Hooray! James Bond WILL Return After All.

Finally, some good news has emerged from the clusterfrack that is the MGM financial crisis. While the studio is still terribly mismanaged and basically bankrupt, it has somehow scraped together enough money to put the next James Bond sequel back on track. And yes, Daniel Craig will be returning to the role.

Just a few months ago, the studio’s seemingly insurmountable debt resulted in the announcement that all development of the 23rd Bond film would be suspended indefinitely. This, despite the fact that the franchise’s last two entries were its highest grossers yet, and a new 007 movie would be a surefire blockbuster. At the time, rumors circulated that an extended delay could even force a recasting of the lead role, if star Daniel Craig were no longer young enough to plausibly play the action hero secret agent by that point.

Fortunately, Variety is now reporting that MGM has received a $500 million cash infusion and officially announced the return of James Bond. The still-untitled “Bond 23” project will start production later this year, for a scheduled release on November 2nd, 2012. Daniel Craig will be coming back, and the film will be directed by Sam Mendes (of ‘American Beauty‘ and, perhaps more relevantly, ‘Road to Perdition‘).

The delay has had one casualty, however. Screenwriter Peter Morgan (of ‘The Queen‘ and ‘Frost/Nixon‘) had been working on the project prior to its suspension, but will not be returning. The new script will be penned by Neal Purvis and Robert Wade (writers of the last four Bond flicks) with John Logan (‘Gladiator‘ and ‘The Aviator‘).

If you ask me, it looks like this could go either way. All of the people involved have had careers equally filled with greatness and crap. Even so, I’m optimistic. Really, I’m just excited to have James Bond back, no matter the circumstances.


  1. Jane Morgan

    I love Daniel Craig and Sam Mendes, but Peter Morgan was the only reason I was excited for 23.

    The last two scripts were such hackjobs, it felt the franchise was entering a death spiral.

    This news sounds like they’re rushing into production for a money grab.

    Bad Bond is better than no Bond, but if they’re going lightweight on the screenplay, then they better be going balls-out heavy on the action.

    • BostonMA

      they already went all out on action in the last installment, so much so that many people criticized it for being more Bourne than Bond.

      John Logan did great work on Scorsese’s The Aviator and i thinl he’ll bring an equal amount of talent to the 007.

      • Jane Morgan

        Quantum of Solace ended with Bond having a weak-ass fist fight with a dork.

        There was one interesting action sequence in the entire film and they spent it in the first act.

        If they were trying to out-Bourne the Ultimatum, they epic failed.

        I want 23 to rock, but Josh is right. The IP is controlled by children.

        I guess the broccoli curse is going to follow this franchise for all time…

    • Josh Zyber

      The reality of the situation is that no matter which big-name screenwriter they bring in to do a couple passes on the script, Bond movies are all written by committee. When it comes down to it, Barbara Broccoli and Michael Wilson always have the last word in creative control.

      Paul Haggis worked on both of the last two movies. Is there anything in them that even remotely resembles anything else he’s written? (I’d argue that this is for the best.)

      The same situation applies to the directors. I guarantee that there will be nothing in the final product to distinguish this as a Sam Mendes film, any more than The World Is Not Enough is recognizable as a Michael Apted film.

      Broccoli and Wilson like to hire “name” writers and directors to give the movies a pedigree of respectability. Nevertheless, at the end of the day, the movie’s going to be pretty much the same no matter who they hire.

      • BostonMA

        that’s true, but i think the directors have a little more of a say and final vibe on the products as you say. Quantum of Solace looks and acts just like a film directed by Marc Forster, and since Mendes has a good amount of distinctiveness in his films, i’m hoping and predicting that the 23rd Bond feature will continue that look.

        you are right though. that’s always been the case and i think that works for the better, as each 007 carries the elegance that makes it a Bond movie.

        • Josh Zyber

          I might argue that Quantum of Solace is really the only Bond film where the director’s voice shines through at all. (I quite liked the different fonts that Forter used for the location-identifying text on screen.) Even then, I doubt Forster had much of anything to do with those shaky-cam action scenes. He doesn’t have a history of shaky-cam in any of his previous movies.

          Otherwise, there’s not a whole lot of difference between, say, Tomorrow Never Dies, The World Is Not Enough, or Die Another Day – even though Roger Spottiswoode, Michael Apted, and Lee Tamahori have very different cinematic styles normally.

          Broccoli and Wilson have steadfastly refused to let strong-willed directors like James Cameron or Quentin Tarantino (both of which have petitioned for the job) anywhere near the series. The don’t want the directors to overshadow the franchise’s signature tone and style.

          • BostonMA

            i agree, but hopefully Mendes will follow in Forster’s footsteps.

            it does blow that Tarantino has been denied directing in the 007 canon, especially since the Casino Royale reboot was his idea.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *