Production on next James Bond canceled?
UPDATE: Deadline is saying insiders have confirmed that nothing has changed with the Bond project and that production will resume when MGM gets its affairs in order, meaning the following AICN report is likely exaggerated.
Financial woes at MGM have apparently resulted in cutting off what little circulation the 23rd installment of the James Bond franchise had left. Ain't It Cool News is reporting that production on the film, previously put on indefinite hiatus, has been halted entirely.
It's been bad times for MGM, not just financially (a reported $4 billion in debt according to Cinematical), but in terms of letting the management of its best properties get out of hand enough to to aggravate the fan base. Another example is the anticipated two-parter film version of The Hobbit, which at least has other production companies and financial resources to rely on (New Line and Warner Bros.)
The film was not only expected to be the third in a series of Bond films that has led to an acclaimed resurgence in the iconic super spy behind the face of Daniel Craig, but it was set to be directed by Oscar winner Sam Mendes with a script by Oscar nominee Peter Morgan (The Queen, Frost/Nixon). Not only could the film lose those talents (and at least will in the short-term), but the situation might just scare anyone away from making any kind of commitment to this or any MGM project that might possibly arise when the company starts moving forward again if at all. Worst of all, there's no way of knowing whether Daniel Craig would be involved by the time the ball started rolling again. Many actors could replace him, but his reign wasn't meant to be cut short at two films -- he has plenty left to give the character.
Is this the end of Bond? No. Regardless of what happens with MGM, Bond will find a way to return to the big screen. He means too much dollars and sense. It just could be awhile.