Sam Mendes to Helm James Bond 23?!

MGM has announced (via Heat Vision) that Sam Mendes, of American Beauty, Road to Perdition, and more recently Away We Go, has been hired to direct the twenty-third installment in the James Bond franchise.

I was just going to post a story about MGM’s money concerns that would put any production of James Bond on hold, but apparently MGM is on track to release Bond 23 in Fall 2011. Neal Purvis and Robert Wade, who have penned the last four James Bond adventures, are writing the script along with Peter Morgan (The Queen, The Damned United, Frost/Nixon). Michael Wilson and Barbara Broccoli will produce. And Daniel Craig is, of course, reprising his role as the brutish martini drinker.

Sam Mendes is an interesting choice to direct such a film, since he’s not really done an action film per se. But neither had Marc Forster before he did Quantum of Solace, and we know how well that turned out. Not sure why the Broccolis are insistent that the Bond pictures be directed by British filmmakers, but why not get Matthew Vaughn or Danny Boyle? But Mendes does have a varied filmography, having tackled modern suburbia and 1950s suburbia; prohibition (Fun Fact: Road of Perdition featured future James Bond Daniel Craig); the Gulf War; and he’s even done a road trip in search of the perfect home.

My thumbs are definitely in the middle at this point, but as long as the casting is inspired (no Denise Richards retreads, please) and Peter Morgan’s additions to the script are sound, I’ll probably be stoked to see James Bond 23.

Source: Heat Vision

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