Bond 23 spent much of the last year in financial purgatory because of MGM’s bankruptcy proceedings, but with that past, we’ve gotten a release date (November 2012) and now fresh casting news. Javier Bardem and Ralph Fiennes will both star in the next installment in the Bond franchise.
Bardem is apparently likely to play the main villain — an exciting prospect if you recall a little film called No Country for Old Men — but I’d be just as happy with Fiennes tormenting Daniel Craig. He was absolutely terrific in In Bruges as the villain.
Either way, it’s exciting to see this franchise take big steps forward after being stalled for the last few years — especially when those steps involve Bardem and Fiennes.
For my money, 2006′s Casino Royale was the best Bond film made in my lifetime. While Quantum of Solace was a bit of a step back, it was still entertaining and a long way off from the worst of the Pierce Brosnan era.
Craig, Bardem and Fiennes will all be working under director Sam Mendes of American Beauty and Revolutionary Road fame, and while I don’t expect that Bond 23 will be Oscar material, I do think that quartet has the potential to make this the best of the Craig-as-Bond era.
One way or another, it is a lot more fun to do the kind of touch-and-feel cinematic calculus than worrying about ledger sheets and bankruptcy proceedings that plagued the last few years of Bond 23‘s production.