wow Logan's original draft has a lot of good ideas. Seems like Logan dropped the ball with his second draft but it seems his original work was at tge very least better than his second effort and more interesting than the final product. EoN now really need to concentrate on hiring serious writing talent and I think Bond 25 is a pivotal outing because quite frankly I'm getting frustrated and bored with the time wasted and the serious lack of judgement and overall lack of good management of making these films. I hate to say it but other movies are doing better. Bond has years of experience, goodwill and access to the best of things; why is there such a problem at such a basic level? Come on, EON do better!

    Agree. I love Daniel Craig and I like all the follow ups to CR in spite of their flaws. But why so many flaws? EON needs to pull it together and hire a great writer(s) and workout an overall (sensible) compelling series arc and support it with good invidiual stories. Then write your scripts and have strong directors who also understand Ian Fleming, the character, and the series. Also, on top of the stories themselves, they need great action sequences for an entire movie. That has to come from the writing, the stunt coordinator and the director. They haven't delivered on that since CR either. SP was getting closer but still no match.
  • dominicgreenedominicgreene The Eternal QOS Defender
    Posts: 1,701
    Wow, this sounds so much better than what we actually got. A lot more akin to the CR Bond. Idk what the hell Mendes was thinking. And damn, a cage fight for an opening would have been awesome...
  • 0BradyM0Bondfanatic70BradyM0Bondfanatic7 It was this or the priesthood.
    Posts: 28,232
    I honestly don't see what's so phenomenal about it. A sparse few of these elements sound interesting on paper, but how they worked into the script didn't do any of it justice. The Blofeld stuff is nonsense, as is Charlotte and the MI6 mole idea, which, in case you didn't know, was going to be Tanner. Because, you know, that makes perfect sense for his character and loyal personality since QoS, to turn around and do a 180 in SP against Bond and all the other MI6 crew. But you're all right, Logan is clearly king and P & W are stinkers.

    The only interesting elements lost in my eyes are the cage fight (it's possible to save it for later, as the Craig films always open with chases), and the ski set piece. The plane bit was okay, but seeing Dan's Bond on skis would've been interesting. Oh well. I still hold that what we got was leaps and bounds better than what was in these early drafts.
  • Wow, this sounds so much better than what we actually got. A lot more akin to the CR Bond. Idk what the hell Mendes was thinking. And damn, a cage fight for an opening would have been awesome...

    Well I think the Mexico PTS worked out great. But I agree the cage match thing has great potential. Amy Pascal didn't think so though, she wrote "NOT THAT FUN TO SEE BOND IN A CAGE MATCH ....FEELS VERY UNBOND."

    But I like the UnBondness of it. It's surprising, different, and to start a Bond movie like that would be a "whoa...what's he doing HERE?" kind of thing.
  • Posts: 1,077
    I think its clear why P&W were brought back.

    It just reinforces that from the onset they were trying to save the film more or less.
  • Aziz_FekkeshAziz_Fekkesh Royale-les-Eaux
    Posts: 391
    I like the idea of the PTS and the masked ball. Some elements were improved in the movie, some not as good. C'est la vie.
  • I have argued in other threads that John Logan was being made into a scapegoat. He said that he was working closely with Mendes. Also, according to some of the emails in the Sony hack, Mendes was asking for more time in early 2014 for Logan to do more work but the studio finally had to have a script to look at.

    Go back and look at the press release that was put out in July 11, 2013.

    http://www.007.com/bond-24-news-2/

    Pascal and Lynton said, “It’s a privilege to work on the Bond films. EON, John Logan and Sam Mendes have come up with an extraordinary follow up to SKYFALL and we, along with our partners at MGM, can’t wait to share this new chapter with audiences all over the world.”

    At that time, there was NO script. Logan had submitted a treatment. A release was announced *without even a first draft* submitted.



  • Put another way, I think Logan was giving Mendes exactly what he wanted. When things blew up, Logan suddenly found himself expendable.
  • Meanwhile, in the early Logan drafts (whether it's first, second, or whatever), Leiter is involved, eventually meets up with Moneypenny and calls her a "foxy lady."

    --Bond gets turned down by three women in the first 30 pages.

