MGM's uncertain future stops work on new 007 film
Work on the latest James Bond movie has been suspended indefinitely because of debt-ridden MGM studio's uncertain future, the British production company behind the project said Tuesday.
Producers Barbara Broccoli and Michael Wilson of London-based EON Productions said work on the movie -- working title "Bond 23" -- could not continue amid doubts over the future of the Metro Goldwyn Mayer (MGM) studio.
"Due to the continuing uncertainty surrounding the future of MGM and the failure to close a sale of the studio, we have suspended development on 'Bond 23' indefinitely," they said in a company statement.
"We do not know when development will resume and do not have a date for the release of Bond 23," they added.
Bond star Daniel Craig, on location in Canada on another movie, was quoted by British media as saying: "I have every confidence in Barbara and Michael's decision and look forward to production resuming as quickly as possible."
The MGM studio is home to famous franchises including James Bond and the Pink Panther, but has been struggling under huge debts.
At the end of last month MGM was given a new extension until May 14 to repay some 3.7 billion dollars in debt. The studio had said earlier in March that it had received several offers to buy the company.
Craig has starred in two Bond movies so far: "Casino Royale" and "Quantum of Solace." He follows actors including Sean Connery, Roger Moore and Pierce Brosnan in the longest-running movie franchise in film history.
The new 007 movie had been set for release in 2011 or 2012.
© 2010 AFP