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‘No Time to Die’ Producer Says Phoebe Waller-Bridge Helped Shape ‘Whole Plot’: Not Just Female Writer

"It’s unfair to think of [Phoebe Waller-Bridge] as a female writer."

B25_39456_RC2James Bond (Daniel Craig) and Paloma (Ana de Armas) inNO TIME TO DIE, an EON Productions and Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Studios filmCredit: Nicola Dove© 2020 DANJAQ, LLC AND MGM. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

“No Time to Die”

Nicola Dove

No Time to Die” producer and Eon Productions co-head Michael G. Wilson wants Bond fans to know that Phoebe Waller-Bridge’s contributions to the upcoming new 007 tentpole go far beyond just the women characters in the film. Asked by BBC Radio 4 (via Deadline) about the “Fleabag” Emmy winner joining “No Time to Die” to punch up the script, Wilson said Waller-Bridge had “a major contribution” to the final movie.

“She gave us an interesting point-of-view for several of the characters,” Wilson said. “It’s unfair to think of her as a female writer…she contributed to the whole plot of the film.”

“[I was asked to do] dialogue polishes and to offer things really,” Waller-Bridge said last year about her involvement with Bond. “It’s about just offering different alternatives. They did give me some scenes and then be like, can you write some alternatives for this or have another idea about where it could go in the middle or how it would end. And then I would just give them options and various scenes and then they would take what they want. But there was a lot people writing — the director [Cary Fukunaga] was a writer on it as well. And there’d been a few writers before.”

Bond himself, Daniel Craig, has been protective over Waller-Bridge’s involvement with the Bond franchise. Waller-Bridge was hired to punch up the script written by director Cary Fukunaga and screenwriter Scott Z. Burns (which itself was an expansion of an early draft written by Bond veterans Neal Purvis and Robert Wade), but anyone assuming Waller-Bridge was brought on board simply to make the franchise a more inclusive place in front of and behind the camera is mistaken. The question was posed to Craig in an interview with The Sunday Times back in 2019, prompting a furious response from the actor.

“Look, we’re having a conversation about Phoebe’s gender here, which is fucking ridiculous,” Craig said. “She’s a great writer. Why shouldn’t we get Phoebe onto Bond?”

Craig pushed back as the reporter asked whether Waller-Bridge’s hire was made to drag Bond into a more representative era. “I know where you’re going, but I don’t actually want to have that conversation,” the actor said. “I know what you’re trying to do, but it’s wrong. It’s absolutely wrong. She’s a fucking great writer. One of the best English writers around. I said, ‘Can we get her on the film?’ That’s where I came from.”

“No Time to Die” opens in the U.S. on October 8.

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