Though the reason being given by the EON Studios press release is the problems with movie distributor MGM, the next Bond film is most likely being held up by worries about the strength of the story for the untitled film.

Though there is no doubt that films about the secret agent devised by Ian Fleming will always sell, the last couple of movies appear to have been running out of gas, in terms of new ideas, and have been buttressed instead by a non-stop John Woo-type filming style.

I have enjoyed the films that have featured Daniel Craig, but not to the degree that I did the earlier efforts from EON Studios. Some may believe that it is the lack of original Fleming material to feed the Bond need, and I would say that there certainly must be another writer, or writing team, to pick up where Sir Ian left off, but the problem for my tastes has been the lack of the sophistication and wit shown in the Fleming-based Bond pictures. After all, we must remember who James Bond was – he was not a street brawler, and many times his brain is what saved him, not simply his brawn.

From Huffington Post the announced suspension is covered –

Producers say work on the next James Bond film has been halted indefinitely because of uncertainty about the future of distributor Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Inc.

Producers Michael G. Wilson and Barbara Broccoli say development of the movie was suspended after MGM failed to find a buyer. They said late Monday they did not know when work would resume.

MGM put itself up for sale after a slump in DVD sales and a lack of hits left it unable to manage a $3.7 billion debt.

Wilson and Broccoli’s EON Productions has produced 22 Bond thrillers since 1962. The new film, known only as “Bond 23,” had been due for release in 2011 or 2012.

Bond actor Daniel Craig says he has confidence in the producers and looks forward to production resuming.

No doubt another studio will snap up the Bond film, unless there is a real feeling that the run is over. The only reason that might happen is the quality of writing, so that is where the effort must be concentrated.

In the comments section of HuffPo, the fans were speaking about the problems, and more than one mentioned the disappointment with Quantum of Solace. It’s not Craig, for he is an actor, and can be molded. It is a distinct difference in writing style. The movies have changed over time, and not necessarily for the better.

The sanitization of the sexual aspects of Bond have not been for the better, as it was a major component of the original character. The problem is exacerbated  by the contempt with which this new Bond seems to hold women. The older Bond movies made you feel that though Bond had to have a certain amount of detachment from the women, he genuinely cared about each one of them at the moment. The women in these new films are merely there as a perfunctory nod to the needs of a man. Not a good change, both from the franchise standpoint, and from a female fan standpoint, I would think.

These changes have been there for some time – the last Bond film I was very happy with as a whole was the last Timothy Dalton project. No matter what some say, Dalton was a great Bond. He was the best Bond since George Lazenby. Lazenby, though not apparently anyone’s favorite Bond save for myself, was the one that was most like the one described in the novels of Fleming.

The studio needs to get back to that feel, and the franchise will once again take flight.

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