Time to get rid of Purvis and Wade!

edited December 2011 in Skyfall Posts: 10,853
Just been watching the excellent reviews of the Brosnan era films on haphazardstuff.com (http://haphazardstuff.com/DieAnotherDay.html) and have been further convinced that Purvis and Wade are the root cause of the attrocious stories and scripts that have afflicted the series since Goldeneye. Daniel Craig has benefited from some good script-doctoring, particularly on Casino Royal, which had the natural advantage of an original Fleming story, but otherwise Purvis and Wade produce utterly dire work. Hopefully John Logan will inject some life into Skyfall, but why tolerate such awful base material. To paraphrase Jeremy Clarkson, Purvis and Wade should be taken out and have their licenses revoked. Writing a Bond script is a huge responsibility and honour - one which this hopeless pair have shown on countless occassions that they are not capable of living up to.
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Comments

  • SAMSAM
    Posts: 107
    I completely agree with you on this matter. I'm not quite sure when these two started in relation to James Bond but Casino Royale was their one true triumph - and that was based on Ian Fleming's original work (unless Goldeneye was their baby to).

    Though that certainly is no excuse in relation to scripts of other Bond productions. Please don't get me started about Die Another Day. All great movies are based on sound scripts and should Skyfall turn out to be another Quantum of Solace, then time should be up on Purvis and Wade.

    On a related subject, dismiss David Arnold of services as Bond composer.
  • I wouldn't give Clarkson the time of day never mind listen to any opinion the 'man' had

    I've never heard of Haphazard Stuff.com before actually.

    Die Another Day was for me an unmitigated mess for all involved, Brosnan did what he could but it's one to forget for most Bond lovers and a big black mark on the franchise. I guess Wade and Purvis have their share of the castigations there in any event

    Their best work together for me was The World Is Not Enough, so it hasn't been all lousy efforts along the way
  • edited December 2011 Posts: 10,853
    Sadly I'm not a fan of any of the Brosnan movies for a wide range of reasons, although that's another thread I guess. Casino Royale had the added benefit of Paul Haggis reworking Purvis and Wade's original script. Casino Royale has some nice dialogue, which I can only assume came from Haggis. I just checked and Purvis and Wade started writing on TWINE. Why they've been kept on since is any one's guess.

    I'm slightly more sympathetic to David Arnold than Sam, but overall I think he's had his time and someone else should be given a shot. You don't get a John Barry turning up every day, but there are much better composers out there than Arnold.
  • 0BradyM0Bondfanatic70BradyM0Bondfanatic7 It was this or the priesthood.
    Posts: 28,232
    I usually give Purvis and Wade the benefit of the doubt for the fantastic CR, but the issue is I have no idea how the script would've been without Haggis reworking it. To put it simply, how much of Purvis and Wade's work was theirs, and how much did Haggis toss in?
  • Posts: 1,894
    Getafix wrote:
    Just been watching the excellent reviews of the Brosnan era films on haphazardstuff.com (http://haphazardstuff.com/DieAnotherDay.html) and have been further convinced that Purvis and Wade are the root cause of the attrocious stories and scripts that have afflicted the series since Goldeneye. Daniel Craig has benefited from some good script-doctoring, particularly on Casino Royal, which had the natural advantage of an original Fleming story, but otherwise Purvis and Wade produce utterly dire work.
    Wrong!

    First of all, Purvis and Wade did not write TOMORROW NEVER DIES. Bruce Feirstein did.

    Secondly, the original script for THE WORLD IS NOT ENOUGH was actually very strong. But then Michael Apted comissioned re-writes - from his wife - that changed the focus of the story. The original draft played up the mystery of who Renard was and how responsible he really was. Apted decided that because Elektra was a villain, the story needed to focus on Bond's relationship with her, and the script was butchered.

    DIE ANOTHER DAY also reeks of director interference. There is some high-quality stuff in there that is a cut above the rest of the film (for instance, the scenes where M is cold towards Bond). As for the rest of it, I have this vision in my mind's eye of Lee Tamahori sitting in the director's chair saying "Intelligent dialogue and a coherent plot? No, audiences want sex puns and Robocop suits!"

    You're also overstating Paul Haggis' involvement in CASINO ROYALE's script. Script doctors do not usually get a screenwriting credit unless they make a significant contribution to the script, and Haggis' contribution was the sinking house finale. It's also suspected (but unproven) that he wrote the infamous train scene. Otherwise, he just tweaked dialogue and character directions.

