MGM: Expect The Next James Bond Film Within Three Years

Bond 24

This just in: The next James Bond film will be in theaters within three years, according to MGM.

MGM, the movie studio that owns the rights to the lucrative James Bond franchise, said Tuesday that it expects to release the next Bond film (known popularly as Bond 24 right now) within three years. The studio is also hoping to announce the next film’s director now that Sam Mendes has pulled himself out of the running.

MGM Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Gary Barber said that the studio is currently working on the script for the next Bond outing.

“We are very excited about the franchise. We look forward to announcing a director soon,” Barber said. “We are currently developing the screenplay and working with our partners. We look forward to developing the script soon and signing a director. We are hoping within the next three years it will be released,” he noted.

It’s still too early for casting information, but Daniel Craig is expected to return for both Bond 24 and Bond 25.

MGM nearly went bankrupt after 2008’s disappointing Quantum of Solace, Craig’s second outing as British secret agent 007. Work on Bond 23 was stalled while MGM worked out their financial issues but managed to secure funding (through endorsements and bankruptcy deadline extensions) to produce 2012’s Skyfall.

Skyfall paid off big for MGM, bringing in $1.1 billion at the global box office and near-universal critical acclaim. British director Sam Mendes, who directed Skyfall, was rumored to return for the sequel but said earlier this month that he wants to focus on other ventures for now.

“It has been a very difficult decision not to accept Michael and Barbara’s very generous offer to direct the next Bond movie,” Mendes explained. “Directing Skyfall was one of the best experiences of my professional life.”

Still, Mendes left the door open for a potential return to the world of 007.

“I feel very honored to have been part of the Bond family”, he said, continuing, “and very much hope I have a chance to work with them again.”

Barber said that Mendes “did an amazing job on Skyfall. We are very thankful for the work that he did.”

So, if Bond 24 is more Quantum than Skyfall, maybe Mendes can be persuaded to return to the franchise.

Are you excited for the next James Bond film?