Neal Purvis

Vin Diesel

Today is the best day ever for people who have fantasized about Vin Diesel sucking on a lollipop. Deadline reports that Universal is setting the mumbly-mouthed mountain of a man up as the new actor to play Kojak, the ’70s-era NYPD detective best known for his bald head, dapper attire, and always having a lollipop hanging out of his mouth. The character originally appeared in a CBS crime procedural, also called Kojak, which aired from 1973-1978 and starred Greek-American actor Telly Savalas in the title role. The good news doesn’t stop there, though. Every new big screen adaptation of an old TV show needs to start off by having a script, and along with securing Diesel in the title role, this new Kojak has also tapped Skyfall scribes Neal Purvis and Robert Wade to put pen to page. Skyfall, of course, was one of the most financially successful films of 2012, and largely garnered positive reviews, so this is good news, no? Okay, so it’s more of a mixed bag when you factor in that they also wrote The World is Not Enough, Die Another Day, Casino Royale, and Quantum of Solace, but let’s try to focus on the positive, okay? Now that a screenwriting team and a star have been put in place for this new look at an old cop, there are two big questions that are still hanging in the air. The first is who they are going to get to direct the film, and the second […]

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Skyfall

Skyfall feels, in many ways, like the last film in Daniel Craig‘s tenure as James Bond. It’s only his third go round as the British secret agent, but he’s already haggard, unshaven and tired of the back-stabbing, gun-toting rat race. When a list of MI6’s undercover agents is stolen (that’s right, it’s the old NOC list chestnut!) Bond and Agent Eve (Naomie Harris) are tasked with recovering it, but the mission goes awry and Bond is left for dead. He’s not, obviously, but he’s enjoying the peaceful anonymity and seaside screws too much to give a damn about anything else. But when MI6 is attacked back in London Bond rises from the dead and returns to duty. He tries to anyway, but injuries, indifference and a battered spirit threaten to keep him on the bench. It’s only when the stakes get personal for him and M (Judi Dench) that he musters the will needed to fight back. But will it be too late? Skyfall is big, beautiful entertainment that delivers the expected action set-pieces but adds truly artistic visuals and multiple odes to Bond films of the past fifty years. It’s never dull, occasionally surprising and unafraid to delve into Bond’s life more than any film since On Her Majesty’s Secret Service. Unfortunately (and unnecessarily), all of that comes at the price of gaping plot holes and staggering lapses in logic.

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MGM’s financial woes did a number on a handful of films that audiences were truly looking forward to, and with The Hobbit coming together so nicely (and yet, mostly without MGM), it seems as if the time is right for the next Bond installment to start heading down the pre-production path again. The Hollywood Reporter has reported in the barest sense possible that Daniel Craig will return as James Bond for the 23rd film, directed by Academy Award winner Sam Mendes, and written by Bond veterans Neal Purvis and Robert Wade alongside Academy Award nominee John Logan. The movie will shoot later this year, and attempt to toast martini glasses on November 9, 2012 for a release in everyone’s neck of the woods. All I can say is, it’s about time. Sam Mendes is an amazing talent, and his version of the spy is sure to be something intimate and heartbreaking. Of course, we’ll be planning a list of our favorite twenty-thirdquels in anticipation.

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peter_morgan_bond

Peter Morgan, the writer behind Frost/Nixon and several other political dramas, will be joining the team of Purvis and Wade to craft the next installment of 007.

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published: 11.21.2014
D
published: 11.21.2014
B+
published: 11.19.2014
C+
published: 11.19.2014
B-, C


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