There’s still no official word. But I’m hearing from 007 insiders that production should start on the next James Bond movie — “Bond 23″ — towards the end of next year for release November 2012. Makes sense since MGM’s future is now sorting itself out what with the pre-packaged bankruptcy getting approval, and Spyglass taking over studio filmmaking, and star Daniel Craig finishing his film commitments. The actor began work on the Hollywood remake of the Swedish original The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo as soon as he completed shooting Cowboys and Aliens in a nifty bit of schedule coordination between two studios and James Bond rights holders Barbara Broccoli and Michael Wilson. Adding to the mix is that yet another James Bond videogame which had been held up because of the uncertainty recently got the go-ahead. Meanwhile, the latest 007 vidgame is for sale this Christmas.
It’s still not clear who will distribute the next bond. Deadline’s Mike Fleming reported last month that, if MGM isn’t a distributor, the next installment of James Bond will be “a jump ball”. Expect Sony (which distributed Casino Royale) to battle it out with Warner Bros and Fox, but Paramount could emerge in the thick of it because of its close relationship with Spyglass over the film reboot of Star Trek and sequel.
The British newspapers also indicate Bond 23 may now be casting. Today’s Daily Mail reports that 007 producer Barbara Broccoli has been to see actor Russell Beale twice in his current West End play Deathtrap. Also, the Shakespearean actor is starring as King Lear for Bond 23 director Sam Mendes in a National Theatre production in 2012. And he’s exec producing Shakespeare’s History Plays for a new BBC TV season that Mendes is also overseeing. Beale told UK newspaper The Independent earlier this year that he’d already dropped a hint to Mendes that “Every actor wants to be in Bond. I’d love to be a baddie.”