Big names like Ralph Fiennes, Kevin Spacey, Javier Bardem and even Anthony Hopkins have been mentioned as potential candidates to go up against Daniel Craig's 007. Still, even with a director and some returning cast members confirmed, people have still been waiting for concrete confirmation before they will believe that Bond is finally on this way back to theaters.
Today MGM has once again confirmed an official release date for the 23rd James Bond flick, and now a production start window. Director Sam Mendes (Road to Perdition) will start rolling cameras later this year on the film, which will still be due in theaters on November 9, 2012 - almost four years exactly since the last Bond film (the not-so-loved Quantum of Solace) debuted in theaters back in 2008.
While it's nice to know when we'll be treated to our next adventure with 007 (especially since his return has been something of a guessing game during the last year of MGM's financial collapse), it does little to quell all the swirling questions about just what this next Bond film will entail. QoS left us in a pretty precarious place, with Bond on the hunt for revenge after the tragic events of Casino Royale and in his pursuit of justice, uncovering the existence of the mysterious Quantum organization - a clandestine cabal of powerful men and women who have the seeming to influence whatever world events they choose to get involved in. Of course, this juicy conspiracy storyline was largely abandoned in the latter half of QoS, in favor of a generic revenge story that didn't really make all that much sense, if I'm being honest.
In the years since Bond has been on standby, we've heard rumors that the next film would have a "shocking story" to Bond possibly taking on a 'female mastermind villain'. I'm game for whatever screenwriters Neal Purvis, Robert Wade and John Logan cook up, at this point; though, if there isn't some closure provided to the whole Quantum storyline, it's going to feel like pretty big cop-out. Some threads just shouldn't be left dangling.
As stated, James Bond 23 will begin filming late this year to debut in theaters on November 9, 2012. Those in the UK and Ireland are in luck: they'll get to reunite with 007 even earlier than that, on October 26, 2012.