MGM Studios has seen some dark days of late, having barely been salvaged by filing bankruptcy. Their nearly insurmountable financial woes led to the delay of not only The Hobbit, directed by Peter Jackson, but also James Bond 23starring the blondest James Bond of all, Daniel Craig.

Recently, the studio went through a massive, thorough restructuring and was able to acquire $500 million worth of credit from JP Morgan, a good chunk of which will likely be spent on the follow-up to Quantum of Solace. MGM is expected to partner with Sony for co-financing, as it has done in the past with Casino Royale and Quantum.

2012 marks the fiftieth anniversary of the Dr. No (1962), the very first James Bond movie ever, which obviously makes it the perfect time to release a brand spanking new Bond movie. Thus, the studio will be attempting to lockdown its cast, director, and screenplay for the new movie as quickly as possible.

The studio previously announced (that is, before it almost imploded) that Peter Morgan, and frequent Bond collaborators Neal Purvis and Robert Wade, would be penning a draft of Bond 23. Purvis and Wade have worked on every James Bond film since The World Is Not Enough – for you forgetful filmgoers, that includes Die Another Day (gag), Casino Royale (awesome), and Quantum of Solace (gag) – the last two of which were rewritten, to some extent, by Paul Haggis.

Additionally, rumors for months have indicated that Sam Mendes (American Beauty, Revolutionary Road) is the frontrunner to direct the new movie. Now, Mendes is not a filmmaker known for his action-oriented filmmaking skills – the closest he has come to directing an action picture, in fact, would be the immensely dreary but incredibly well-made Road to Perdition, co-starring none other than Daniel Craig – but neither was Marc Forster, another typically art-house filmmaker, who helmed Quantum.

Hopefully, Mendes has a better time with 23 than Forster had with Quantum, which was plagued by A) a weak-as-the-dickens villain, B) a nearly non-existent story, C) a Ukrainian beauty painted orange to look Brazilian, and D) an obsession with (vomit-inducing) shaky-cam that would make Jason Bourne blush.

Quantum of Solace took the phrase “Shaken, not stirred” far too literally.

Then again, I’m more concerned that Neal Purvis and Robert Wade continue to be hired to write James Bond screenplays. The only good James Bond movie they ever had a hand in writing was Casino Royale, and as I said already, that was largely rewritten by Paul Haggis. What precisely is it about The World Is Not Enough, Die Another Day, and Johnny English that convinces Barbara Broccoli and company to have such unending faith in these guys?

Due to MGM’s restructuring, it’s unclear as to whether or not Peter Morgan, Purvis, and Wade are still on-board to write the new Bond film, or if Lady Gaga will be writing and performing the new Bond theme song (I sincerely hope that the latter is the case, as I’d love nothing more than to see some flashy, poppy Bond music a la Duran Duran’s A View to a Kill). That said, you can pretty much guarantee that Sam Mendes and Daniel Craig will be pursued by the studio in the coming months, if they aren’t locked already.

MGM is still technically under bankruptcy protection for a few more months. Keep your eyes on Screen Rant’s main page for more MGM and James Bond 23 news as we get it.

Source: Variety