‘James Bond 23′ Release Date Set For November 2012

By now, you’ve probably heard all about how the woeful financial struggles of once-powerful studio Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer have been holding up the works on future James Bond movies (it owns the rights to the 007 franchise). Well, good news — on Wednesday, MGM rejected a takeover bid by Lionsgate and billionaire Carl Icahn… and instead filed for bankruptcy! That may not sound like the peachiest news, but in doing so MGM has effectively wiped $4 billion in debt off its plate and set in motion a complicated financial restructuring that will allow it to continue to make movies, including the soon-to-be-in-production “The Hobbit”… and more James Bond flicks!

According to Bloomberg, in submitting the bankruptcy claim, MGM charted its plans for the coming years, and chief among them was assigning a release date to the long-awaited follow-up to 2008’s “Quantum of Solace.” The next 007 film — for now let’s call it “James Bond 23” — is slated to hit theaters in November 2012.

But before you go hopping in your Aston Martin for a victory lap, be warned that the good news doesn’t stop there. MGM also stated that it plans to release a new Bond flick every second year thereafter.

What’s more, the fact that “Bond 23″ has its Goldeneye on a November 2012 release means that Daniel Craig will likely return to the role he gave a new, darker edge to in 2006’s “Casino Royale” and ’08’s “Quantum of Solace.” There had been concerns that MGM’s financial problems could leave the James Bond franchise to wallow in limbo for years, making the now 42-year-old Craig too old to return. Whether he’ll be back for more than the next installment remains to be seen, though he does have a five-Bond-picture deal in his back pocket. Also up in the air is whether “American Beauty” and “Road to Perdition” helmer Sam Mendes, who had been attached to direct “Bond 23,” is still on board. Either way, there are (fingers crossed) only two more years until the next Bond flick… and we can take a quantum of solace in that.

Are you stoked we’re finally getting “James Bond 23″? If Craig doesn’t return, who should take over as the superspy? Tell us in the comments!