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LOS ANGELES (Hollywood Reporter) - James Bond may be in hock, but that doesn't mean the screenwriters of the last two 007 films aren't doing their usual globetrotting.
Neal Purvis and Robert Wade have been hired to write an action thriller about an American anthropologist thrust into a geopolitical mess.
The story takes place among the nomadic Tuareg tribes of West Africa, a uranium-rich area targeted by both energy companies and terrorist states. The anthropologist must travel back to the Sahara to help a former research subject who has been accused of a terrorist attack.
"At its heart, this is an action movie set within a world that is morally complex, alluring and completely real -- which is why Robert and Neal, whose work spans James Bond to John le Carre, are uniquely suited to bring a project like this to life," said producer Walter Parkes, who originated the concept with former cultural anthropologist Michael Lieber.
Purvis and Wade, who wrote the Bond flicks "Quantum of Solace" and "Casino Royale," have an adaptation of le Carre's "The Mission Song" with Potboiler Prods. They were working on a new Bond picture before MGM pulled the plug on the project amid financial woes.
After an academic career, Lieber moved on to producing the films "Joe Gould's Secret" and "Flash of Genius."