Members of the Q Branch rejoice, you’ll be making disposable one-use lethal gadgets for 007 soon enough! Now that MGM has finished with its bankruptcy proceedings, and are assured a financial future, James Bond 23 has been brought back from the brink.
Director Sam Mendes (“Road to Perdition” “Revolutionary Road”) is on board with directing 23, as confirmed by his estranged wife Kate Winslet. Backing him up in the writing department are veteran Bond writers Neil Purvis and Robert Wade. Peter Morgan, the acclaimed writer of “Frost/Nixon,” was tapped to do the script, but after the money problems started adding up, he walked away to write an upcoming Freddie Mercury biopic. As such, there still is no script, but the work is on-going.
What’s a Bond movie without David Arnold on the decks? As far as recent memory is concerned, it’s not, and 23 will be the sixth Bond film to be scored by Arnold. Like everything else, there’s not much work done. When asked about 23 in a recent interview by FilmMusicMag, Arnold said, “I haven’t thought about it yet. We only just got the news that we’re back on. But ‘there’s many a slip twixt cup and lip,’ so I will keep quiet until I get a script and then start writing ideas”
Let’s talk Bond girls for a moment. It seems Monica Bellucci is who the fans want, according to an MI6 poll. The rumour mill still holds Olivia Wilde and Frieda Pinto as likely candidates, but if the last three picks are any indication, the role will go to a relatively unknown (to American audiences), younger actress. Personally, I think neither Wilde nor Pinto would be the right call for the franchise, as it would very obviously look like MGM is trying to ride their names to a box office win with males. Bellucci would make a decent Bond girl, however. I’d like to see someone in the same age range as Bellucci, a surprisingly seductive 46-year-old, with the same general looks, but not quite so European.
Location, location location. Bond has been known for exotic locations, and it seems this one will be no different. A cinema deal between the UK and Israel has been inked, making it quite convenient for British filmmakers to shoot there. In light of this deal, don’t be surprised if a few scenes would be shot there. Other than that, since there’s no script, there’s no details.
Lastly, and certainly not least, the cast. Daniel Craig is definitely on board as 007, much to the relief of those naysayers who may have speculated as to whether or not he’d be returning. Judi Dench also will be reprising her iconic portrayal of M, which I think is right up there with Bernard Lee’s M. The absence of Q in the rebooted series is very noticeable. Much like fans such as myself, Craig himself said in a 2008 interview with Collider.com, “Let’s try and find where Moneypenny came from and where Q comes from. Let’s do all that and have some fun with it.” As to the question of villains, there are no guarantees, but there’s strong indications that Ernst Blofeld will be the villain in 23.
So, it looks like James Bond 23 is back in business, and is coming along pretty nicely given its situation. MGM is aiming for a November 2012 release date, carefully avoiding the box office slugfest that will be the Batman and Spiderman reboots, and hopes to drop a film every other year after. So far so good, let’s just see what the future brings.
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