“We wrote a script but didn’t really have a clue on how to get it made.”
Before Robert Wade and Neal Purvis became working screenwriters Robert Wade and Neal Purvis—credited on several James Bond scripts (Skyfall, Casino Royale, Quantum of Solace)—they wondered if they’d ever see a script they’d written get made. As the writing partners wondered—they also played a little golf.
Note: They did not write the above clip of James Bond (Sean Connery) on the golf course. In fact, Goldfinger (script written by Richard Malbaum and Paul Dehn) came out in 1964, just a few years after Wade and Purvis were born. (And for what it’s worth, Malbaum studied acting at the University of Iowa)
Here’s part of a Q&A with Purvis and Wade found in the book Screenwriters’ Masterclass, edited by Kevin Conroy Scott.
Neal Purvis: We got a big six-page article about us in The Face magazine. And so we thought that we’d arrived. But the option on the script went to a couple of different people over a couple of years and nothing came of it.
Robert Wade: What happened then was that we took a year off and played golf. That’s the other good thing about having a partnership.
Neal Purvis: There was the assumption that you write one script, get it made and then write another one. So when this one wasn’t really happening, we played golf.
Question: How long did it take from when you were first writing screenplays till you got your first screenplay produced?
Robert Wade: Six years.
Neal Purvis: That was Let Him Have It, which was a departure for us, because it was more serious than what we had done before. We set out to make it light throughout, and then it got serious. We really thought if that didn’t get made, we might give up on screenwriting.
Question: What sort of work did you do to make ends meet?
Robert Wade: We’d get option money for different things and sign on a lot, social security. And we also would ghost-write pop-videos.
P.S. In the video below Wade and Purvis talk about the third writer on Skyfall, John Logan.
James Bond, Spy/Orphan
James Bond is Philip Marlow
“I can’t keep handling this…rejection” (Screenwriter Graham Moore talks about his struggles.)
The Secret to Being a Successful Screenwriter (Seriously)—Insights from screenwriter John Logan
Scott W. Smith
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