October 19, 2005 at 12:00 PM EDT

Although we finally have a new James Bond star in Daniel Craig, Casino Royale screenwriter Paul Haggis (Crash) still has his work cut out for him in making sure the screenplay is equally fresh. In next week’s issue, Entertainment Weekly’s Joshua Rich offers Haggis five unsolicited suggestions:

1. Get Real. No more invisible cars and ice chateaus. If 007 is seen at the casino playing baccarat instead of poker, he’ll seem woefully out of date. Take a page from the Bourne movies and try some real-world intrigue, actual locations, recognizably human relationships between characters, and plausible fight scenes involving hand-to-hand combat instead of fanciful gadgetry.

2. Get Badder.
Where are the memorable Bond villains of yesteryear? The movie needs someone roiling with personality, like Goldfinger, Blofeld, or for that matter, the Oedipally driven killer Craig played in Road to Perdition.

3. Get Better Buddies. Bond needs sidekicks who are equals, or at least near-equals. Think Halle Berry’s Jinx in Die Another Day. Or think Ron and Hermione, only grown-up.

4. Go Darker. James Bond’s not the most introspective guy, but heroes forced to confront their own guilt, bitterness, and vengeful feelings have done well lately (like Spider-Man‘s Peter Parker). Plus, that makes them more compelling when they finally go medieval (like The Matrix‘s Neo or even Tony Soprano).

5. Assassinate Product Placement. It’ll never happen, but we can dream.

How would you shake and stir the 007 storylines?

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