MGM Cancels Sam Mendes' Bond 23, No More Daniel Craig?

July 6, 2010
Source: AICN, Mirror

James Bond

With every new James Bond, it reaches a point where audiences lose interest and the franchise restarts. I didn't think we'd reach that point with Daniel Craig for a long, long time, because audiences seem to love him and there's a different storyline (starting with his origin in Casino Royale). The latest movie, Bond 23, was set to be directed by Oscar winner Sam Mendes (of American Beauty, Away We Go) from a script by Oscar nominated writer Peter Morgan (The Queen, Frost/Nixon). We already knew it was delayed because of MGM's ongoing financial troubles, but we're now receiving word that the entire thing has been canceled.

This news comes mainly from Harry at AICN and the UK's Mirror (both via The Playlist). Harry Knowles says that "apparently all development on the next James Bond flick is dead. They've actually fucked MGM up so much that right now, they've canned development of a new James Bond film." Oh I know, it's very sad. Mirror confirms: "Members of the production crew have been told the Bond film has been canned. There is a lot of bad feeling as a lot of time, money and hard work has already gone into this." Apparently this is not just another delay, it sounds like MGM is canceling all projects in development until they figure out how to get back into the moviemaking business, which may be never (if things keep going the same way they are).

The big question now is if this also means the end of Daniel Craig as James Bond. No one really knows how long Craig's contract runs or how many films he was signed to be in, but I'm sure MGM is pulling some crazy tricks in order to cancel any and everything, and that could include Craig's contract. But, of course, there's always the optimistic folks who think it's just a matter of time until we see Craig return as James Bond, and I think I'll side with them until further notice. "This doesn't mean the end of the Bond films. The question is how long it will take to make another one." Let's just hope we don't have to wait too long for it. Thoughts?

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  • Quaked2023
    Well this just sucks!
  • Franzen93
    Oh No! I really like the first two. This stinks.
  • Wow...MGM must be in some serious trouble to be losing their biggest franchises. If they're that desperate they should just sell them to another studio, but I'm no business man so what do I know. All this bad PR can't be helping though...
  • Travis
    So sad, but to me, it begs one bigger question: in an industry that revolves around the "arts," with actors who consistently claim that they do it for the sake of the art, when a film series as such, with so much beloved history, and especially a new lead that turned it all on its head and got the viewing public interested again...why can those actors who profess their love for the arts do the work for free, just once? Its not unheard of that actors donate or waive salaries (often times for a percentage on the backend), Depp, Law, and Farrel did it for Heath Ledger in Imaginarium, so why cannot Craig and every other high-paid actor on the film let their salaries go just once to help finance the film and give back to the art that they profess to love so much?
  • Nitrium
    Alex! Being that MGM is cancelling things left and right as mentioned in this post... Do you have any information on the upcoming Stargate movies? Because if those gets canned I'mma nerdrage like Donkey Kong!
  • Travis, you just described what Keanu Reeves has been doing for years. I know I'll get shit for this, but we need more dedicated actors like him. Just a couple of the things he's done for the sake of art and not money would be that without being asked, he gave $38 Million dollars to The Wachowski Brothers so they could properly finish the Matrix sequels and he also deferred millions of dollars of his salary on The Replacements (2000) so that Gene Hackman could be cast. You can't blame the actors for the business side of things though, it's their agents that handle the money.
  • Of course they'd be wise to resuscitate the Craig run of the Bond series as soon as they can. But I'm sure at this point their solvency is more important to them than keeping/forming contracts to start films they may not even have the money to complete.
  • Louis
    Do like Narnia and sell the whole thing to Fox.
  • Creighton
    Why can't MGM just sell the Bond franchise to another studio? I guess it is not that simple. Seems like that'd be a good way to get some cash-flow at MGM. Meanwhile, the fans get to see the movies.
  • Travis
    Peloquin, thanks, I honestly didn't know that about him, but its stuff like those actions that really make you have more admiration for them, regardless of what others think about their work...besides, I'll take shit with you because I actually dug The Lake House! I'm just a fan of cinema in general, and have a huge amount of respect and admiration for what they present to us, but sometimes the ideas one has to solve a problem are simply not feasible, and as much as I would wish that they could make a movie for free...only in a perfect world. Thanks for being more open minded than most!
  • I think it's tough for cinephiles like us to see things from a business perspective because we'd gladly work on these films for a very limited salary.