    --Tanner is the traitor. So much for the notion how these films "are just like Fleming." In Fleming's novels, Tanner was the closest thing Bond had to a friend in the Secret Service.
  • edited December 2015 Posts: 1,984
    I was under the impression that P&W undertook a page one rewrite.

    A change you did not list is that in Logan's script, 009's song choice was "Spooky" by Dusty Springfield :)

    About the fact P&W didn't do a page one rewrite, I think the chronology in short seems to be that Ralph Fiennes refused to play a traitor, and P&W then entered stage to save the day.

    A possible chronology gathered from the Sony leaks and what happened around end of June :

    - M is a traitor in Logan/Mendes script.
    - Ralph Fiennes reads the script, and refuses to play such a role. This happened probably during June 2014.
    - "Give him as much money as we gave to Bardem, promise him we'll fund a movie for him to direct", the studio proposed (*)
    - Fiennes says no (now you have a real-life example about how much "movie contracts" are worth). Studio is mad at Mendes not checking far earlier Fiennes would agree to be the bad guy in both Harry Potter and Bond franchises.
    - Rumours in the movie business is that Logan is out. Someone posts this on this forum but no one believes him (it will happen to several scoops during the production !). This is June 2014.
    - Logan says in an interview that he's finished with writing for movies. "No, no, he means he will write Bond 24 and Bond 25 and then he'll stop", we can read here. This is 21st of June 2014.
    - 27th of June 2014 : EON announces P&W are back.
    - 3rd of July 2014 : someone writes at Sony a summary of what happened the weeks before in a few words (including the (*) episode above). A new script where M is not a traitor anymore is announced by EON to Sony for early July. And possibly it means the invention of "C" and all the subplot with him ?
    - December 2014 : SonyLeaks happen. Ralph Fiennes is called a hero in the LEAKS thread on this forum :)
  • Posts: 287
    Glad Fiennes defended the character. M should never be a traitor. I mean, there's potential for an extortion scenario where M is being blackmailed for information so he needs to do such and such, but Fiennes (and even Dench's) take on M don't seem the types to let the bad guys get under their skin.
  • echoecho 007 in New York
    Posts: 3,260
    I was under the impression that P&W undertook a page one rewrite.

    A change you did not list is that in Logan's script, 009's song choice was "Spooky" by Dusty Springfield :)

    About the fact P&W didn't do a page one rewrite, I think the chronology in short seems to be that Ralph Fiennes refused to play a traitor, and P&W then entered stage to save the day.

    A possible chronology gathered from the Sony leaks and what happened around end of June :

    - M is a traitor in Logan/Mendes script.
    - Ralph Fiennes reads the script, and refuses to play such a role. This happened probably during June 2014.
    - "Give him as much money as we gave to Bardem, promise him we'll fund a movie for him to direct", the studio proposed (*)

    - Fiennes says no (now you have a real-life example about how much "movie contracts" are worth). Studio is mad at Mendes not checking far earlier Fiennes would agree to be the bad guy in both Harry Potter and Bond franchises.
    - Rumours in the movie business is that Logan is out. Someone posts this on this forum but no one believes him (it will happen to several scoops during the production !). This is June 2014.
    - Logan says in an interview that he's finished with writing for movies. "No, no, he means he will write Bond 24 and Bond 25 and then he'll stop", we can read here. This is 21st of June 2014.
    - 27th of June 2014 : EON announces P&W are back.
    - 3rd of July 2014 : someone writes at Sony a summary of what happened the weeks before in a few words (including the (*) episode above). A new script where M is not a traitor anymore is announced by EON to Sony for early July. And possibly it means the invention of "C" and all the subplot with him ?
    - December 2014 : SonyLeaks happen. Ralph Fiennes is called a hero in the LEAKS thread on this forum :)

    Wow to the above!

    No one has these scripts to share? Doesn't seem fair that those of us who waited for the film to open have missed out. :(
  • jake24jake24 Sitting at your desk, kissing your lover, eating supper with your familyModerator
    Posts: 9,261
    I was under the impression that P&W undertook a page one rewrite.