    As for QUANTUM OF SOLACE, Purvis and wade did not write a script at all (at least not one that was ever shot). They wrote a story treatment, but Paul Haggis wrote the entire screenplay.

    That's the writer's burden - despite providing the actual script (without which, there can be no film), the writer(s) have very little creative control. Directors and producers can make unsolicited edits to a screenplay, and there is nothing the writer can do about it. Worse, they can be forced to carry a screenpaly credit for a film that is not necessarily theirs, as happened in the case of THE WORLD IS NOT ENOUGH and DIE ANOTHER DAY.
  • M_BaljeM_Balje Amsterdam, Netherlands
    edited December 2011 Posts: 3,172
    From the interview video on this website i saw John Logan is a better writer for Bond then Paul Haggis.

    QOS is very refreshing, stil there be things i link earlier to P&W like the mom scene's, boat chase, airplane fight and the hotel scene at the end. P&W proof in all those years made very clear boat chases are there mark and be uncredit writers of The Italian Job 2003 (and Sahara)

    CR is easier to reconize P&W there mark, of course this also thanks to the in my eyes Twine releated cast chooses and the cinematopgraphy who be or be close the one from whylen Adrian Bidle. Stuard Baid made it sometimes a bit to much color and Campbell at more violence. Mabey because one complane i read a lot on those forums about Twine that some people think it have to much drama. A good example where you can see a P&W thing be the Submarine in Twine, in CR this be sinking house. P&W, Chris Corbould, Peter Lamont and David Arnold lead those 2 scene's.

    I think Paul Haggis did the dialogue for CR and mabey the politic parts with exeption of the airport scene. Only the last scene with explosion i think be from Haggis. The first thing what i think and mabey some others too is o no not another airplane flight.

    What i miss from CR the moost be more Bond & Vesper and more information about Dryden. Also 2 or 3 dialogue should have been removed, also the joke who never laugh about be the Astin Martin/Solange scene. A waste of time who can be yused for more Bond & Vesper. I don't say it should so much as Bond & Tracy but i never believed there are in love.

    For Bond 25 i like to see P&W be replaced by Hossein Amini (Drive, Shanghai, The Four Feathers) & Michael Schiffer ( The Four Feathers, The Peacemaker & Crimson Tide ). At this moment i think there mabey also be a bit like P&W, but a high difrence that there make more movies then P&W and also make some Thrillers. I think there should keep the movies some of the Twine, Cr & QOS magic but with some inprovements. The Dop and production design get a hugh update with QOS. Also the count of extra's in QOS get bonus points from me, aswell saying goodby to Lindy Hemming.

    Iam very curious what we get with Sam Mendes (I see him as directer of high drama/dificult drama.), the new cinematopgrapher (who i see at the moment as a kind of Michael Apted of cinematopgraphy.) and the return of P&W, Alexander Witt & Stuard Baid (Very negatief for CR. But with some others movies i don't have problem.), David Arnold & Dennis Gasner. Because it is mix of people who doubt and like what there did for CR or QOS and new people.
  • edited December 2011 Posts: 1,497
    I've wondered why EON have kept them on this long as if they are the keepers of the Bond story tradition? They must see something good in what they do...But to be fair, I too give Purvis and Wade the benefit of the doubt. I think there is a good story in TWINE waiting to break out despite the final film's flaws. With DAD, I also think Tamahori took a little too much liberty, and P&W are quoted as saying that their original script was blown out of proportion. Afterall, it wasn't P&W who cast Madonna, Halle Barry, included the awful CGI surf scenes, etc.

    I don't buy the argument that CR was good because it was a Fleming story. Sure, maybe the bones of the book are there, but the final screenplay is completely it's own entity. P&W can at least take credit for modernising the original story. Perhaps it's Haggis who is guilty for the blemishes of CR...I don't know for sure, and most of us probably don't know either. But overall the final product turned out well, and I don't see any evidence to knock P&W for the final result.

    In regards to QOS, Shadowonthesun brings up a good fact, which I wasn't aware of, but gives some vindication to P&W to not being the pox of the Bond franchise, if you are of the position that QOS is a dud--I'm not. But either it seems P&W can't be blamed for many shortcomings:
    As for QUANTUM OF SOLACE, Purvis and wade did not write a script at all (at least not one that was ever shot). They wrote a story treatment, but Paul Haggis wrote the entire screenplay.

