MGM has big plans for 007 now that the studio is back on its feet. In a report stemming from yesterday's news that MGM had filed for bankruptcy, rejecting Lionsgate's bid for a takeover, Bloomberg confirms that MGM is fully commited to shooting James Bond 23 in the next two years, and that it will be ready for release in November of 2012.
The studio will retain fifty percent of the rights to the Bond franchise, with MGM set to release a new 007 adventure every other year starting with James Bond 23's release in 2012. An equal partner will pay all of the production costs on the first few movies released, and then the later Bond sequels will be wholly owned and funded by MGM itself.
There is no word on whether or not Daniel Craig will reprise his role as 007 in James Bond 23. At this time, the actor is committed to filming all three installments of the Millennium Trilogy, starting with the currently in production The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo.
As indicated by the earlier report, MGM is currently set to spend as much as $125 million in the next fifteen weeks on operation costs alone. They have already ponied up $20 million for The Hobbit in a co-production deal with Time Warner Inc. and New Line Cinema. At this time, MGM is obligated to pay close to $275 million on the The Hobbit and The Hobbit Sequel, but is looking for a third party to fund those obligations.