    A change you did not list is that in Logan's script, 009's song choice was "Spooky" by Dusty Springfield :)

    About the fact P&W didn't do a page one rewrite, I think the chronology in short seems to be that Ralph Fiennes refused to play a traitor, and P&W then entered stage to save the day.

    A possible chronology gathered from the Sony leaks and what happened around end of June :

    - M is a traitor in Logan/Mendes script.
    - Ralph Fiennes reads the script, and refuses to play such a role. This happened probably during June 2014.
    - "Give him as much money as we gave to Bardem, promise him we'll fund a movie for him to direct", the studio proposed (*)
    - Fiennes says no (now you have a real-life example about how much "movie contracts" are worth). Studio is mad at Mendes not checking far earlier Fiennes would agree to be the bad guy in both Harry Potter and Bond franchises.
    - Rumours in the movie business is that Logan is out. Someone posts this on this forum but no one believes him (it will happen to several scoops during the production !). This is June 2014.
    - Logan says in an interview that he's finished with writing for movies. "No, no, he means he will write Bond 24 and Bond 25 and then he'll stop", we can read here. This is 21st of June 2014.
    - 27th of June 2014 : EON announces P&W are back.
    - 3rd of July : someone writes at Sony a summary of what happened the weeks before in a few words (including the (*) episode above). A new script where M is not a traitor anymore is announced by EON to Sony for early July. And possibly it means the invention of "C" and all the subplot with him ?
    - December : SonyLeaks happen. Ralph Fiennes is called a hero in the LEAKS thread on this forum :)
    Not that this matters but it was never EON who announced the P & W rewrite. It was heavily reliable DailyMail journalist Baz Bamigboye, who after the leaks has since not reported on Bond again.
  • 0BradyM0Bondfanatic70BradyM0Bondfanatic7 It was this or the priesthood.
    Posts: 28,232
    And some people actually think some of this garbage was better than what we got in the final film? Seriously? Having M, Tanner or any member of the MI6 home team being a turncoat of any variety is beyond ludicrous. When every member of the Whitehall brigade was shown to lay down life and limb for Bond (and vice versa) in SF, why would one of them then turn their back and screw him and the whole of their government? As some have said, there could be a grey area like blackmail or where one of the team was forced to make a tough decision in the face of the 00 program's dismissal, but from what I've read it seemed like the traitor was going to be portrayed quite clearly as an evil SOB at the far right side of the white and black moral spectrum.

    It's funny, because when SF came out and Mallory was introduced as the new M, we all made jokes about how he was Voldemort in disguise crossed over from Potter and was an evil sleeper agent trying to wreak havoc on the world from a high government position. In some ways, this is almost what we actually got. Christ...

    People can drag P&W through the mud all they want, but they saved this film. I'll just let that sink in...
  • edited December 2015 Posts: 1,984
    jake24 wrote: »
    Not that this matters but it was never EON who announced the P & W rewrite. It was heavily reliable DailyMail journalist Baz Bamigboye, who after the leaks has since not reported on Bond again.

    Yes indeed, my mistake.

    What I will remember from this leaks and from the production thread, is that most of the scoops that I remember turned out to be true, despite many "experts" debunking them.

    And well, you remember all the stuff about Penelope Cruz ? Yes, in the end, she's not in SPECTRE. But we now know it is certainly not because she was too old, and yet that was the "expert advice" to "debunk the rumor". Maybe Cruz was indeed considered before Belluci, and we'll never know. Frankly, the fact that a 40+ yo actress was rumored to be a Bond girl probably meant there was some truth somewhere now we know they wanted an older Bond gril... you won't choose a 40+ yo to launch a Bond girl rumour no ?

  • bondjamesbondjames You were expecting someone else?
    edited December 2015 Posts: 23,883
    I actually like some of what I read above re: the first draft. There are some interesting elements there.

    Parkour on skis - I like that idea far more than the dead boring (imho) plane sequence we got in the final film. I heard somewhere that DC did not want to do skiing, but not sure if that's true or just a rumour.

    I would like to see Charlotte re-imagined for a future film, & the same for a ski sequence.

