'Bond 24' Will Be Released Within the Next Three Years

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While there's never really any doubt that James Bond will return (it's sort of a tradition), the massive success of "Skyfall" left no room for it; the only question now is when and not if 007 will return. According to MGM, that time will come within the next few years, as the franchise is currently seeking its next director.

During a conference call with investors, MGM CEO Gary Barber assured investors that the studio "is currently developing a script with [its] partners." He went on to express the hope that they will be "developing the script soon" and "signing a director."

Barber closed with the insistence that everyone involved is "hoping within the next three years it will be released," which could conceivably put the film on target for a 2014 release. That was most certainly the plan last year when John Logan was attached to return as the next installment's screenwriter, with "Skyfall" director Sam Mendes presumably also returning, thus allowing MGM, EON, and Sony to strike while the iron is hot.

However, Mendes's recent departure from the franchise may have thrown a little bit of a wrench into those plans, at least if Barber's report is any indication. While it's still feasible that "Bond 24" could go in front of cameras in 2013 and be on track for release next year, it seems like MGM is at least open to the notion of a 2015 debut instead.

With Christopher Nolan's "Interstellar" having already claimed the early November release slot for next year, it seems all the more possible that EON and company will wait to let Bond have his day a year later.

If that happens, then 2015 just becomes all that more incredible, as "Bond 24" would join a field that already includes the "Fantastic Four" reboot, "The Avengers 2," "Star Wars: Episode VII," "Pirates of the Caribbean 5," and maybe even "Justice League" (if WB can get it off the ground).

Per Barber, it seems we can expect a director for the film to be named soon, and one candidate can already be ruled out: Danny Boyle. During a recent Q&A session, the "Trance" director admitted that the franchise isn't really for him since he wouldn't work well under the constraints of a tight budget or within the blockbuster environment of a Bond film.

Besides, as he jokingly pointed out, he already directed his Bond bit with during the opening ceremony for last year's Olympics. The sketch featured Daniel Craig escorting the Queen to the stadium, and it sounds like that's the closest we'll ever get to seeing Boyle helm a Bond film.

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