[UPDATE: Sam Mendes is said to be directing James Bond 23.]

MGM’s financial issues caused quite the headache for Peter Jackson’s adaptation of The Hobbit and prevented production on the next James Bond movie from moving forward, which forced star Daniel Craig to unleash his pent up rage on a fleet of extraterrestrials instead of diabolical humans bent on world domination (kidding – sort of).

Rumors that a new James Bond will arrive by 2012 popped up last month and now someone closer to the project has revealed that work has recommenced on 007’s 23rd big screen venture, which is tentatively scheduled to arrive in theaters by November of 2012.

Composer David Arnold sat down for a chat with Film Music Magazine and had the following insight to offer concerning the next James Bond flick:

“I haven’t thought about it yet. We only just got the news that we’re back on. But ‘there’s many a slip twixt cup and lip’ so I will keep quiet until I get a script and then start writing ideas.. All I can say is that I’m looking forward to a great script for it, alongside every other Bond fan in the world!”

Arnold also praised Daniel Craig, whose return as the ruthless but charming spy Mr. Bond was a no-brainer before the MGM fiasco, but gave no indication as to whether Sam Mendes (American Beauty) is still onboard as director.  Mendes’ schedule is seemingly clear right now, so he’s a viable option – and considering that MGM’s bankruptcy plan has been approved and the studio’s restructuring is now officially in progress, you should expect to hear an official statement on Mendes being in or out sooner rather than later.

UPDATE: Kate Winslet reportedly confirmed to The Daily Mail that Mendes will begin work on the new James Bond movie next year at Pinewood film studios. An official studio statement on the matter has yet to be released.

James Bond 23 will be directed by Sam Mendes

Both of the Craig-starring Bond entries (Casino Royale and Quantum of Solace) were grittier in tone and featured a darker take on the man himself, who was re-imagined as more of a hard-hitting secret agent able to hold his own with the likes of Jason Bourne. Craig’s Bond is still capable of being the charming ladies’ man when he wants to be, and is easily the most physically-intimidating (re: able to punch you out and not blink) incarnation of the character as well.

The last two James Bond adventures were hits at the box office and sat well enough with moviegoers (more so with Royale than Solace, admittedly), so we imagine that the filmmakers behind the new one won’t deviate much from the design of its immediate predecessors  – not to mention, the franchise has been around so long that the delay in production shouldn’t be an issue (a similar holdup happened back in 1989).

Craig will be back on the big screen as Bond.

The 23rd James Bond pic is now expected to begin production in late 2011 and will hit theaters in November 2012, so stay tuned for more updates – in the meantime, feel free to discuss your thoughts and feelings on the franchise in the comments section below.

Source: Film Music Magazine