Phoebe Waller-Bridge tagged to make Bond 25 funny

Killing Eve and Fleabag mastermind was reportedly sought out by 007 himself

Phoebe Waller-Bridge, Fleabag, Bond 25
Phoebe Waller-Bridge in Fleabag

Trouble traditionally follows James Bond, but hardly behind the scenes.

That clearly hasn’t been the case for the franchise’s 25th installment, which has seen aggravating back-and-forths with star Daniel Craig, the departure of original director Danny Boyle, the 25th hour hiring of his replacement in Cary Joi Fukunaga, and the constant release date shuffling. Now, there are lingering issues with the script.

According to The Observer, Fleabag and Killing Eve creator Phoebe Waller-Bridge has been called up to punch up Scott Z. Burns’ screenplay. They report that it’s at the insistence of Craig, who met Waller-Bridge after seeing Fleabag in New York City. Craig apparently felt it needed “polishing” and wanted to see if she might improve it.

It should be noted that the film is due out a year from now, and that Waller-Bridge is the fifth name to work on this story (following Burns, Robert Wade, Neal Purvis, and John Hodges). What’s even more staggering, as The Observer points out, is that Waller-Bridge is only the second female to have worked on a Bond script.

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She follows Johanna Harwood, who had been the secretary to OG Bond producer Harry Saltzman, and was called up to punch up scripts for both the inaugural bash, 1962’s Dr. No, and its far superior sequel, 1963’s From Russia With Love. Seeing how the latter is one of the greatest entries in the franchise, perhaps this bodes well for 25?

If anything, it should suggest that the writers’ room needs less testosterone. Nevertheless, Bond 25 is still tracking to be released in 2020. In addition to Craig, the film stars returning faces Léa Seydoux, Ben Whishaw, Naomie Harris, and Ralph Fiennes, with recent Oscar winner Rami Malek reportedly set to play the villain. Possibly with mouthpiece.