According to Variety, MGM CEO Harry Sloan has revealed the status concerning the studio's five core movie franchises: James Bond, The Pink Panther, Thomas Crown, Rocky and The Hobbit.

The trade reports that next year is likely to see MGM go into production with new installments of the first three.

Steve Martin recently delivered a script for the latest Pink Panther, where his Inspector Clouseau teams up with equally bumbling detectives from other European countries to defeat a continent-wide crime wave. Shooting is expected to start in February.

The next Thomas Crown, starring Pierce Brosnan, is scheduled for March, with a likely budget around $100 million.

Daniel Craig will return in the sequel to Casino Royale.

Sloan said Rocky Balboa, which is set for release next year, will probably be the last installment in that franchise, because Sylvester Stallone's title character will be too old for the ring.

As for The Hobbit, Sloan confirmed MGM was in talks with Peter Jackson to make two movies based on J.R.R. Tolkein's "prequel" to The Lord of the Rings. He said the first Hobbit pic would be a direct adaptation of The Hobbit, and the second would be drawn from footnotes and source material connecting The Hobbit with The Lord of the Rings.