Bond 23 Suspended

The 23rd James Bond film - which was tentatively expected to arrive sometime in 2011 - has been officially suspended. "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," said producers Michael G Wilson and Barbara Broccoli in a joint statement. "We do not know when development will resume and do not have a date for the release of Bond 23." Although many of the (casting) rumours about the film amounted to little more than idle speculation or mischief, it was known that writer Peter Morgan had been working on the project and one imagines that EON were eager to make amends and consolidate after dropping the ball with Quantum of Solace - an underwritten and badly edited picture that strayed so far into Jason Bourne territory you could be forgiven for wondering why they even bothered to slap the 007 logo on top and call it a Bond film.

It is impossible to say when the MGM issue will be resolved or what will happen to James Bond when it is. Will Daniel Craig do a Timothy Dalton and decline to return if the series is mothballed for a lengthy period? At this stage anything is possible but EON must surely have their fingers crossed now for 2012 when the James Bond franchise will celebrate its 50th anniversary. If anything, the Bond series usually seems to benefit from a periodic lull and come back stronger than expected so this may in fact be a blessing in disguise. With the Jason Bourne era now fading into the past it would be nice to think that EON may use the break to remember some of the elements that made Bond so successful and so charming in the first place. Anything that spares us from another Quantum of Solace can't be all bad.

c 2010 Alternative 007