Skyfall opens in theaters in the UK today and has been generating rave reviews so far (with big earnings expected to follow). Director Sam Mendes most likely won’t be returning for the 24th installment in the James Bond franchise – or any future 007 movies, for that matter – but Daniel Craig is signed on to return for the next two chapters in the 50-year old blockbuster series.

Earlier this year, Sony announced its plan to release Bond 24 in theaters by 2014 – before the Skyfall teaser had even premiered for the public. The latest Bond-centric reports indicate that date should be kept, as Skyfall co-writer John Logan has already been re-hired to work on the script.

Logan – a three-time Oscar-nominated screenwriter whose resume includes Gladiator, The Aviator, and Hugo – was brought onboard by Mendes to revamp an earlier script draft for Skyfall, which was penned by Neal Purvis and Robert Wade (the writers on the previous four Bond movies). Daily Mail is reporting that Purvis and Wade are moving on after five adventures with the Bond character, meaning Logan is the sole scribe working on the 24th film – drawing from a story treatment that is currently being kept under wraps.

The plan, according to Daily Mail, is to begin shooting Bond 24 at Pinewood Studios around this time next year, so the film will be ready to hit theaters by Fall 2014. Series newcomers such as Ben Whishaw (as Bond’s new ‘Q’uartermaster) and Naomie Harris (as Agent Eve) are expected to begin negotiations to reprise their respective roles from Skyfall over the impending months.

Daniel Craig’s back as Bond in ‘Skyfall’

MGM’s bankruptcy was the cause of the four-year delay between Quantum of Solace and Skyfall. It ended up being a blessing-in-disguise for the latter project, seeing how it allowed ample time for Mendes and his writers to fine-tune the script – whereas, on Quantum, Craig ended up having to help out with the writing process after production had begun (as a result of the 2007-08 WGA strike). That is to say: Bond 24 won’t experience a similar extended delay, since pre-production will be much smoother.

In the meantime, fans can continue to speculate about who might pick up the Bond mantle once Craig finishes his run a few years down the road. That debate heated up earlier this week, when the news emerged that Golden Globe-winner Idris Elba has indeed met with the James Bond franchise producers.

Skyfall is now showing in theaters around the UK. It will open here in the U.S. on November 9th.

Source: Daily Mail