    SF will be a good test...maybe P&W aren't Oscar worthy by any stretch, but if they have a deep understanding of Bond, and can collaborate with a more experienced screenwriter/playwrite like John Logan, then that makes me happy.


  • tqbtqb
    Posts: 971
    I remember reading somewhere that Haggis said he basically only wrote the third act of CR. The rest was P&W.
    But we need more prestigious writers.
  • DJCLE84DJCLE84 formerly HASEROT ---has returned like the tedious inevitability of an unloved season---
    edited December 2011 Posts: 4,259
    for QOS - i do now remember reading P&W were signed to write the treatment, and it was to be handed off to Haggis to work into a script... which he did - but the writer's strike shot all that to hell, and what he handed back was a script that had various portions either missing, or not finished - Craig confirms that in his latest interview with GQ..

    i personally can't place the blame on anyone for QOS's story - P&W did their job, Haggis was doing his until the strike forced him to stop... i mean the man won an Oscar for writing, and is a professional - i don't think he would hand in a subpar 100% finished script, but then make up and excuse that he couldn't finish it because of the writer's strike... i remember reading article after article leading up to the strike about Haggis and the QOS script - and how it would be a miracle to get it done before the strike.

    i would love to see what it could've been, had the script been 100% completed - when it was turned over to the producers.

    in that regard though, in terms of Purvis and Wade - we'll see with Skyfall... if it bottoms out, then maybe a change is in order.. but it holds itself up, and gives us half the thrills that CR did - then maybe they are worth keeping around.
  • Posts: 4,619
    There was a time when I disliked them a lot but the more I know about their involvement the more I am convinced that they should stay. They really know more about Bond than any other screenwriter out there. On the other hand there is no doubt that there are screenwriters better that them.

    So I would be more than satisfied if the continued working on Bond and if the producers also hired someone like Haggis or Logan each time to help them out.
  • 4EverBonded4EverBonded Dancing at midnight under the BeBop Moon
    Posts: 11,508
    Good points shadowonthesun.
    For my two cents, I just want to say that I thought Goldeneye was well written and enjoyable.
  • there should be a reality tv show with the best fanboy script used for bond 24
  • There are some clues about the CR contributions of P&W and Haggis in one of the CR drafts circulating among collectors:

    http://www.hmss.com/films/bondscripts/index.html
  • BennyBenny Perth, Western AustraliaModerator
    Posts: 9,191
    To many cooks is the biggest problem with the series of late.
  • TWINE is a great film, but DAD is just awful and its a shame they suddenly come out with CR just when brosnan leaves, he would've loved to do that. But im not sure how much of CR is actually written by them, and even if its alot then they had flemmings book to work with. Poor brosnan, yeah they need new writers.
  • Posts: 10,853
    It's a subject for a seperate thread, I know, but for my money Brosnan is definitively the worst Bond ever - by a huge margin. I actually think he's done some not bad movies - Tailor of Panama a prime example - but is utterly miscast as Bond. Any way, the comments here have given me cause to reconsider my harsh judgement of P+W. Perhaps they're not as much to blame as I imagined, but I would argue that their underlying stories (if not scripts) have been exceedingly lame. I do sincerely believe that CR benefits a lot from the underlying story.
  • Posts: 297
    I don't share the popular disregard for Purvis and Wade, mostly because I have zero idea what exactly was their work and what not. But some fresh blood can hardly be a bad idea, perhaps in the future involved right from the start and not just as a doctor or providing a bit of dialogue.
  • edited December 2011 Posts: 3,722
    I wouln´t lose any sleep if P&W and David Arnold were replaced. In the same strange way I´m glad Ford motors is gone :-h (not aston of course, but I´m tired of the same sound, Ford product placement and lousy writing)
  • DaltonCraig007DaltonCraig007 They say, "Evil prevails when good men fail to act." What they ought to say is, "Evil prevails."
    edited December 2011 Posts: 13,610
    Purvis&Wade are a bunch of hacks that should have been fired after the pathetic and appalling TWINE.
  • Posts: 2,341
    Purvis and Wade eat shytt and die. The dialogue in DAD is so atrocious that anyone listening to it was brutalized. They had good premises but failed to deliver. It sickens me that such bad mediocre writing is sold for mega bucks. I'm in the wrong frigging business! #@$%$#!!
  • Purvis&Wade are a bunch of hacks that should have been fired after the pathetic and appalling TWINE.