  • Liz
    It's a nice idea, but I doubt the actors' salaries are the issue. The actors are just the tip of the movie-making iceberg. And while Keanu Reeves might be able to afford to work for free, the rest of the cast and crew need to eat, same as the rest of us. Selling the rights is a more realistic suggestion, particularly if MGM needs some big quick cash. I've only been keeping an occasional eye on this story. What triggered the dramatic collapse?
  • Eli
    This is good news and bad news. Craig was good as bond and all but the series hit a downslope with that horrible quantum of solace.
  • solo calrissian
    I hoped the franchise would evolved to the point where Double-0-seven would get to use his gadgets. a gadget-less bond is kinda weak and seeing him ride the bus last movie was really wack. I dont think they should reboot this yet again... KEEP IT GOING MGM!!!
  • Brady
    They had better fucking bring back Daniel Craig as James Bond! I was really excited for the next film because it was being cowritten by Peter Morgan. I would much rather see the next James Bond film than The Hobbit.
  • Robbie
    MGM is so fucking stupid. Spending money they don't have on things that aren't there yet.
  • the weatherman
    Who knows maybe it will be stalled long enough for Nolan to take over the next one. Its his favorite series and he could do awesome things for it.
  • Kaiser
    I couldn't care less, 22 bond movies is enough, the last was was crap, let it die
  • cyn
    Wow. awful news...I loved Craig as Bond. :(
  • Nada Nuff
    Too bad. Will keep my hopes up, though.
  • Fearl3ss
    No more Daniel Craig??? YESSS!! No more James Bond?? DAMN!!
  • notalent
    Quantum of Solace wasn't a horrible movie. Yes, it didn't live up to its predecessor (Casino Royale) but at least it was a pretty solid action movie. It's a shame that they couldn't close a deal to transfer Bond to another studio.
  • Flin
    Shame! Was really looking forward to the sequel!!
  • Atomic Punk
    Fucking-A! If studios can somehow manage to reboot this and retool that then somehow, somewhere, someone will manage to bring Bond back. Craig was pretty amazing as Bond, and while Quantum of Solace was not the best it certainly fared better than a few of the Roger Moore and Timothy Dalton Bond films.
  • Darren
    or MGM can Gamble it and make the best bond movie ever made to get them out of the debt...stupid assess
  • kevin
    This is simply the price of having a franchise that runs for decades. Much like any licence, Bond's license to kill comes with an expiration date and is only good for a few years. Since the series can't exist in a vacuum, some actors will enjoy a lengthy tenure while others will have their era cut short by outside factors. It's just the nature of the beast. As long as Bond eventually finds his way back to the screen, I won't really care who is playing him. This is probably because I have already lived through several actor changes and never expected Daniel Craig to be the final person to play 007. I realize some fans will be sad to see him go, especially if he was their "first" Bond, but the franchise is still the most important thing. And truthfully, I think it will be better for the franchise if they recast the role at this point. Even Daniel Craig was disappointed with how Quantum of Solace turned out and it would be a mistake to expect audiences to still care about the "Quantum" organization after so many years. This isn't Die Hard, Indiana Jones, or Jason Bourne, where audiences strongly identify the character with one particular actor. Instead, this is the rare franchise where audiences actually expect change. The previous hiatus meant that Bond 23 couldn't arrive until at least 2012- four years after the last installment. This latest development likely extends that delay to five. For Bond, that's close to an eternity.
  • Spencer
    btw aicn sucks. their writers write like third graders.
  • bryan
    James Bond Will Return...
  • LinkfX
    This is seriously terrible news, I wonder if you guys actually grasp the gravity of this situation. I'm severely saddened by this news.
  • Morlock
    Fucking morons. The last two Bond films are among the best, hands down. Craig plays the role closer to Ian Fleming's character in the books, and how refreshing was it to see the first steps and tribulations of 007? Again, fucking morons...
  • DoomCanoe
    Son of a Bitch!
