Ok, so enough is enough. In the last few weeks there’s been a lot of back and forth and back again about the James Bond franchise and its immediate future in light of the ongoing MGM bankruptcy fiasco.

A lot of Websites (Screen Rant included) have been reporting what they allege is the latest “news” or “updates” about where the Bond franchise is and where it will be in the near future – but it’s all just talk. The bottom line is this: nobody really knows nothing about Bond’s future in the movie business. Not the studio, or the people involved with the films – certainly not any reporters or “trusted sources.” Let’s take a step back from all the hype for a second and retrace our steps.

At the start of this year it was business as usual: The next Bond film (tentatively titled Bond 23 until a catchier name is selected) was on schedule. We heard that Frost/Nixon writer Peter Morgan was working on a “shocking” new Bond script, and when you hear about an Oscar-nominated writer cooking up a thrilling script in a famous action franchise, you have reason to be excited.

Next, we heard that Oscar-winning director Sam Mendes was getting involved with Bond 23 – either as the director or a consultant – and again, we had good reason to be enthused. James Bond as envisioned by Oscar-caliber writers and directors? YES PLEASE!

After that you had the next logical step in James Bond rumoring: who the new Bond girl and villain would be. We heard names like Olivia Wilde and Frieda Pinto tossed around as possible Bond girls, and even heard that Sam Mendes’ on-again, off-again girlfriend, actress Rachel Weisz, might play a major Bond villain. Admittedly these were just RUMORS, but they were the usual sort of whisper-round-the-water-cooler fun that comes with the development of any Bond film.

As spring transitioned into summer, things took a bad turn. We here at Screen Rant have been keeping careful tabs on the MGM bankruptcy fiasco for a long time, and were always wary of how the studio’s breakdown would affect films like The Hobbit and James Bond – so it was more a confirmation of our fears than a shocking revelation when it was announced that Bond 23 is being delayed for the time being, until MGM sorts itself out.

And that’s where the story ends. Period.

Since the announcement of the Bond delay, the Interweb has been spouting so many Bond franchise ‘dead or alive’ posts that you’d think 007 was the new Elvis. Harry Knowles over at AICN recently went on a geek tirade about MGM screwing up the movies he’s eager for, and in that rant he made the claim that Bond is officially dead. We reported that non-news here on Screen Rant (hell I edited and published it) – however, in retrospect, we should have let that one pass us by. Not everything need be reported (just one rule we often adhere to, but now and then forget).

After the “Bond is dead” declaration there’s been a bunch of online debate going back in forth, with Deadline claiming that Sam Mendes and current Bond Daniel Craig will “wait for MGM,” while other major outlets like CBS Celebrity Circuit are following with the “Bond is dead” angle. Everybody seems to be saying something about Bond’s future at the movies – and yet, truthfully speaking, not one single person knows what is going to happen to the franchise at this point – not even MGM or the people attached to the film.

The franchise itself will live on, of course, but as far as who will be writing, directing or starring as Bond, and whether or not the story will continue the half-imagined narrative tossed out in Quantum of Solace or be forced to “reboot” itself again? NO ONE REALLY KNOWS. As our own Niall Browne points out, this has happened before with James Bond; all we can do now is wait and see how MGM climbs out of its financial hole, and how long it takes them to do so. Those resolutions will ultimately determine Bond’s future.

In the meantime, don’t believe the hype around the Web – the only ones who have THE definitive answer are the ones willing to admit there is no answer to give right now.

We’ll keep you updated. Follow us on Twitter for up-to-the-minute headlines (@screenrant).

Sources: AICN, Deadline, CBS Celebrity Circuit

Bond Image Source: Manchester Comix Collective