Producers have tapped Oscar-winning British director Sam Mendes [SMEND] to direct the 23rd James Bond film [JB23] starring Daniel Craig [DCRAI]. The announcement in The Hollywood Reporter came just as news filtered out that pre-production work on Bond 23 was on hold due to the pending sale of Bond distributor MGM. Production could begin as early as June for release in 2011. Bond 23 is being written by Peter Morgan (The Queen) and the regular duo of Neal Purvis and Robert Wade. Mendes won an Oscar in his directorial debut, 1999's American Beauty. Bond 23 would be Mendes' first action film since 2005's Jarhead. Mendes previously worked with Craig in 2002's Road to Perdition.
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