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  1. Tabloid report: Bond 23 production "canned"

    Reports that the 23rd James Bond film is in development purgatory have flared up again in the UK press this week after the Daily Mirror ran a story claiming the film’s production staff have been notified its development is suspended.

    Eon Productions announced in April that Bond 23 had been “delayed indefinitely” thanks to MGM’s ongoing financial woes.

    This week, the Daily Mirror quoted an alleged insider on the production who told the paper, “Members of the production crew have been told the Bond film has been canned. There is a lot of bad feeling as a lot of time, money and hard work has already gone into this.”

    An Eon spokesperson told the paper, “We do not know when development will resume and cannot comment further at this stage.”

    Last June, it was reported that director Sam Mendes – whose involvement in Bond 23 has not been officially announced – remains committed to helming the next 007 picture.

    The report has prompted other media outlets – including guardian.co.uk – to speculate over the future of the Bond film franchise. Given the unreliability of British tabloids, the Daily Mirror’s report ought to be taken with a grain of salt.

    However, it remains clear that the uncertainty over MGM’s future is continuing keep Bond 23 from moving ahead. According to the Hollywood Reporter, the studio is set to seek a sixth extension on its debt and interest payments. The studio is expected to formally request the extension this week.

    The trade paper reports that the studio is being pressured to sell its share of the rights to The Hobbit films. Studio executives are keen to retain the rights, but some lenders are pushing for them to be sold in a bid to raise capital.

    The top bid for MGM – Warner Bros. with $1.5 billion – was rejected as being too low, but according to the Hollywood Reporter, the offer still stands.

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    Matt Weston @ 2010-07-06
Follow @cbn007