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BOND 23 is coming, but nobody knows when. Sam Mendes might direct, but nobody knows for sure.

For a covert operative, James Bond has been in the news a lot lately. Everyone seems to be wondering about the progress of the Bond 23--the unnamed 23rd Bond film. The problem centers around MGM, the owner of the Bond franchise, and how it happens to be $3.7 billion dollars in debt and auctioning off its assets. I compiled the last few days of big Bond news after the jump. 

A few days ago, Bond producers Michael G. Wilson and Barbara Broccoli gave a brief update to Total Film magazine, describing the timeline for production as "up in the air" due to the situation at MGM. 

Well... we've hired the writers and we've been working with them but it's just too early to say anything. You know, often at this stage, I find myself saying, 'Oh, we're gonna do this and that', then six months from now you'll say, 'That isn't in the film at all - you told me it was...' I think we're at the stage where a lot of ideas are floating around that sound very good, but whether they make the final cut, who knows? - Michael G. Wilson, producer

Tuesday, news broke that Sam Mendes is in talks to direct the film. Mendes is responsible for a number of big dramas including this year's Away We Go as well as American Beauty, Road to Perdition, Jarhead, and Revolutionary Road.

He's a talented guy, but so was Marc Forster, who made the somewhat disappointing Quantum of Solace and proved that it takes a strong understanding of action as well as narrative to make a great Bond film. Martin Cambell, who directed Casino Royale and GoldenEye, is probably the best Bond director in the last twenty years because he consistently strikes that balance and takes Bond to a new place. Perhaps Sam Mendes has what it takes. It's difficult to say. 

Still, that's if he directs at all. Yesterday, Deadline Hollywood reported that the problems at MGM are halting even this decision. Instead of hiring him as director, Wilson and Broccoli are bringing Mendes on board as a 'consultant' until the clouds clear over the Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer offices.

"The producers are working on a deal to bring Sam on as consultant with an eye to direct,"one of my insiders says. "Once they put him on as the director, something happens to the contract in terms of ownership. But let me emphasize there’s not any deal done." - Nikki Finke, Deadline Hollywood

James McAvoy is also set to play Ian Fleming, the creator/author of James Bond, in an upcoming biopic.

More news on everyone's favorite secret agent as it develops.

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