In a chat show interview, the British actor famed for playing PM Tony Blair, Michael Sheen, has confirmed (once – and perhaps for all) that he will not be playing Ernst Stavro Blofeld any time soon.
We’ve heard them all before… but they’re back. French website www.terrafemina.com is reporting Freida Pinto and Olivia Wilde as hot Bond girl candidates, along with the appointment of Sam Mendes.
Followers of the rocky Bond 23 pre-production will recall that both these names have emerged before.
Pinto has admitted she sees herself as “too young” for a James Bond girl role in the upcoming film, but the internet is persistent and in March 2010 the UK paper The Mirror trotted out the rumor once more.
Wilde – cast in the upcoming extravaganza, Cowboys and Aliens – emphatically denied any links to 007 and Bond 23 via twitter the same month as the Pinto rumours recirculated.
According to the twitter feed of the 3 time 007 Production Manager Terry Bamber, his work will “God willing” begin on James Bond 23 in August 2011. It is expected that shooting will commence in November 2011.
Bamber has worked on three 007 productions: Die Another Day, Casino Royale and Quantum of Solace as 2nd Unit Production Manager.
In another Tweet Bamber reveals his preference to shoot in India:
I have been coming to India since 1992 when I first worked in Varanasi – I am really hoping the next Bond film will come
This lends some weight to the earlier story that was circulating the Times of India this week – that the new James Bond movie production crew were seeking permission to shoot in India.
An Australian motoring website is riding the James Bond publicity wave, predicting 007 will be back in an Aston Martin for Bond 23.
Whilst CarsGuide acknowledges that there is yet no word on what vehicle James Bond will be driving in the 23rd James Bond film, the authors are optimistic the luxury carmaker will be back.
Not only are they predicting that Aston will partner with 007 for Bond 23, they are optimistic about a double deal with Sony – who will be overseeing Bond 23 and Bond 24.
In other news, India will be host to a family of Astons: V8 Vantage, Rapide and One-77. This news neatly coincides with the rumors that 007 will be heading back to India for James Bond 23.
Another possible location has made its way into the press rumor cycle.
According to The Times of India, James Bond may be location scouting on the stunning Konkan Railway, which runs from Mangalore to Mumbai. The scenery along the line is purportedly stunning.
The information is scant and as MI6 reminds us, India has managed to be rumored as a location for every film since, and including, Die Another Day.
What details there are come in the form of an uncited quote from an insider:
It’s at a nascent stage. Everything is being kept under wraps now. Permissions are being sought from the ministry. There have been talks about location scouting down the Konkan Railway line. If all goes well, the shoot might begin end of this year.
Bond fans will recall 007′s adventures in India in the 1980s for the stunning production of Octopussy.
In the last 48 hours Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer announced that they had secured deals with their two parters Sony Pictures Entertainment and Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment. Sony will co-finance and theatrically market and distribute Bond 23. Fox keeps its hands on the back catalogue of DVDs, and MGM’s coveted archive.
“Twentieth Century Fox is a valued partner that has taken great care of the MGM library for many years with the highest degree of integrity,” said Gary Barber and Roger Birnbaum, Co-Chairmen and Chief Executive Officers of MGM.
Sony will be staying on and distributing Bond 23 and Bond 24 – having had extensive experience and success with Quantum of Solace and Casino Royale.
The announcement of the agreement to distribute Bond 23 adds another high-profile title to Sony’s 2012 slate, which also includes Men in Black 3 and The Amazing Spider-Man, as well as I Hate You, Dad, starring Adam Sandler, Here Comes the Boom, starring Kevin James, 21 Jump Street, Resident Evil 5 and Total Recall.
The announcement comes as no surprise to those following the events of MGM’s bankruptcy and refinancing. Fox and Paramount, who were the only other contenders dropped out of the bid for Bond in February.
Fans are rightly excited by the news as Sony has a good reputation for well-marketed films with high levels of fan interaction.
The industry blog, Deadline, tells us that the No Country For Old Men villain Javier Bardem is close to finalising a deal to appear in an multi-media adaptation of Stephen King’s book series.
Bardem had previously been confirmed as considering for a role in the James Bond film. When news leaked he had yet to read the script.
Bardem, who just wrapped an untitled next feature for Terrence Malick, is also being to play a villain opposite Daniel Craig in the next James Bond film that Sam Mendes is prepping. That film is moving forward again, after MGM emerged from bankruptcy. It’s expected to land at Sony Pictures for distribution.
The question on Bond fans’ lips, of course, is … has the Spaniard turned down the role? It is likely that he would have time for both, with Bond 23 slated for November 2012 and Dark Tower for May 2013.
According to James Bond fan website MI6 Bond 23‘s executive producer, Barbara Broccoli and director Sam Mendes were in South Africa preparing for the new James Bond film.
Former England international cricketer Darren Gough spilled the beans as he sat next to the pair during a first class Virgin flight to Johannesburg earlier today. Gough said that they were travelling to scout locations for the film. Whether their location work is based just in South Africa is unclear.
The James Bond 23 director was seen recently in London where it was understood that he was shortly fly out of the country on his Bond 23 assignment.
According to rumors Mary Byrne has thrown her name in the hat to be the songsmith for the 23rd James Bond adventure.
“We have talked about it,” she said. “We have put it out there, but they haven’t got back to me yet.
I would be the happiest woman on this planet, and that’s the truth. To sing a Bond song, you would be up there with the greats, the likes of Shirley Bassey, Tom Jones and Paul McCartney. To even consider me would be a phenomenal feeling, and I would be so honoured and proud.”
Byrne added: “I love James Bond movies – I loved them from the Sean Connery ones. Connery is my number one Bond, there’s no doubt about that.
“But my favourite Bond is Roger Moore because he is my generation, and then Pierce Brosnan as the sexy one. Daniel Craig brings a different dimension to it.”
It is unlikely that 007 producers would be considering a theme song artist this early into pre-production.
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