|Bond, doomed girl, supervillain, plucky assistant|
1. Start with an action sequence stolen from The Bourne Identity ideally a kinetic roof top chase through an exotic Muslim country.
2. Kill Bond and then run the titles like in You Only Live Twice. We all know Bond isn't dead so I don't really understand how this works to generate suspense but apparently it does because they've done it in two Bond films now.
3. Do your first act info dump scenes in a moving car so they don't seem like info dump scenes. Introduce plucky female assistant who Bond must later embarrassingly seduce.
4. Make an aging Bond retake his training again like they do in Thunderball & Never Say Never Again. Its worked twice already so why not a third or fourth time.
5. Fly to an exotic locale preferably one with a casino. Bond's been to Vegas and Monte Carlo a lot so the only gambling mecca left is Macau. Go there and arrive on a boat so we can see the lovely harbour (I did this in my novel Falling Glass and yeah it's a cheap trick).
6. Introduce a beautiful brittle doomed girl in the casino who Bond will seduce and who then will be immediately killed by the supervillain. (I think this has happened in at least half a dozen Bond films beginning, of course, with Goldfinger.) So the next 5 steps are all inevitable:
7. Bond wins at cards or cheats at cards or otherwise acquires a lot of money.
8. Bond and the doomed girl make the beast with the two backs.
9. Introduce supervillain. Supervillain kills doomed girl.
10. Bond angry. "Now it's personal." Grrrr.
11. Supervillain seemingly caught but manages to escape. (See Batman, Silence of the Lambs etc.)
12. Obligatory car/boat/a pied chase. (They've never had a cross town bicycle or skateboard chase so consider that for your screenplay although the product placement people always prefer a car.)
13. Now the interesting third act. Creative screenwriters can pretty much do anything they like here and I was pretty excited in Skyfall when they decided to go to Bond's childhood home in Scotland which we've never seen before (if you're not counting the David Niven Casino Royale). Alas in Skyfall Bond's early childhood story was the story we heard in Batman The Dark Knight and then the screenwriters decided that they were going to wrap up the film with the denouement of Witness (and a bit of Straw Dogs). The supervillian must survive every splosion and bullet until the drearily inevitable final fight with Bond (like in just about every single Bond or other Hollywood action movie of the last 30 years).
14. The 'emotional' ending where someone we don't care about dies. (Spoiler Alert: M dies in Skyfall (in a very protracted unBritish manner I thought).)
15. The cute ending. (Spoiler Alert: In Skyfall we find out that the attractive curly haired agent is called Moneypenny.)
Go ahead and write your own Bond movie now and send it to MGM. I bet they'll take it and you'll become rich beyond the dreams of avarice. You dont even have to thank me. Meanwhile like the sucker I am I'm off to see MGM's The Hobbit which I've been waiting for since 1978 and which looks set to be even more of a grind than The Return of the King extended edition.