An early script for the new James Bond film, Spectre – which was announced earlier this month at a huge press gathering – has been stolen in the massive cyber-attack on Sony Pictures. It also revealed that ‘Spectre’ will be the most expensive movie in the franchise yet, according to documents leaked in the Sony Pictures hack.
Documents leaked by the Guardians of Peace (GoP) hacking collective put the movie’s budget at £190m – they also revealed that producers were keen to tighten the movie’s purse strings.
Emails from Jonathan Glickman, president of MGM Studios, which were stolen from Sony Pictures, the distributer of the movie, said: We recognise that this movie has to build upon the past few movies, there are expectations we must meet for the audience. Still, we must find further cuts. This is not about ’nickel and diming’ the production.”
Later in the correspondence Glickman suggested reducing the number of trains used in one of the movie’s action scenes in addition to not filming a dramatic final scene using rain effects to make savings. He also recommended shooting more of the movie in Mexico, which would provide a tax break of around $6m.
The attack has already seen phone numbers, travelling aliases and salaries for stars like Brad Pitt and Julia Roberts compromised, as well as a raft of damming internal emails revealed.
Producers discovered the latest loss on Saturday (13 December) and security experts have already suggested it could take upwards of £64m to rectify.
A spokesperson said: “Eon Productions, the producers of the James Bond films, learned this morning that an early version of the screenplay for the new Bond film Spectre is amongst the material stolen and illegally made public by hackers who infiltrated the Sony Pictures Entertainment computer system.
“Eon Productions is concerned that third parties who have received the stolen screenplay may seek to publish it or its contents.”
However, production of the film is still moving forward despite reports to the contrary. Bond fans will breathe a sigh of relief at the news that the movie’s producers were reluctant to accept any cuts on the film’s budget. Spectre looks to cost substantially more than Bond’s previous entry Skyfall which cost the studio £159m to produce.
The FBI has been brought in to investigate the hack, rumoured to be orchestrated by a group called ‘Guardians of Peace’ which has links to North Korea. However, North Korea denies any ties to the hack and the identity of those responsible remains unknown.
The Bond franchise is one of the most lucrative for Sony Pictures. The most recent film of the series, Skyfall’ made over $1bn worldwide.
Spectre is due to be released in November 2015