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Sam Mendes To Direct ‘Bond 23’ Next Year, Says Kate Winslet

Sam Mendes To Direct 'Bond 23' Next Year, Says Kate Winslet

Theater Veteran Simon Russell Beale Eyed For Role?

Earlier today, it was reported that composer David Arnold revealed that the 23rd installment of the ‘Bond’ franchise was apparently now “back on” after being put on hold by EON Productions earlier this year — news which we took as a positive sign of things to come more so than any concrete revelation.

Speaking with The Daily Mail’s Baz Bamigboye though, Kate Winslet looks to have confirmed word of the project’s resurrection as well as Sam Mendes‘ continued intention to direct noting that she is looking to move her children back to London as her former partner helms the newest ‘Bond’ film with an eye to shoot towards the end of next year.

“Sam is doing the next Bond film, all being well, and we’ll all be in England if that happens. It’s such a massive commitment for him and it’s not fair for him to commute backwards and forwards to New York from London. It would be impossible. The children will be there with me.” Maybe that November 2012 release date isn’t so unrealistic after all?

Bamigboye also adds that Mendes and producer Barbara Broccoli have had “many meetings over casting” with the duo already reportedly eying theater veteran Simon Russell Beale, a friend of Mendes’ whom Broccoli has visited twice at his play “Deathtrap” for a role. The casting would make a lot of sense as Mendes and Beale have collaborated many times before on stage in such productions as “Twelfth Night,” “The Winter’s Tale” and “The Cherry Orchard” with the duo set to reunite once again on a production of “King Lear” in 2012.

A quality thespian like Beale, who only recently joined Terrence Davies‘ “The Deep Blue Sea” starring Tom Hiddleston and Rachel Weisz, would be a welcome addition to the ‘Bond’ series and perhaps fitting for the head of Quantum, the organization Bond has been chasing in the last two films. Beale had previously revealed ambitions to be a part of Mendes’ ‘Bond’ film saying, “Every actor wants to be in Bond. I’d love to be a baddie. I saw Sam just before Christmas and dropped a hint – and he just looked wearily at me.”

Still no word on what progress is being made on the script by Peter Morgan (“The Queen,” “Frost/Nixon“) rumored to feature Afghanistan in some way though Bamigboye does note that shooting will take place at the Pinewood Studios in London as has been in the case for majority of the iconic spy series.

All things considered, any chance of an appearance in the film by Winslet? “No!” she exclaimed, laughing at the suggestion. “[But] I can see us working together again — that’s the way it is.” The actress is also planning an extended stay in France next year to shoot Roman Polanski‘s “Gods Of Carnage” which will see her play the wife of Christoph Waltz‘s character as a couple who clash with another couple, played by Jodie Foster and John C. Reilly, over a playground incident involving their children. While production will take place in France, the story will reportedly still be set in America.

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