MGM Chairman Wants 'Bond 24' "In the Next Three Years"
Sam Mendes may have opted out of directing Bond 24, but that won't slow down development of 007's next adventure. In fact, to hear MGM chairman Gary Barber tell it, the franchise should remain right on target for its next installment.
"We are very excited about the franchise, we look forward to announcing a director soon," Barber was heard to say during a recent conference call with investors (per the Guardian). "We are currently developing the screenplay and working with our partners. We look forward to developing the script soon and signing a director. We are hoping within the next three years it will be released."
As Screen Rant notes, "the next three years" would put Bond 24 on the same pace as its predecessor, the billion-dollar success Skyfall -- which comes as something of a surprise, given that MGM's bankruptcy woes were a big part of the reason for Skyfall's extended development. On the other hand, it's at least mildly encouraging that those billion bucks haven't convinced the studio that it needs to rush Bond back to the screen -- he might be more successful than ever, but 007 remains graceful under pressure, even when searching for a new director.
Screen Rant's report goes on to speculate that Guy Ritchie might be the one to take the reins for Bond 24, especially if the rumors regarding Tom Cruise taking the lead in Ritchie's Man from U.N.C.L.E. adaptation prove false and he's forced to abandon the project. Ritchie certainly has the action bona fides for the franchise, although it's worth noting that the last two guys to helm a Bond flick, Marc Forster and Sam Mendes, had deeper dramatic backgrounds. Maybe Kenneth Branagh should be in the mix too -- or how about Kathryn Bigelow?