  • Ash
    To comment #4 and comment #6 Daniel Craig IS one of those actors. . He (and Lev Shreiber and Jamie Bell) took nothing for Defiance because they believed in the film. Daniel Craig also worked for free both as producer and headliner actor for Flashbacks of a Fool, because he believed in the project adn wanted the first time director to get a break he would otherwise not have got if not for Craig's reputation as an actor and also as Bond. He also took minimum rates for The Trench, a film about WWI which is now used in the UK as material for school kids to learn about what life was like for soldiers in the trenches. . Don't blame Craig for MGM's problems, his wage packet for Bond was a fraction of Brosnan's who (rumour has it) wanted a 50% pay rise to come back as Bond. Eon wisely broke with him and chose a real actor in Daniel Craig to carry on the franchise. The sad thing for the franchise, if it ever surfaces again, which I doubt, is that they will loose the best Bond since Connery. Craig has two films being released next year already, and is being hotly tipped for The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo, then in 2012 he has TinTin being released and that's without the possibility of the film version of A Steady Rain next year and other things rumoured in the pipeline. . This is a man going places in a hurry and going there with his integrity intact, a commodity rare in Hollywood these days. By the time they sort this out, he will have moved on so far that even with his altruistic sense of doing the right thing by his business partners, Craig may have no choice but to hand the mantel over to a new actor. . Well done MGM, Craig is gearing up to be the hottest thing in male lead actors since Steve McQueen and you lost him. Way to go MGM!
  • 8=D
    craig was good as bond but the last 2 movies sucked ass!
  • The Mirror likes to sensationalize things and I don't think this is really such a major development from when we knew it was being delayed indefinitely. All it means is we may have to wait a little longer but we will get Bond 23 and I would imagine that Daniel Craig will return, although I'm not sure on who will direct. It does such though, because Bond 23 looked like it could be very good and any delay is unwelcome.
  • Lincoln
    Never liked Craig, bring back the guy from Mamma Mia
  • All I'm asking is that they at the very least finish this 3 picture Bond trilogy and after that if they wish whatever, close the fucker down.
  • B Realistic
    Danial Craig seems kind of boring to me or maybe it was the scripts but i thouight Brosnan and Dalton were much better. They should find another actor not necessarily better but some1 with a more recognizable face to start off with. oh and a more intelligable script. The last too seem't too muddied but they had their moments.
  • Jon
    This kinda sucks... Reminds me a little of what happened to the franchise with Dalton.
  • lando is a system not a man
    major fail. Craig has been the best bond since roger moore (on the same level if not better in my opinion). These last two movies have also been the closest to the original Ian fleming novels and were worth watching (I stopped watching when Brosnan became bond) what a bad mistake...
  • napoleonblownapart
    someone will prob do a spiderman/xmen and reboot it again from the beginning with Pattinson and then I'll have to give up watching Bond too.
  • I liked Craig's Bond and thought Casino Royale was a good first start into what would be a re-invigorated franchise. Unfortunately Quantum of Solace was plain awful. One step forward and three steps back. For that reason, and if that is the direction they wanted to take the franchise, then I'm not disappointed.
  • Chris W
    Idiotic. They finally went through all the trouble and all the paperwork to secure the rights to make Casino Royale, the real bond story, the way it was meant to be told and knock it out of the park. It was by far, the most engaging bond movie to date. Then after all that follow it up with the lackluster shaky-cam fest that was Quantum of Solace, and then finally can the third installation that was suppose to be directed by Sam Mendes. They finally secure a real director and then decide to trash the franchise that's guaranteed to make money? Hugely disappointing.
  • bozo
    Fucking sell the license!? Idiots.
  • gary glitter
    That means that they can finally offer Gerard Butler the role of 007, when they make the movies again. He would be a great choice for Bond. Handsome, hunky, rugged, sexy and of course the Scottish accent. Connery was the best, Butler could be just as good.....
  • Will
    WTF?!...Listen MGM needs to get their shit together seriously....and it can't be the end of Daniel Craig as bond because quite frankly no one is comparable in this day and age to play the character of Bond...If recasting is done then people would just be like "Daniel was so much better" MGM please do something to solve your troubles sell the rights to Bond to Warner Bros or some fucking thing like that....this is the most bullshit I've read
  • Anna
    Gerard Butler as Bond? Yuk. What a horrible thought.
