[Updated: Deadline Hollywood is reporting from inside sources that Mendes is being brought on as a consultant and that financial/contracting issues are holding them back from actually signing a director. They still have Mendes as a candidate to direct and this could all be just contractual maneuvering. Daniel Craig really wants Mendes involved from their previous work on Road to Perdition and after Quantum of Solace received a lot of criticisms. Read about it here.]

Out of the negative news of MGM financial issues and production delays for the 23rd installment of the James Bond film franchise in recent months, comes a ray of light in the form of what may be very talented Oscar-winning director helming the next Bond movie, tentatively titled Bond 23.

The Heat Vision blog is reporting that British-born director Sam Mendes is in negotiations to direct the next James Bond film and sequel to last year’s Quantum of Solace.

Sam Mendes has a very impressive resume which includes critically-acclaimed hits such as American Beauty, Road to Perdition and Revolutionary Road. Rotten Tomatoes isn’t always the most accurate way to judge movies or those involved in creating them, but I think it’s absolutely noteworthy that Mendes sits with a 100% fresh rating.

While Martin Campbell’s Casino Royale – the essential reboot of the franchise – was widely praised for being a top-notch film and bringing James Bond back to the top of the action hero genre, its sequel Quantum of Solace (directed by Marc Forster) wasn’t nearly as well-received.

I wasn’t much a fan of Quantum of Solace, mostly due to its sometimes-unwatchable action sequences (zoom that camera out and slow it down, please). Needless to say, I’m psyched at the idea of Sam Mendes helming Bond 23 and I think he’s one we can trust to make a high-quality film on par with Daniel Craig’s first outing as the Double-O agent.

Bond himself, Daniel Craig, said last fall that the next Bond would likely start filming in late 2010. However, we’ve more recently heard that production has been put on hold until MGM solves their bankruptcy issues. Fortunately, this no longer seems to be the case as production is reportedly being fast-tracked for a possible start of principal photography this summer and a release date sometime in 2011.

Described as a “shocking story,” the script is being penned by Peter Morgan alongside 007 regulars Neal Purvis and Robert Wade.

What do you think of Mendes commanding Bond 23?

Source: THR