    I have to stick up for it when saying even with whoever was involved along the way it's one of the most recent best Bond adventures out there, Brosnan's best of the four he did I truly feel. I don't understand sometimes why some genuine Bond fans castigate this 007 release. There are one two specific names that could of been left out but for the most part it's an enjoyable two hours spent and Brosnan at his most Bond like

  • edited September 2012 Posts: 12,150
    Purvis&Wade are a bunch of hacks that should have been fired after the pathetic and appalling TWINE.

    I have to stick up for it when saying even with whoever was involved along the way it's one of the most recent best Bond adventures out there, Brosnan's best of the four he did I truly feel. I don't understand sometimes why some genuine Bond fans castigate this 007 release. There are one two specific names that could of been left out but for the most part it's an enjoyable two hours spent and Brosnan at his most Bond like

    Im gonna stick up for TWINE too, I think its definetly brosnans best film, maybe 2nd best behind GE. Apart from denise richards its a fun, brilliant bond film that has a lighter side and a darker side, gadgets and emotion. Its the perfect bond film, because it has what CR had with bond being more human, but it also has gadgets and one liners. Its great.

    But purvis and wade should've gone after DAD. The only reason CR was good is because DAD was bad and they had flemmings book to work with. If skyfall turns out crap then I definetly know who to blame.
  • Posts: 1,894
    Benny wrote:
    To many cooks is the biggest problem with the series of late.
    I think the problem with QOS is that there was no real communication between the writers. Their involvement with the script ended when they passed it on to the next persion. Michael G Wilson came up with the idea. Stop. Purvis and Wade wrote the story treatment. Stop. Paul Haggis wrote the screenplay. Stop. Joshua Zetumer worked as script doctor. Stop. So it was all very comparmentalised, and there was no real collaboration between anyone involved at each stop of the creative process.
  • Posts: 1,358
    Both Mendes and John Logan said how they really liked P&W's script before they came on the film. That's gotta be a good sign. Like others have said, I'll reserve my judgment on them until I see Skyfall
  • Posts: 3,722
    Have you guys seen that Logan interview at the Hugo premiere? He´s so excited to be working on Skyfall and he sounds like Craig and Fiennes and Mendes when they speak about the script..genuinely excited. If only we could know what big of an influence P&W had on the last 3 scripts..
  • So far, I think P&W only wrote the story treatments or "basic ideas" for the films, and had not definite control over the complete screenplay...

    In TWINE, he wrote the story treatment, which was then made into a screenplay by Feirstein (and reedited by Adpted's wife)

    DAD is the only work which P&W had full control over, and we knew how well that went...(though Lee Tamahori also deserves some blame)

    CR was mostly written by P&W, but how hard is it to nearly fully adapt a classic spy novel by Ian Fleming into a modern setting? This one was basically a "gimme", and I don't think neither of them, nor Haggis himself, should deserve the credit for creating a good Bond story.

    Finally, QOS was strange because, as Shadow said, MGW came up with the idea and eventually asked P&W to wrote it, but when Marc Foster signed on, Haggis, Wilson and Foster completely re-wrote the script from scratch. Add to the fact that Haggis basically rushed the whole thing into completion, then I don't think it's safe to say P&W should be blamed for the story problems.

    Also, keep in mind in Skyfall Peter Morgan created the plot's central hook. So I think the reason why Logan and all the other cast are excited by the script is not because P&W made it good, but they manage to create something out of the "hook" Morgan devised before he left the project.
  • DJCLE84DJCLE84 formerly HASEROT ---has returned like the tedious inevitability of an unloved season---
    edited December 2011 Posts: 4,259
    Add to the fact that Haggis basically rushed the whole thing into completion

    I'm sure Haggis was trying to speed through the script process as fast as he could... but what he handed back to the producers before the writers strike was unfinished - it wasn't completed... it's been stated several times by Craig himself in the past, and as recently in his latest interview with GQ magazine - that when starting production on QOS, they were starting production with an unfinished script - the producers/director/and himself were left to try and fill in the gaps the best they could... the strike is what left them screwed.


  • I am thinnking they should have been gone after DAD.....and get some new fresh writers for CR...but this did not happened....
  • I place the blame for QoS on the director, not the writers...I thought that the script was fine. Of course, with a different director not only would we have had better direction but a different script!
  • Posts: 10,853
    QoS is unfairly maligned. It's not that bad, especially by Brosnan standards.
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