Daniel Craig will return to the screen as James Bond next year.
Daniel Craig will return to the screen as James Bond next year. EON Productions/007.com

Mr Bond, we've been expecting you

DING diddle-ing ding ding ding ding ding diddle-ing ding ding ding ding.... He's back again, square of jaw, white of tuxedo and lethal of intent. After a four-year absence, James Bond will return to movie screens next October in Skyfall.

The 23rd Bond film will be directed by Sam Mendes, whose debut, American Beauty, won five Oscars, and will star Daniel Craig in his third appearance as the special agent afflicted with satyriasis and devoted to vodka martinis.

At a press conference yesterday, Craig revealed that filming had just begun, "so it's too late to turn back now". The film will be shot in London, Scotland, China and Turkey.

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Producer Michael G Wilson pointed out it was exactly 50 years yesterday that Sean Connery was announced as the first Bond, in 1961.

In Skyfall, Judi Dench will reprise her role as Bond's contemptuous boss, M, for the seventh time. Sleepy-eyed Spanish heartthrob Javier Bardem - a convincingly horrible baddie in No Country For Old Men - will play the villain, while the crumpet factor will be supplied by Naomie Harris and the French TV actress/model Berenice Marlohe. Also rumoured to appear are: Albert Finney; Ralph Fiennes; Ben Whishaw, star of The Hour; Helen McCrory, who played Cherie Blair in The Queen and Narcissa Malfoy in three Harry Potter films.

Work on the movie was suspended in April 2010 due to concerns over the company's future. MGM filed for bankruptcy protection in November. But Spyglass Entertainment came up with a rescue plan and is now in the driver's seat. It is dealing with potentially a very lucrative product here.

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