LOS ANGELES — James Bond will be back in U.S. theaters in November 2012 with “Skyfall,” the 23rd film in the venerable spy franchise and the third installment starring Daniel Craig as 007.
Shooting began Thursday for the film that will mark the film franchise’s 50th anniversary, although the fans who made “Dr. No” a hit back in 1962 might barely recognize the hero in his current taciturn mode. Still, at a news conference in London, director Sam Mendes assured reporters and fans that he will keep the adrenaline pumping in an aging brand that was revitalized with Martin Campbell’s “Casino Royale” in 2006.
“It, I think, has all the elements of a classic Bond movie, including, to quell any rumors, a lot of action,” said the filmmaker, whose credits include “American Beauty,” “Jarhead” and “Road to Perdition.”
The new film will also star Javier Bardem as the villain and brings back Judi Dench as Bond’s no-nonsense boss, M. The cast also includes Albert Finney, Ralph Fiennes, Ben Whishaw, Naomie Harris and Bérénice Marlohe. ”Skyfall” is a new adventure — it’s not based on any specific work by author Ian Fleming — and it will reflect the style of the past two 007 films but take a step away from their story arc.
James Bond is the most storied spy of them all, but he faces plenty of rivals these days in the cinema of geo-political peril. A new ”Mission: Impossible” entry will hit theaters next month, for instance, and “The Bourne Legacy” is on tap for next summer with Jeremy Renner taking over for Matt Damon as the face of the franchise.
// Short Ends and Leader
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