James Bond is to return to movie screens next year
Daniel Craig will reprise his role as the suave British spy in the 23rd screen adventure in November 2012, after the film was finally given the go-ahead, nine months after it was originally shelved amid money problems for studio MGM.
Sam Mendes will direct the film, while legendary actress Dame Judi Dench is rumoured to be returning as M.
`Frost/Nixon` actor Michael Sheen has reportedly been approached to play the villain while a Bond girl to play opposite heartthrob Craig is yet to be decided.
Speaking about the latest film in the Bond franchise, Judi previously said: "I think I`m going to be needed in spring of 2011. That`s a message I got."
Actor Simon Russell Beale has been linked with a role after being watched twice by Bond producer Barbara Brocolli in his current West End play `Deathtrap` - and is also playing King Lear in 2012 under the direction of Sam Mendes.
He recently said: "Every actor wants to be in Bond and I`d love to be a baddie."
The script, meanwhile, is being penned by regular contributors Neal Purvis and Robert Wade along with John Logan who worked on Hollywood hits `Gladiator`, `The Aviator` and `The Last Samurai`.
Shooting will start later this year and its release will coincide with the 50th anniversary of the first Bond film, `Dr No`.