Licence to be a cleverclogs
' Playwright Tom Stoppard is in talks to write the 2007 007 follow - up to Daniel Craig's first outing as James Bond.
So will 007 be spouting theories on favourite Stoppard topics such as quantum physics and discussing Chekhov with Judi Dench's M ?
Don't bet on it. Stoppard is no stranger to the world of espionage.
He's been writing The Bourne Ultimatum ( with script writer Tony Gilroy ) for director Paul Greengrass and many of his other projects - plays such as Hapgood, the TV movie drama Professional Foul and movie adaptations of John Le Carre's The Russia House and Graham Greene's the Human factor - are all set in that murky millieu.
Bond producer Barbara Broccoli is said to have felt that Craig's acting sensibility suited Stoppard's verbal dexterity and so she wanted to work with a different writer on the next Bond film, which is a continuation of the Casino Royale film thats shooting now.
The 22nd Bond film will shoot quickly, possibly beginning as early as January, for release next year. ' They don't want to miss the opportunity of releasing a 007 film in 2007. Thats a date made for them,' an executive connected with one of the studios behind the Bond franchise told me in Cannes.
Notting Hill director Roger Mitchell is in negotiations to direct the new 007 picture. He worked with Daniel on Enduring Love and the actor, I'm reliably informed, has been pushing to get Michell on board Bond.
'Daniels having a great time playing James Bond and he could do three, four or more Bond movies in the future,' my studio man told me.
'But he doesn't want 007 to be stuck in the same groove, so he wants to work with a director who'll bring a different feel and Roger's his man. They work well together and Roger knows how to have fun - plus he can develop Bond's psyche.
'Barbara's got a team who know the action side of it back to front and Roger can come in and pull it all together.' "
This does come from Baz 'Avatar/Bond girls cameo' Bamigboye in Cannes, but doesn't sound too far-fetched just yet. I'll give it the benefit of the doubt for the moment.