  • adam
    Can't say I'm disappointed. The last film sucked and revealed that the producers had no idea of which direction to go in. Any plans for a "reboot trilogy" died with Quantum of Solace and everyone involved basically admitted this fact while promoting the film. They barely cobbled together enough of a story for one sequel. There's no way they were going to be able to extend Casino Royale's plot to a trilogy. Reading between the lines, I suspect they were running into the same trouble with Peter Morgan that they had experienced with Paul Haggis. Namely, a screenwriter who wasn't used to making action films turning out to be a poor choice for James Bond. They were forced to reject Haggis' script for Bond 22 entirely and were likely facing a similar dilemma with Morgan's vision for Bond 23. As much as people want to pretend that Bond had been given "Batman Begins"-style rebirth, let's not forget that the character was still in the hands of the talent behind Die Another Day. For all their talk about change, the producers still find themselves unable to part with the tired screenwriting team of Purvis and Wade. A long break may be just what the franchise needs at this point. Casino Royale benefited the novelty of both a Fleming story and a slightly different approach. But the film's aftermath revealed that the series was still running on the same fumes it had been for years. If the franchise is to continue for the next decade, it needs to stop trying to imitate Jason Bourne and return to the basic strengths that have always distinguished it from the pack.
  • Clover
    good job peloquin! This is bad news all the way around. Thanks GW Bush...your evil continues to destroy our World and knows no bounds.
  • Jimmy Love
    Oh well!
  • Cody w
    Lol, more of you care about this trivial bullshit news than you do say hmm the downfall of our country? Who the fuck cares Bond has been the same old shit since goldeneye.
  • Yamika
  • Josh
    This is nothing but bad news. Two awesome Bond movies from Daniel Craig and we get shafted? Why couldn't this happen when we were stuck with the shit fests that were Pierce Brosnans last two Bond films? And fuck anyone who says Quantum sucked. It was short which was lame but it did everything right in setting up the terrorists group known in other Bond films as SPECTRE
  • rachelReplicant
    I want to hear more about our country's downfall!
  • blasphemer
    @ 52... couldnt of said it better...the buffoonish efforts to make Bond movies using Moore & Brosnan should have been animated cartoons...but I read that this is NOT the end..there may still be some more Bond films with Craig...still researching that one...
  • Sylvain (from Paris)
    No more Daniel Craig in a Bond movie. Can this be true !!! Isn't that GREAT!!!! :)))))
  • B Realistic
    i agree with # 44 , withe no beard and the right direction he could amp things up.
  • Ty
    Bond is a ladies man it tru daniel is gay ??? aint gaY IM SORRY
  • hate Daniel Craig as BOND
    Daniel Craig is a pure Homo. At least that's what it say all over the internet. I don't know for sure but if he is a homo. I don't want no homo bond. The sooner Daniel Craig is gone as James Bond the better. His character development as James Bond suck. As do the writers of the newest Bond movies. I hope they get someone Who's not Blonde either. Its so distracting to see James Bond as a Blonde. It completely ruins the film. From Sean Connery to Roger Moore, Pierce Brosnan they all were Brunettes. Blonde hair James Bond Guy is a homo. Can't wait till he's gone. Nothing Cool about Daniel Craig as James Blonde.
  • Robert
    Daniel Craig is a good Bond. However, Quantum of Solace was painfully boring. A lot of things were exploding all over the place, but contrary to popular believe that doesn't make a Bond movie good. They need yet another reboot. How about some decent story lines? They could at least go off the deep end and make it interesting again. Sigh.
  • JazzK
    Good, this will give them time to rethink their stance. Coz this current Bond universe sucks eggs.
  • Jake
    Pierce Brosnan was the best bond he should do another one! Daniel Craig is the worst bond ever! Both Casino Royale and Quantum Of Solace were the worst James Bond movies. Die Another Day was the best one! look how bond changed now:( blonde hair! / Boring Bond! / Not much of a ladies man anymore is he? :( / Boring story! / EVERYTHING IS JUST BAD! BRING BACK PIERCE BROSNAN!
  • Mr. D Man
    I'm being optimistic that Craig will get the shiny black tipped boot outta this role. I'm loving this article!!
  • Kieran
    I honeslty think that Craig will have a dalton Phase. Dalton did an AMAZING job and his bonds where good but because of legal problems they where put on hold nad the wait was a little too long for Dalton and he said Screw it.(Dalton Quit when he was 43 and Craig is pusshing that too so its hard to say)
  • Sefy
    Thank god! no more James Blond! i've had enough of crappy reboots of classics which don't require them! Hollywood is so fresh out of anything new, that all they did in the 21st century is rip and trash classics! Daniel Craig is the worst Bond that came onscreen, Pierse Brosnan was the best Sean/Roger combo! and the fact is, all the crappy bond actors had less movies for one reason or another. So here's to all the optimistic ones who hope that there won't be another Bond till Craig gets the boot!
