| 8.6°C Dublin

Bond returns to big screen

James Bond fans will be shaken and stirred to learn that the 23rd film featuring 007 is to be made this year.

There were doubts over the future of the spy franchise when the film, set to be the third starring Daniel Craig, was put on hold last year.

EON Productions blamed the financial difficulties of MGM Studios for the hiatus.

The new owners of MGM and Michael G. Wilson and Barbara Broccoli, producers of the films, confirmed last night that Bond will be back on November 9, 2012.

Filming is set to start later this year with Sam Mendes, known for previous works American Beauty and Road to Perdition, as director.

The last Bond film Quantum of Solace was released in 2008.

Fans had feared the long delay could lead Craig, who debuted as Bond in Casino Royale, to walk away from the role.

MGM filed for bankruptcy protection last November, seven months after the next Bond film was put on hold, and has since been restructured.

Craig said last year that he had "every confidence" in the films' producers, and that he was looking forward to production resuming "as quickly as possible".

He has been credited with giving Bond a gritty new image as he became the sixth incarnation of the spy, taking over from dapper Pierce Brosnan.

MGM has the rights to the franchise, based on the books by Ian Fleming, which is thought to be the longest running in film history. Wilson and Broccoli took over from her father Albert R 'Cubby' Broccoli in 1995 and have produced the most recent films.

Neal Purvis, Robert Wade and John Logan have been confirmed as the writers of the screenplay for the new film.

© Press Association