Tuesday, April 20, 2010

James Bond film on hold 'indefinitely' amid uncertainty over film studio

By Emily Sheridan

Delayed: Daniel Craig, pictured in his 007 debut in Casino Royale four years ago, will have to wait even longer to reprise his role

James Bond fans will have to wait even longer to see next the instalment of 007's adventures after producers announced the next film is on hold.

Producers Michael Wilson and Barbara Broccoli said they were suspending the 23rd Bond movie 'indefinitely' amid uncertainty of the future of the studio behind the franchise.

The forthcoming film - the third featuring the latest Bond Daniel Craig - was originally scheduled for release in 2011 or 2012 to coincide with the 50th anniversary of Bond

However, as MGM is yet to find a buyer after being unable to manage its $3.7million debt following a slump in DVD sales.

Wilson and Broccoli, of EON Productions, said: '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.'

In a statement, Craig added: 'I have every confidence in Barbara and Michael's decision and look forward to production resuming as quickly as possible.'

Craig made his debut as 007 in Casino Royale in 2006, following by Quantum Of Solace in 2008.

Ladykiller: Craig in a typical Bond love scene with Gemma Arterton in Quantum Of Solace

He is the sixth actor to play Bond, following in the footsteps of Sir Sean Connery (62-67 and 71), George Lazenby (69), Roger Moore (73-85), Timothy Dalton (87-89) and Pierce Brosnan (95-02).

Casino Royale, adapted from the 1953 Ian Fleming novel of the same name, took $594million in the worldwide box office.

Quantum Of Solace, which included Gemma Arterton and Olga Kurylenko as Bond girls, did nearly as well two years later with $586million.

MGM's financial woes have also contributed to the delay of Peter Jackson's adaptation of JRR Tolkien's The Hobbit.

The New Zealander director is hoping to repeat his phenomenal success from the three Lord Of The Rings movies and has re-cast Sir Ian McKellan and Andy Serkis in their roles as Gandalf and Gollum.

In a recent interview, Jackson said he was declining to fix a release for the movie due to studio delays.

He said: 'We’ve just delivered the script…So the studio’s got both scripts now, which is a milestone.

'We’re now in the process of budgeting the films…I’d be pretty optimistic that we’ll be shooting before the end of the year. I would imagine October, November, we’d be shooting by. I’m not announcing it, though.'

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