‘Bourne Ultimatum’ Writer Hired To Rewrite New ‘James Bond’ Movie

Actors Daniel Craig, Naomie Harris and Christoph Waltz attend the German premiere of the new James Bond movie 'Spectre' at CineStar on October 28, 2015 in Berlin, Germany.
Adam Berry / Getty Images for Sony Pictures

Soon after MGM announced that Bond 25 will be delayed by two months, Bourne Ultimatum writer Scott Z. Burns was hired to rewrite the script, Playlist reports.

Bond 25 was aiming for a February 14, 2020, release date, but the project now will see the light of day on Easter weekend, April 8, 2020.

The culprit for the delay is said to be the script, by regular Bond writers Neal Purvis and Robert Wade, which neither the producers, nor the cast are happy with.

It appears they decided to borrow someone from another franchise to save the project, Bourne Ultimatum’s Scott Z. Burns joins in to rewrite the script. Burns has been rumored to write a James Bond movie for years, but this is the first time it actually comes to pass, even if it’s just a rewrite.

Besides writing one of the best spy movies of the past decade, he is known as a premier script doctor in Hollywood, able to do a really good job, really fast. Just what this project needs.

Bond 25 is not only a touchstone for the series, but is also Daniel Craig’s last time playing James Bond, so this movie needs to knock it out of the park. The Academy Award winner is expected to have such an impact on the script that he will end up receiving first screenplay credit.

Writer and director Scott Z. Burns attends the 'The Report' Premiere during the 2019 Sundance Film Festival at Eccles Center Theatre on January 26, 2019 in Park City, Utah.
  Dia Dipasupil / Getty Images

Daniel Craig’s final outing as 007 has been rocky from the start, for a time it was even rumored that Craig himself wouldn’t return.

After the critically panned Spectre, he famously said he would rather “break [a] glass and slash [his] wrists” than doing the job again. As production for Bond 25 loomed, however, he changed his tune.

“As far as I’m concerned, I’ve got the best job in the world. I’ll keep doing it as long as I still get a kick out of it. If I were to stop doing it, I would miss it terribly.”

He ultimately decided to stop doing it and cope with missing it terribly, as this is the last movie he’s contractually obligated to work on.

Meanwhile, negotiations between Eon Pictures, who owns the James Bond film series, and MGM, who distributes it, were rocky as MGM is famously broke.

After what must have been a vicious bidding war, Universal Pictures entered the partnership. Per their agreement, Universal will handle international and physical distribution, while MGM will deal with domestic and digital distribution.

What was a breeze, by comparison, was finding the right director. When Danny Boyle left the production early on, Eon went with Cary Joji Fukunaga, the series’ first ever American director.