  • Treuntas
    This is terrible news. You'd think MGM would want to keep the next Bond movie in production. After all it's the only guaranteed way they're going to make money. They had better keep Craig too. He's too good of a Bond to let go. If MGM actually sold the rights to Bond it would be the end of Bond as we know it. Just look at 'Never Say Never Again' for a Bond movie that wasn't made by MGM.
  • John
    1. To all the people out there who have somehow managed to hypnotize yourselves into believing that Casino Royale was some breakout masterpiece and not just a welcome relief after four wretched Brosnan films, I'd like to point out that the film was basically just a commercial for cell phones. Cut out every scene in which someone is talking into or looking at a cell phone, and the film is roughly 30 minutes long. 2. Quantum of Solace was an incomprehensible mess. Period. 3. One really big problem not discussed here is that the Bond films are simply not all that profitable anymore. They have massively bloated budgets and the return is weak. Timothy Dalton's last Bond film was deemed a "failure" because it brought in "only" $156 million on a budget of $32 million, while Quantum of Solace is considered a "hit" after bringing in $586 million on a budget of $230 million. Anyone out there capable of doing simple math? That's a better than 4:1 return for License to Kill, compared to less than 3:1 for Quantum, besides the fact that financing a Bond film freezes up so much of a studio's budget. In the 1960s, by the way, the cost to profit ratio was closer to 10:1 for the Bond films. 4. The franchise has flattened out. "Die Another Day," "Casino Royale," and "Quantum of Solace" made roughly the same amount of money, adjusted for inflation, and far less than the Bond films of the 60s and 70s, again, adjusted for inflation. How do you convince a studio to put up maybe $250 mil or more for a film you KNOW won't produce a huge return, when that same studio can make far more money producing five $50 films during the same time period?
  • John
    #63 I agree with your assessment of Dalton and your equating his position in the early-90s with Craig's today, but just make a small correction in pointing out that when Dalton quit in April 1994 he was either 50 or 48 years old, depending on which bio you believe, not 43. Craig is 42 so has a bit more time to play with, though he may chose to just move on if he can't get a solid date for the resumption of production in the near future. It's entirely possible that Craig, like Dalton, will end up with only two Bond films on his resume, through no fault of his own (though I thought Casino Royale was just above average and Quantum of Solace was awful.)
  • Anthony
    Man this sucks I've seen every bond film and I love the Daniel Craig films. How could they shut down production for all these movies but hopefully things will pick up.
  • John
    1. Replace Craig with Clive Owen. 2. Make simple, dark, GOOD films without all the wildly expensive stunts on budgets of, say, $150 mil instead of $250 mil. Result: You have profitable Bond films again, the kind that investors will swarm to put their cash into. This is not rocket science.
  • sikes
    fuck i want bond
  • mardi gras the candyman can
    Q. does it matter than daniel craig is short? A. no Q. does it matter that daniel craig has blonde hair? A. no Q. does it matter that there is no gadgets? A. suprisingly, no Q. does it matter that these post reboot films are incredably underwhelming and dull? A. yes, it does. what the film makers need to do is forget about mind numbing stunts and production exesses and let the story carry the films. to my mind, these new films didn't really have stories that you could follow. what they had instead was bond's journey of hope and redemption that was painfully dull to watch. what they need to do is have a single story for each film and follow it rather than mindlessly follow the title charactor's emotional journey. i think that it is good that a film should have emotional depth, however there needs to be a story worth telling for people to want to be interested.
  • Jehit
    Daniel Craig is the best James Bond. I like how poster number 58 above rants how he suspects Daniel Craig of being gay with his "Daniel Craig is a pure homo. At least that what it say all over the Internet." Then continues to talk about his love for the "brunette" bond lol, and that blonde is distracting unlike Sean Connery and Pierce Brosnan who were brunette.
  • :(
    I might be the rare one here but I actually love every single Bond movie that I've seen (which is almost all), including QoS, as well as the Brosnan ones. Anyway, this is very sad news. MGM has clearly been overspending and the salaries of the executives are definitely bloated. However, it's poor management more than anything. You know there's trouble when they can't find the power to produce two guaranteed moneymakers.




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