It may have escaped your attention that we're due to get a brand new James Bond movie this year. Moreover, it's been co-written by the fiendishly witty and talented Phoebe Waller-Bridge, whose hit spy series Killing Eve has just debuted its third series.
Although Waller-Bridge hasn't written the third series (that responsibility falls to Fear The Walking Dead's Suzanna Heathcote), she's still overseeing the show in an executive producer capacity. The latest instalment of espionage madness continues the violent and blackly comic battle between Villanelle (Jodie Comer, now donning a creepy clown costume) and Eve (Sandra Oh).
In anticipation of the film's release, scroll down to discover why Waller-Bridge is very good news for 007.
1. Daniel Craig is a huge fan
It goes without saying that Killing Eve isn't Waller-Bridge's first success story. She gained notoriety and acclaim for her stage show turned TV series Fleabag, and it was this that brought her to the attention of 007 himself, Daniel Craig.
A self-confessed Fleabag fan, the actor specifically asked Waller-Bridge to come in and punch up the script for the 25th Bond movie, directed by Cary Joji Fukunaga. The film pits 007 against dangerous new enemy Safin, played by Bohemian Rhapsody Oscar winner Rami Malek.
Can we expect those glimpses of twisted wit to pierce through the usual 007 formula? We can only hope. (It's unlikely Bond will be breaking the fourth wall, though.)
2. Killing Eve proves her espionage chops
Killing Eve made its BBC debut in April 2018, with Waller-Bridge adapting the original novels of author Luke Jennings. The show immediately made a splash, keeping viewers on edge with its unpredictable mixture of laugh out loud comedy and savage violence.
In the lead roles, Jodie Comer and Sandra Oh shined, garnering Emmy, BAFTA and Golden Globe nominations between them. This was preceded by an ecstatic critical response: Rotten Tomatoes describes the first series as "Seductive and surprising, [Killing Eve] rewards viewers with an audaciously entertaining show that finally makes good use of Sandra Oh's talents."
Such a hit was the series that it spawned two others, and built on Waller-Bridge's already impressive reputation with Fleabag. Given the paranoid atmosphere of Killing Eve and its decidedly offbeat look at the world of espionage, we can't wait to see what fresh touches Waller-Bridge has brought to the new Bond movie.
3. She's levelling out the 007 playing field
Although Waller-Bridge insists she wasn't brought onto No Time To Die to specifically improve the film's female characters, she says it's important for 007 to adapt to a new age. In the movie, Bond's supremacy is threatened by new '00' agent Nomi (Captain Marvel's Lashana Lynch), while he also runs into glamorous operative Paloma (Knives Out's Ana de Armas).
"There’s been a lot of talk about whether or not [the Bond franchise] is relevant now because of who he is and the way he treats women," Waller-Bridge told Deadline in 2019. "I think that’s b******s. I think he’s absolutely relevant now.
"It has just got to grow. It has just got to evolve, and the important thing is that the film treats the women properly. He doesn’t have to. He needs to be true to this character."
For their part, both Lynch and Armas are excited to have Waller-Bridge on board. Lynch told The Hollywood Reporter, "I very literally squealed when I first heard her name. I thought, 'Oh my gosh, British girl just like me. She's going to know how to actually take care of women onscreen'."
In the same interview, Armas says: "It's pretty obvious that there is an evolution in the fact that Lashana is one of the main characters in the film and wears the pants – literally."
4. She can bring a killer sense of humour
Waller-Bridge's acidic wit is globally renowned, whether she's detailing the sexual ups and downs of the lovelorn Fleabag, or depicting the twisted battle of wits between Villanelle and Eve. Fingers crossed that she can spruce up the sort of tired old Bond puns that would even make dads wince. (We can't imagine we'll be getting more of the Moonraker style "re-entry" gags that would barely pass muster now.)
Anybody capable of the stinging humour demonstrated in the following clips is surely well positioned to give Bond the makeover he needs. Moreover, it's what we need to send Daniel Craig out in style, as he bids farewell to the role of 007 that he revolutionised with 2006's Casino Royale.
No Time To Die is scheduled for release on the 12th of November. Tweet us @Cineworld with your reasons as to why Phoebe Waller-Bridge will shake and stir the 007 formula.