Why is it hard for EON to find good writers?

M16_CartM16_Cart Craig fanboy?
in SPECTRE Posts: 538
With the budget Spectre had, and the connections of people in the film industry that EON has, there's no reason why they couldn't had a better script.

But, maybe there's something I'm missing. Maybe I don't understand how the industry works, and I've never been in their shoes. Maybe it is a lot harder than it looks to write a story. But in the case, what exactly am I missing?


  • Posts: 782
    I think this goes beyond a question of good or bad writers. Since you're talking about Spectre, I think I'll make it my main example: we know that John Logan was the original screenwriter for the film and that he submitted several drafts to Eon and Sony. However, it must also be taken into account that in addition to writing, other departments were working on the movie, in particular to find it a release date and that this was imposed as a deadline. Logan did not have to write an excellent screenplay as much as the best he could, depending on the time available to him.

    We also know that Logan's drafts did not please Sony that asked for more rewrites and ultimately for a new creative team. Again, Eon didn't have to hire the best screenwriters in the industry, but rather those who were able to meet the requirements, in this case Purvis and Wade, since they appeared as the best option for rewriting the script a few months before the beginning of principal photography (they were recruited in June 2014 while filming was set to to start in December).

    To answer your question directly: the problem comes from the fact that the scriptwriter has to please everyone and is subject to a deadline. Logan is a good writer, as his work demonstrates, however, he did not please and those who replaced him had to work in a limited time. Of course Spectre could have had a better script, but would it have been liked by everyone at Sony? I guess that the final product is what was the only compromise between every person involved. What I don't understand, however, is maintaining this brother subplot. I can't imagine someone at Sony clinging to this idea, saying it is what the series needs.
  • MalloryMallory Do mosquitoes have friends?
    Posts: 1,933
    There are many reasons why Spectre’s script was not up to snuff.

    The series has never been “writer” lead. It has always been producer and studio led. So their demands and ideas have a greater influence over the final product. Its not like good writers havent tried to work, or have contributed towards, the series.
  • edited June 2020 Posts: 608
    When Michael Wilson became one of the series' primary writers, I believe the creative process became a lot less chaotic than it had previously with, say, the revolving door of writers on TSWLM. Wilson's link to EON and his important role in the production guided the scripts, and by all accounts he worked well creatively with Maibaum. The two of them had a good grasp of the Bond formula but could also experiment when need be. As a result, there was (for the most part) a stability and consistency with the scripts.

    But once Maibaum was let go and Wilson focused more on producing, the series became a sh*tshow at the screenwriting level, with way too many cooks in the kitchen. There was also an unfortunate influence from the executives at MGM/UA, who favored the typical Hollywood approach of "throw as many writers at it as you can and see what sticks." One example of this was the roundtable meeting on TND, when the creatives didn't know how to develop the script and invited seven or eight writers to sit in a room and spitball ideas for action scenes. This is obviously not how movies should be written but, unfortunately, it's popular in the industry.

    When Purvis & Wade were hired, I think Barbara and MGW saw them as a stabilizing force creatively, but then fell back into the practice of hiring multiple writers while also trying to force their own ideas into the process. More often than not, the result ends up a hodgepodge.
  • M16_CartM16_Cart Craig fanboy?
    edited June 2020 Posts: 538
    Mallory wrote: »
    The series has never been “writer” lead. It has always been producer and studio led. So their demands and ideas have a greater influence over the final product. Its not like good writers haven't tried to work, or have contributed towards, the series.

    This explains it well.

    That's why the plots, romances, etc. often feel forced. Because they are.

    Bond has become so successful, it's treated more as a packaged product than an art form. EON wants to put different hands on the project, so that 1 person doesn't have too much power to take a risk that might negatively impact sales.
  • thedovethedove hiding in the Greek underworld
    Posts: 4,503
    I would support the theory that there are too many people to please. Say what you want about Broccoli and Salzman but they had full creative control. It cost them Connery cause he wanted more involvement. Moore came and delivered the lines. Once we get to Dalton and now Craig they have a view of things and need to have certain things in the story. Notice that when Boyle was let go it was Craig, Wilson and Barbara will on the press release.

    UA for the most part would let EON run the show. Provide a budget and then let the creative folks do their thing. Now with Sony and MGM and others they all get a say, no one person calls the shots. The film becomes a committee of ideas and results in hodge podge that you see on the screen and the uneven results of the series.
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