James Bond will return in… 2015

untitled 007Its been over a year since Skyfall dominated cinemas and with little news of Bond 24 recently you would be forgiven for thinking James Bond‘s liver had finally given in to all those Martini’s. However like a SPECTRE operation, preparations for the highly anticipated 24th instalment of the franchise have been discreetly developing in the wings of MGM and last week producers Michael G. Wilson and Barbara Broccoli confirmed the UK and US release dates.

The currently untitled film will arrive in British cinemas on 23rd October and in the US on 6th November… 2015. Which, taking into account the production values of a Bond film isn’t surprising. Also confirmed are the Skyfall creative team of scriptwriter John Logan and after much tribulation Sam Mendes as director; who is arguably partly to blame for the long delay after initially turning down the offer to direct the eagerly awaited film. 

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So successful was Skyfall – which was the first film in history to gross £100 million in the UK alone – that Wilson and Broccoli refused to accept Mendes‘ refusal, opting to patiently wait for him to complete the run of his stage version of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory before setting to work on Bond 24. Speaking in July Mendes said:

imagesQQW3PJ22“I am very pleased that by giving me the time I need to honour all my theatre commitments, the producers have made it possible for me to direct Bond 24…I very much look forward to taking up the reins again, and to working with Daniel Craig, Michael G Wilson and Barbara Broccoli.”

Daniel Craig will be returning with Naomie Harris as Moneypenny, Ben Whishaw as ‘Q’, and Ralph Fiennes as the new ‘M’. Naomie Harris said of Mendes‘ return to the franchise: “I feel Skyfall is one part of a continuing story. It needs completing and it needs the same storyteller.”

While there is still no word on the latest Bond girl, rumours of the next film’s plot have dominated the tabloids. Particularly Sebastian Fawlks’ 2008 novel The Devil May Care which serves as a sequel to The Man with the Golden Gun, and reports that Sam Mendes and John Logan’s concept for the film isn’t based on an original Ian Fleming story supports thisMeanwhile this will be the first film in 15 years that Bond scriptwriting veterans Neal Purvis and Robert Wade won’t have any input in, having been involved with the franchise since The World is Not Enough.

Both this and Judi Dench‘s departure mark the end of an era and its fair to say Skyfall ended on a rather reminiscent note, with Moneypenny back in the office and Ralph Fiennes as ‘M’ behind the leather studded soundproof door, all evidence points to a more original set up. And it’s one that many, including Daniel Craig, hopes to carry through to Bond 24, who also hopes to “reclaim some of the old irony and make sure it doesn’t become pastiche.”

And what of the Bond villain? Well if the fans opinion is anything to go by Benedict Cumberbatch is one to watch in the upcoming months however; it may be worth noting MGM’s announcement back in November, when a 30 year dispute over the rights to iconic Bond baddie Ernst Stavro Blofeld and his organisation SPECTRE was settled. The rights to the character had previously been the estate of Bond co-creator Kevin McClory – who was responsible for bringing Ian Fleming’s literary agent to the silver screen – until recently when Danjaq and MGM acquired all the estate’s rights and interests relating to the Bond franchise.

So while a new era of Bond dawns, unfortunately so does another waiting game until its release. But as the saying goes, all good things comes to those who wait and in terms of the Bond franchise this certainly rings true.

 

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