"Bond 23" may have found a new hope. After being put in an indefinite status due to MGM's financial problem, the project is allegedly back on track with plans to kick off principal photography in late summer or early fall 2011.
The good news comes along with Deadline Hollywood's report that Sam Mendes is out of the contention to direct "The Hunger Games" because he is getting ready to work behind the lens for the next James Bond movie. The site mentions "the MGM picture is clearing up" and Daniel Craig is set to reprise his role as the 007 agent next year.
Another project, "The Hobbit", which is also built under the same production house is reportedly also going to have the same fate like "Bond 23". Ian McKellen who is tapped to portray Gandalf in the adventure flick recently told The Bolton News that the movie, which will tell story taking place before the events in "Lord of the Rings" trilogy, is aimed to start filming in January 2011.
"Bond 23" has hired Peter Morgan, Robert Wade and Neal Purvis to provide the screenplay. This follow-up to "Quantum of Solace" was initially projected for 2011 release but the schedule is likely to be pushed back due to the delay.
As for "The Hobbit", the movie will be divided into two parts with the first film expected to arrive in December 2012, and "The Hobbit 2" slated to come out a year later. Peter Jackson, Fran Walsh, Guillermo del Toro and Philippa Boyens are teaming up to write the script, but del Toro has pulled out from the directing duty due to the ongoing delay.