    The African Warlord thing I'm not sure about though...it may have been too similar to Obanno from CR, especially if draft 1 was still going to do the link between all Craig's films.

    I like the idea of suspicions being leveled at members of MI6, includiing MP, but I'm not so keen on one of them actually being a mole. The threat of an insider seems interesting though, and I would have preferred if Bond saved the day (and his team) through his endeavours throughout the film.

    So definitely some interesting ideas & concepts here, that could be explored in future films.
  • 0BradyM0Bondfanatic70BradyM0Bondfanatic7 It was this or the priesthood.
    Posts: 28,232
    bondjames wrote: »
    I actually like some of what I read above re: the first draft. There are some interesting elements there.

    Parkour on skis - I like that idea far more than the dead boring (imho) plane sequence we got in the final film. I heard somewhere that DC did not want to do skiing, but not sure if that's true or just a rumour.

    I would like to see Charlotte re-imagined for a future film, & the same for a ski sequence.

    The African Warlord thing I'm not sure about though...it may have been too similar to Obanno from CR, especially if draft 1 was still going to do the link between all Craig's films.

    I like the idea of suspicions being leveled at members of MI6, includiing MP, but I'm not so keen on one of them actually being a mole. The threat of an insider seems interesting though, and I would have preferred if Bond saved the day (and his team) through his endeavours throughout the film.

    So definitely some interesting ideas & concepts here, that could be explored in future films.

    Well, he did save the day. What's bigger than saving the jobs of literally all your colleagues and your boss's position as leader by reigning in the madman behind the destruction of it all? Bond was also the one to report C's true intentions as Blofeld's quasi-protege.
  • bondjamesbondjames You were expecting someone else?
    edited December 2015 Posts: 23,883
    bondjames wrote: »
    I actually like some of what I read above re: the first draft. There are some interesting elements there.

    Parkour on skis - I like that idea far more than the dead boring (imho) plane sequence we got in the final film. I heard somewhere that DC did not want to do skiing, but not sure if that's true or just a rumour.

    I would like to see Charlotte re-imagined for a future film, & the same for a ski sequence.

    The African Warlord thing I'm not sure about though...it may have been too similar to Obanno from CR, especially if draft 1 was still going to do the link between all Craig's films.

    I like the idea of suspicions being leveled at members of MI6, includiing MP, but I'm not so keen on one of them actually being a mole. The threat of an insider seems interesting though, and I would have preferred if Bond saved the day (and his team) through his endeavours throughout the film.

    So definitely some interesting ideas & concepts here, that could be explored in future films.

    Well, he did save the day. What's bigger than saving the jobs of literally all your colleagues and your boss's position as leader by reigning in the madman behind the destruction of it all? Bond was also the one to report C's true intentions as Blofeld's quasi-protege.
    That's true, but it was all handled in a rather procedural and matter of fact way rather than tension filled manner to me. This part from the OP's post interests me:

    "Logan introduces the idea that there is a mole within MI6, with even characters like Moneypenny being under suspicion. Apparently this would have led to paranoia developing back in London with the allies being picked apart; especially MP and Tanner who are said not to get along."

    So the suspicions being leveled at members of MI6 could have led to some tension filled scenes in London, with accusations back and forth and possible interrogations - but I would have preferred if they were actually all innocent and the accuser had to fall on his / her sword as it were.
  • jake24 wrote: »
    Not that this matters but it was never EON who announced the P & W rewrite. It was heavily reliable DailyMail journalist Baz Bamigboye, who after the leaks has since not reported on Bond again.

    Actually, in a backhanded way, Eon did confirm this. In July 2013, the official press release said John Logan was writing the movie.

    In the Dec. 4, 2014 press release, it was stated (for the first time) that the script was written by Logan, Purvis and Wade.


  • 0BradyM0Bondfanatic70BradyM0Bondfanatic7 It was this or the priesthood.
    Posts: 28,232
    I agree there's interest there, but with all the other things that were going on in the film, it seems like a thread that deserved to be cut. We got enough of the MI6 accusations in SF, so it doesn't feel like we lost anything here, at least to me. I much prefer the team working together than breaking apart, especially since that just doesn't make sense for their characters, considering what they've already been through.
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