EON Productions partners Michael G. Wilson and Barbara Broccoli, the producers of the James Bond franchise, announced today in a press release that they have suspended development on the upcoming Bond 23.
“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,’” stated Michael G Wilson and Barbara Broccoli jointly.
This comes on the heels of mountains of financial problems for distributor MGM, which is currently up for sale, leaving projects like Bond and the Peter Jackson produced Hobbit movies hanging in the balance.
The twenty third Bond project was well under way, with Peter Morgan working on a script and director Sam Mendes passing on several projects to clear time to direct Daniel Craig’s third film in the iconic spy role. Rumors of casting Bond girls, villains and putting together storylines were running rampant for a while. But all has been crushed today, as the film — which was previously set for release sometime in late 2011/early 2012 — is on hold.
Will this be the end of the longest running franchise in film history? It’s hard to say. Another James Bond movie will surely appear some day, but this incarnation might be dead. If MGM doesn’t get back on its feet soon, they may loose the window of opportunity to continue with this continuing narrative. Actors will age, people will move on and they will once again be forced with the task of rebooting this character. It’s a drab scenario, but it’s the one we have. Here’s hoping they get this turned around soon, as Sam Mendes was a more than interesting choice to direct a Bond film.