Peter Morgan Pens Bond 23″

It’s official. “The Queen,” “The Last King of Scotland” and “Frost/Nixon” scribe Peter Morgan has been brought on board to pen the script for the next James Bond film.

Neal Purvis and Robert Wade, who’ve helped co-write every Bond film since 1999’s “The World is Not Enough”, remain in place to work alongside Morgan.

It’s expected Morgan’s role will be similar to that of “Crash” filmmaker Paul Haggis who collaborated with Purvis & Wade on the two Daniel Craig entires – 2006’s highly acclaimed “Casino Royale” and last year’s generally mixed, though often derided “Quantum of Solace”.

The hiring of Morgan is a good choice, the acclaimed scribe has been one of the strong writer’s to watch in recent years and can deftly mix drama, comedy and pathos.

Many critics and Craig himself have previously stated a desire to move away from the dour seriousness and unrelenting Bourne-esque violence of the last film and bring back both the stronger dramatic elements and wittier character touches of the earlier films.

A date for the start of production is yet to be confirmed. Morgan will begin work on the film once he finishes his scripts for HBO’s “The Special Relationship” and DreamWorks’ “Hereafter”.

Meanwhile a dubious report in The Guardian earlier this week said that a former member of the British Foreign Office in Afghanistan is now acting as a consultant for the Bond franchise.

This has led to some dubious speculation that the next film will be partly set in Afghanistan. 1987’s “The Living Daylights” had a good portion of its runtime set in the then Soviet-occupied country where Bond (Timothy Dalton) stops an opiate shipment.

Along the way he helps the Mujahideen, the then US-sponsored resistance fighters who later became the Taliban.