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Daniel Craig in "Skyfall"
© Sony Pictures / Daniel Craig in "Skyfall"
MGM: Next James Bond movie expected within three years

LOS ANGELES, March 19 (Reuters) -- Movie studio MGM said Tuesday that it expects to release the next James Bond movie within three years and hopes to soon announce a new director, after Sam Mendes decided to move on.

In a conference call with investors, MGM Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Gary Barber said the studio was developing the screenplay for the next, 24th movie in the 50-year-old franchise about the British secret agent.

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"We are very excited about the franchise. We look forward to announcing a director soon," Barber said.

"We are currently developing the screenplay and working with our partners. We look forward to developing the script soon and signing a director. We are hoping within the next three years it will be released," he added.

He gave no details on casting, but Daniel Craig has already signed on for two more films in the lead role as the suave 007 agent.

The 2012 Bond film "Skyfall," starring Craig, made $1.1 billion at the global box office and impressed critics. But Britain's Mendes said earlier this month that he wanted to focus on his theater projects for the foreseeable future.

Barber said Mendes "did an amazing job on 'Skyfall'. We are very thankful for the work that he did."

Privately held MGM jointly produced "Skyfall" with Sony Corp's movie studio arm.

MGM said Monday that "Skyfall" and "The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey" had helped bring a three-fold increase in its 2012 net income.

Mar 19, 2013 6:17PM
Mar 19, 2013 7:32PM
Heartbreaking on a couple of levels. I was dreaming of a 2 year wait for the next movie, and while I prefer quality over quantity, I really want to see more than 6 movies before Craig is too old. After looking like he might come back, the departure of Mendes brings a tear to my eye.
Mar 19, 2013 6:21PM

Daniel Craig brougt a new look. Only because they the bad guys had turned his woman against him, did he look craqzzzzed    Otherwise it was a modern updated epic of what a spy thriller should be.

Mar 19, 2013 7:04PM
Daniel Craig and Skyfall are the best ever for Bond.
Mar 19, 2013 6:12PM
I wonder how they're going to follow-on from Skyfall. I don't think Quantum of Solace would have gotten near the flak it did if it wasn't for the fact it was following Casino Royale, and Skyfall will be even HARDER.

Maybe it's time to reintroduce Tracy...

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