Fans of 007 have been passing the ominous news around – development on the 23rd Bond film has been postponed indefinitely. The film originally was scheduled for release 2011 or 2012.
It seems the studio behind the 007 films, Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer isn’t in the best of shape and are now awaiting a buyer. While the studio is trying to navigate through this uncertain situation and are looking for a new owner, Bond producers Michael Wilson and Barbara Broccoli have decided to postpone work on Bond 23 until MGM’s issues are all settled.
The producers said: “Due to the continuing uncertainty surrounding the future of MGM and the failure to close a sale of the studio, we have suspended development on Bond 23 indefinitely We do not know when development will resume and do not have a date for the release of Bond 23.”
Of course there’s more to how Bond ended up in this situation, but the bottom line is no one knows when filming will get under way and when fans will see 007 again.
Daniel Craig commented about the situation, “I have every confidence in Barbara and Michael’s decision and look forward to production resuming as quickly as possible.”
This isn’t the first time 007 took a hiatus. Following the release of 1989’s License to Kill legal issues were raised over the control of the series and the character and created a six-year delay between films, the longest gap between films in the series. By the time work on the next film was set, Dalton decided not to return, opening up the role to Pierce Brosnan. Hopefully this delay won’t last as long.
This situation does raise a lot of questions. Some are speculating this is a strategic move by the producers to distance themselves from the hurting MGM and might be considering the possibility of setting up their Bond Shop elsewhere.
Director Sam Mendes was set to helm the film. Reports had said he was extremely excited about it and that it was to have been the most ambitious 007 film to date and he was going to re-invent the genre. Mendes had left the film Preacher for the opportunity to work on Bond 23. Now what will happen? Whenever this delay ends, will Mendes still be available or will a new director be brought in?
Craig and Judi Dench were expected to return for Bond 23. Any other casting rumors of Bond Girls or Bond Villains that have been passed around in the last year were just that – rumors. The only two actors that were confirmed to be in the film has always been Craig and Dench.
Dench should easily return. She’s played M for the past fifteen years in six films and there isn’t any reason why she shouldn’t continue.
Craig doesn’t look like he’ll be going anywhere any time soon either. His Bond contract calls for four films (at least that’s the popular word on it), so he should be expected to be back.
Worst-case scenario would be if this delay should last much longer than anyone expects (for example a License to Kill to GoldenEye delay). By the time the dust settled and such a long gap of time has passed and Craig would be better suited to play Q than 007 and he felt it’s been too long a hiatus (as Dalton did) and made an amicable split with producers, well then maybe we might see a new Bond in the next film.
However, that is the absolute worst-case scenario and I don’t see it happening. It would have been much better to get news about casting, locations, and the plot to Bond 23 to talk about, instead of this one. If I find out anything new I’ll be sure to pass along to you Bond fans.