MGM finally got round to filling for bankruptcy this week after working out a deal with Spyglass Entertainment (the production company behind Star Trek, Wanted and G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra). After years of delays The Hobbit is moving forward (with a lot of help from Warner Bros.) but unfortunately 007 will have to wait a bit longer to get going as MGM wants to keep the franchise for itself.
According to Bloomberg the intention is for MGM to have Bond 23 ready for a November 2012 release, which means filming will likely begin sometime in 2011. MGM also intends to fully own and fund Bond 24 itself, which will probably arrive in 2014 or 2015. Funding The Hobbit at the moment is a struggle, but Bond is a profitable franchise which will guarantee $$$ for many years to come, so keeping is it vital for the company’s future.
Daniel Craig has said on a number of occasions that he can’t wait to get going again, and director Sam Mendes will likely be sitting in the directors chair if all goes according to plan. Mendes was unofficially hired as director back in January and has been flirting with various projects while MGM dragged out it’s debt problem for most of the year. Hopefully with a release date penciled in and MGM’s bank account looking healthier they can set a start date with Mendes officially signed up to direct.