11:11 02 July 2010
The new 'James Bond' film has been axed.
The 23rd film in the hit spy franchise has been indefinitely shelved with insiders predicting that the womanising secret agent won't be back on screen for years.
In April, production on the latest film was postponed due to "financial problems" with MGM. The once epic movie studio is said to be in over £3 billion of debt.
An insider told the Daily Mirror newspaper: "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."
'American Beauty' director Sam Mendes had been lined up to helm the production which would star Daniel Craig as 007. Mendes had previously guided Craig in the gangster drama 'Road to Perdition' before he landed the role of the vodka martini swigging secret agent in 'Casino Royale', taking over from Pierce Brosnan. Craig played the iconic character again in 'Quantum of Solace'.
Production company EON said in a statement: "We do not know when development will resume and cannot comment further at this stage."
Currently, six years is the biggest gap between films, from 1989's 'Licence to Kill' with Timothy Dalton's second and final performance as Bond and the series reboot 'Goldeneye' in 1995, which debuted Pierce Brosnan in the role.
The screenplay for 'Bond 23' was worked on by Neal Purvis and Robert Wade - who had previously scripted 'Quantum of Solace' and 'Casino Royale'. 'Frost/Nixon' writer Peter Morgan also contributed.
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