New James Bond film delayed “indefinitely”

The return of James Bond has been put on ice, as it’s announced that 007 is being caught up in the muddle over the ownership of MGM…

EON Productions has announced that it’s had to put on hold the development of the 23rd James Bond, until the issue of the ownership of the MGM studio is known.

An announcement released by Michael G Wilson and Barbara Broccoli stated, “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’.”

Bidding for MGM has taken far longer than suspected, and the current leader for the race appears to be Time Warner. However, there’s no definite timescale for how long the acquisition will take, or when and if Time Warner will get the nod to complete a deal.

The film itself was in the early stages of development work. Sam Mendes was reported to be directed, while Rachel Weisz was being suggested for a major role, possibly the villain. Daniel Craig, of course, was returning too.

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However, this throws all of that up in the air for the time being. The plan had been to have Bond 23 in cinemas for the end of 2011, but unless all parties pull their respective fingers out, that’s going to be some ask. We’ll keep you posted…