For some time the latest installment in the James Bond franchise has been touch and go. The financial woes of MGM forced the production to stall and EON productions were hopeful to move Bond to a fully functioning studio such as Sony who were keen for the franchise as was Fox. Now with Spyglass taking over, production is moving forward and the process of hiring talent can now begin.
Dame Judi Dench was recently confirmed to be reprising her role as ‘M’ in the upcoming film which is said to begin after ‘Quantum Of Solace’ leaves off. The Oscar-winner has portrayed 007′s superior since 1995′s ‘Goldeneye’ with Pierce Brosnan in the lead.
Oscar winning director Sam Mendes (American Beauty) is taking over the reigns from previous directors Marc Forster (Quantum of Solace) and Martin Campbell (Casino Royale). While Mendes doesn’t normally make big budget action flicks and considered more of an arthouse auteur he did a reasonable job with ‘Road to Perdition’ and his skills as a storyteller should help return some of the focus on the characters instead of the over the top action that marred Quantum.
Daniel Craig will return as the British secret agent who’s been keeping busy with projects such as ‘Cowboys and Aliens’, David Fincher‘s remake of ‘The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo’ and ‘Dream House’ with Rachel Weisz and Naomi Watts. The screenplay was written by Neal Purvis, Robert Wade and John Logan (Gladiator, The Aviator).
As for other casting news actor Simon Russell Beale who’s been playing King Lear in a National Theatre production for director Sam Mendes, told a UK newspaper that he’s already dropped hints to Mendes saying that “every actor wants to be in Bond [and] I’d love to be a baddie.”
Rachel Weisz who’s said to be dating Daniel Craig since her split with director Darren Aronofsky, could also be in the running to play a villain, but we’ll have to wait and see how that rumor turns out.
Shooting is scheduled to begin later this year, with Bond #23 set for release November 12th, 2012.