The screenwriting teambehind the new James Bond feature have confirmed that Oscar-nominatedscreenwriter Paul Haggis has been brought on board.
Robert Wade told ScreenDaily.comthat Haggis,who adapted Million Dollar Babyas well aswriting and directing Crash,will do a three-week polishonthe second draft of Sony/MGM's Casino Royale, originally penned byhimself and co-writer Neal Purvis.
"What I can say on behalf ofme and Neal is that we completed all the work we were contracted to do on CasinoRoyale," Wadesaid. "It has taken us a year-and-a-half."
"Everything is written,including the structure - it just needs a polish. If you can bring in a hottalented writer to polish it then great, it is normal on this size of movie. Ian sure Paul Haggis will do a great job."
The 21st Bond film isscheduled to shoot from January 2006, although locations are yet to beofficially confirmed - along with who will take over from Pierce Brosnan as007.
Nor would Wade comment onwhether the pair will pen the 22nd Bond film. "As usual we are notallowed to talk about it," he said.
Casino Royale is based on Ian Fleming's first Bond novel,published in 1953, which revolves around a card game set in Deauville.
While it was made into acomedy in 1967 starring Woody Allen, Peter Sellers and David Niven, the newadaptation - under director MartinCampbell - will play it straight.
The material also marks thefirst time that Purvis and Wade, who wrote previous Bonds The World Is NotEnough (1999) and Die Another Day (2002), have taken one ofFleming's novels as their source material.
Wade said: "It's beendifferent really. There is good solid material but it is set around a game ofcards and very contained. We are writing it as he has grown to be now and thereare expectations we have to meet. A lot of it is our own material.
"It is quite different: itis the story that shows what formed his character. It's great to be asked toadapt that and show it in a modern context."
The partnership's mostrecently scripted Stoned, Stephen Woolley's biopic about ill-fatedRolling Stone Brian Jones, which enjoys a North American premiere at Toronto.
Aside from upcoming projectsArt Con (to be directed by Albert Hughes) and Burden Of Desire (forwhich the pair will re-team with Bille August, for who they scripted ReturnTo Sender), Purvis and Wade are shortly to announce a book adaptation farremoved from Bond.