Sam Mendes Definitely Maybe To Direct Bond 23

According to The Hollywood Reporter's Heat Vision Blog Sam Mendes is in negotiations for the gig as director for Bond 23.

It's an intriguing choice as Mendes is more usually thought of a character-based drama director, with films such as Anerican Beauty and Road To Perdition on his CV. Though he has been connected to a long gestating big screen adaptation of the comic character Preacher so it looks like he's ready to tackle something a bit more mainstream. And since the Pierce Brosnan reboot, the Bond franchise has never been shy of picking directors previously better known for character pieces or gritty drama than action (with varying success) – such as Michael Apted, Marc Forster and Martin Campbell.

Apparently production is being fast-tracked and could begin as early as June with an eye on a 2011 release. Bond regulars Neal Purvis and Robert Wade are writing, along with Frost/Nixon scribe Peter Morgan. Daniel Craig will reprise his role as 007.

However, Variety isn't so sure Mendes is a done deal, saying that the uncertainty over the future of studio MGM (it's currently up for sale) means things may still be up in the air: "Speculation about Mendes as a Bond director has emerged in recent weeks, possibly due to his having directed Daniel Craig in Road to Perdition… The beleaguered studio refused to confirm reports about Mendes being in talks for the 23rd Bond pic. MGM also denied other reports that pre-production had been halted."

Marc Forster directed the previous Bond film, 2008's Quantum of Solace, which grossed $586 million worldwide. The first Craig Bond, Casino Royale, made $600 million worldwide.

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