James Bond has faced several threats over the course of his distinguished career as a well-dressed espionage agent, but it appears that 007 has finally met his match in the form of MGM Studios.

In a press release, producers Michael G. Wilson and Barbara Broccoli of EON Productions announced that development on the next James Bond movie has been delayed indefinitely. The film was previously scheduled for release in late 2011 or early 2012.

"Due to the continuing uncertainty surrounding the future of MGM and the failure to close a sale of the studio, we have suspended development on 'Bond 23' indefinitely," Wilson and Broccoli said in a joint statement. "We do not know when development will resume and do not have a date for the release of 'Bond 23.' "

In January, reports surfaced indicating that "Bond 23" could be delayed by MGM's highly publicized financial troubles, but representatives from the studio informed MTV News that production and scripting was still under way. It was announced shortly thereafter that "American Beauty" director Sam Mendes was in negotiations to direct the 23rd installment of the British spy franchise. Mendes previously worked with leading man Daniel Craig on "Road to Perdition" in 2002, a film in which Craig played a ruthless gangster responsible for the death of Michael Sullivan's (Tom Hanks) family.

While Craig himself had previously indicated that "Bond 23" would start shooting at the end of 2010, actress Judi Dench — who plays Bond's boss M in the series — told MTV News in December that she was planning to begin production a little later.

"I think I'm going to be needed in spring of 2011," she said. "That's a message I got. It would mean I could do something at the end of next year, something else, maybe be in the theater."

For now, it appears that Dench has plenty of time to choose her next project.

What do you think about the "Bond" delay? Let us know in the comments!

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