Inspired by childhood in Penarth: James Bond screenwriter set for world premiere of new 007 movie Skyfall!
A PENARTH-BORN screenwriter is preparing for the glitz and glam of one of the film world’s most eagerly awaited premieres, ahead of the release of his latest film – none other than new James Bond movie Skyfall!
Screenwriter Robert Wade, who was raised in Penarth until the age of 11, has co-written the last five Bond blockbusters with best friend and fellow writer, Neal Purvis.
Former Evenlode Primary pupil Robert, whose parents built the house on the corner of Evenlode Avenue and Lavernock Road, also wrote the 2003 film Johnny English starring Rowan Atkinson.
But it is his work on the Bond franchise which has allowed him to work alongside Hollywood A-listers such as actors Pierce Brosnan and Daniel Craig, and Skyfall director Sam Mendes.
As a screenwriter, Robert writes everything that happens on screen, from script to setting – and said it was a job of “immense fun, and immense pressure”.
“The first Bond movie Neal and I wrote was The World Is Not Enough in 1998,” said Robert, who now lives in West Sussex and has four children.
“It has been 14 years of fun and hard work, but fortunately I have had my best friend with me the whole way, which has made the pressure more bearable.
“The strange thing in writing screenplays - and especially such high profile ones as Bond - is that you have to write for audiences two years in the future.
“You have to think about what they will want to see, not audiences now. So you can’t follow current trends.
“But there is no rulebook in writing Bond - the chains are off to an extent,” he added.
“The only thing you can’t do is kill him!
“We always try to put him up against immensely tough and testing opponents and situations. Then he can shine.”
And Robert, who is set to visit his great aunts who still live in Penarth in the coming weeks, said that much of his inspiration in writing about the trials and tribulations of 007 came from his own adventures and experiences on the coast and clifftops around Penarth.
“My friends and I used to roam the cliffs in our spare time, and I think that gave me quite a vivid imagination for action and excitement,” said Robert, whose aunt was well known Penarth actress Peggy Mason, and whose father Derek grew up on Mountjoy Avenue and played cricket for Penarth.
“And the first Bond film I ever saw was at the Washington in Penarth. That’s where it all started for me.”
The Canterbury University graduate, who gave former Doctor Who star Christopher Ecclestone his first role in the film Let Him Have It (1991), said he had been ‘incredibly lucky’ to work on Bond.
“I have always been a massive fan of the franchise,” added Robert.
“I’ve visited numerous film sets, which is fun because you get to see things being blown up.
“All of the Bond guys like Pierce Brosnan and Daniel Craig have been fun to work with - but I have particularly fond memories of Welshman Desmond Llewelyn, who played Q. He was very special.
“I am proud of a number of things we have achieved with the films,” he added.
“But the opening of Casino Royale, with the parkour chase scene in Madagascar, really stands out.”
He said Skyfall, the 23rd installment in the spy film series which was also written by John Logan and stars Oscar-winner Javier Bardem as the villain, with Ralph Fiennes alongside Daniel Craig, promises to be equally spectacular for audiences.
“But it will differ from other Bonds, in that we learn more about his past than before,” he said.
The World Premiere of Skyfall will take place at the Royal Albert Hall on October 23.
“The Prince of Wales will be gracing us with his presence,” added Robert.
“It promises to be a special occasion!”
Skyfall will be released across the country on Friday, October 26. It coincides with the 50th anniversary of the series, which began with Dr No in 1962.