JAMES BOND has seen off countless dastardly villains in his time – but he might have met his match in North Korean dictator Kim Jong-un.
For the leader of the communist regime is believed to be behind the leaking online of a working draft of the script for the next 007 film.
And he is also thought to be responsible for the revelation of a number of embarrassing emails which show producers’ scathing criticisms of the £190 million production.
The leak followed a cyber-attack on Sony Studios, which is making the film with MGM.
Other emails put online by the attackers have already caused huge embarrassment in Hollywood.
Filming of Spectre, the 24th movie in the James Bond series, began last week, with Daniel Craig returning as 007. He will star alongside Monica Bellucci and Lea Seydoux.
Oscar-winner Christoph Waltz also stars, and is believed to be playing Ernst Blofeld, Bond’s iconic nemesis who is set to return decades after his last appearance.
But while there’s huge anticipation surrounding the follow-up movie to Skyfall, behind the scenes studio executives have said the script is a huge disappointment, and have complained that writers have ‘wasted’ Blofeld’s return.
In one withering put-down, MGM film division president Jonathan Glickman says of the finale in the script: ‘You guys set me up for a let-down on the climax. So I was not surprised.’
It has been revealed that Glickman is disappointed by the entire premise of the story, in which Bond battles Spectre after the evil organisation takes over a number of Western spy agencies.
He writes of Spectre’s plan, as portrayed in the film: ‘They should need the combined resources of all the intelligence agencies to pull it off. Surely there is something more pressing than suppressing one document.’
The leaked notes also reveal dismay that the return of arch-villain Blofeld – famous for stroking his white cat – is being thrown away.
Referring to scenes that seemingly fail to pass muster, one studio executive writes: ‘Also, there needs to be some kind of a twist rather than a series of watery chases with guns. This is Blofeld after all. What does he have up his sleeve?’ In another fierce barb, a producer says of the climax: ‘We need to cut 20 pages and this whole set-piece could go.’
Sony producer Elizabeth Cantillon responds to the script by writing ‘rough, rough, rough’ and complains of the end of the film: ‘Bond is simply fighting henchmen in many overblown and familiar sequences – helicopter, elevator shaft, netting.’
The leaked version of the script has Bond destroying part of Mexico City during a rogue operation and facing forced retirement as MI6 merges with MI5. Bellucci, who at 50 is the oldest Bond girl, plays the wife of a man Bond assassinates.
Director Sam Mendes is likely to have been left in a fury by the leaking of the script, which has been worked on extensively by several writers, including Neal Purvis and Robert Wade – who authored Skyfall – and acclaimed British playwright Jez Butterworth.
One Hollywood insider told The Mail on Sunday: ‘The script is still being worked on, even though filming has started. There has been a lot of concern that the script isn’t up to par. Very few people working on the film have seen a complete version because it’s simply not ready.’
Hollywood has been in uproar over the massive cyber-attack on Sony. Hackers calling themselves the Guardians of Peace said they infiltrated the company’s computers in retaliation for the release of the film The Interview, which will reach US cinemas over Christmas and Britain in February.
Made by Sony and starring James Franco and Seth Rogen, the comedy features the assassination of Kim Jong-un, whose head is seen to ‘explode’.
North Korea has denied being behind the leaks but called the hack ‘a righteous deed’. Spectre is scheduled to hit the big screens in November next year.