Marvel’s forthcoming Black Widow movie and MGM’s 25th installment in the long-running James Bond franchise are both moving towards production this year. While Marvel’s spy thriller starring Scarlett Johansson likely won’t be in front of cameras until this summer, the next 007 mission with Daniel Craig is looking to start shooting in April. But before either of them get in front of cameras, they’re getting rewrites from new scribes.
Black Widow Hires Ned Benson
First up, Collider has word on the new Black Widow writer being hired to give the script a rewrite before director Cate Shortland (Lore) gets behind the camera. Jac Schaeffer (The Hustle) wrote the previous draft of the script, but now Ned Benson (The Disappearance of Eleanor Rigby) will write a new draft of the second female-driven film in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
Surprisingly enough, apparently Benson’s work on The Disappearance of Eleanor Rigby is what impressed Marvel the most. It’s a character driven romance that feels completely different from what the comic book studio is used to putting out, but that’s likely what was most appealing about him. In fact, there’s one specific element of The Disappearance of Eleanor Rigby that likely made the writer appealing.
The Disappearance of Eleanor Rigby first began as a Black List script called Him, and it focused on the crumbling relationship between a man and woman. However, as the title hints at, it’s only from the perspective of the lead male character, who ended up being played by James McAvoy. But Jessica Chastain, who produced and starred in the movie as the titular character, worked with Benson on a separate script called Her, which told the story from the female character’s perspective. Both scripts were shot and turned into a single movie with both perspectives represented, but there were also two individual cuts for Him and Her.
That kind of collaboration is likely exactly what Marvel, and probably Scarlett Johansson, are looking for. In fact, the source for this story adds that Johansson might have already been impressed with Benson’s work on another developing movie called My Aryan Princess. The movie was rumored to be developed as a star vehicle for Johansson, so she might already be familiar with the scribe’s skills on the page. That’s merely speculation on Collider’s part, but it would make perfect sense if true.
As of now Black Widow doesn’t have a release date because Marvel is keeping their future schedule under wraps until after Avengers: Endgame hits theaters on April 26, 2019. But we’ll keep you posted with all the updates we can.
James Bond 25 Hires Scott Z. Burns
The next installment of the James Bond franchise just landed a new release date before the weekend. Instead of arriving on Valentine’s Day next year, the sequel moved into the vacated April 8, 2020 release date left behind by Fast and Furious 9. Now the film will try to get the script rewritten before the cameras start rolling.
The Bourne Ultimatum and The Informant! writer Scott Z. Burns will give James Bond 25 a rewrite after 007 franchise regulars Neal Purvis and Robert Wade wrote the original script. The Playlist reports this rewrite will be an overhaul, and Burns may end up getting the primary screenplay credit when all is said and done.
Burns is coming off rave reviews for his directorial debut on The Report at the 2019 Sundance Film Festival, a film which he also wrote. The scribe is known for giving scripts some last minute repairs in order to get it ready for production. In fact, he was one of the writers brought in to do some uncredited work on Rogue One: A Star Wars Story. Apparently Burns had been contacted before to touch up James Bond scripts, but the timing never worked out. Now he’ll be spending four weeks rewriting the script, and he’s being paid “a king’s ransom sum” for the job.
James Bond 25 will be directed by True Detective helmer Cary Joji Fukunaga, who took over the job from director Danny Boyle. Clashing with Daniel Craig and creative differences about the end of the movie were said to be the source of contention, but it sounds like the film is on track to finally get off the ground.
Joining Daniel Craig will be Ralph Fiennes, Lea Seydoux, Naomie Harris and Ben Whishaw, but surely more will be added before production begins, assuming the script is ready in time.
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