James Bond 23 Could Be Delayed By MGM Financial Troubles

UPDATE: MGM has informed MTV News that "Bond 23" is not on hold, and that scripting is still underway.

We knew this would happen. Ever since it was reported that MGM was nearing bankruptcy, we feared that the 007 franchise would be in trouble. Now we finally have an update from producers Michael G. Wilson and Barbara Broccoli from TotalFilm magazine (via Mi6.com) confirming that the production timeline for Bond 23 is "up in the air."

The uncertainty was already hinted at a month ago by screenwriter Peter Morgan, according to Mi6.com, with pre-production on the "Quantum of Solace" follow-up being put on hiatus until February. How this might affect the overall plans to begin shooting late this year and release the film in 2011 is unknown, but it doesn't sound good.

Yet TotalFilm's interview with Wilson and Broccoli doesn't really make it sound as if the next installment is all dressed up with no place to go anyway (Editor's note: It's not-- see the update at the top). Apparently the writing of the thing (by Morgan, Neal Purvis and Robert Wade) is still in such early stages that Broccoli could only confirm that "a lot of ideas are floating around" about what the plot may entail.

Not that anyone would spill any beans if there were something more solid, of course. The producers were also quite vague in discussing Bond's character development and whether or not evil organization Quantum would figure into the next installment. They might have a basic sense of how the story might flow in the next Bond outing, but they're not talking about it yet. Morgan had reportedly finished a first draft of the script back in October.

Again, this is merely an update and a bit of a reminder that MGM is expected to be bought by someone (Lionsgate and Time Warner will supposedly be involved in the bidding) in the next month. Once that happens, 007 ought to be back on track for his 23rd (official) film outing. With the success of the last two Bond films what they were, nobody is going to keep Daniel Craig or his millions of fans waiting for too long.

How long can you wait for 007 to return? Are you worried that this hold up could really delay the next Bond movie? Or, are you okay as long as you've got your Daniel Craig-shaped Man Pillow ("Parks and Recreation" reference)?