Bond 23: 2010? (Unlikely) 2011? 2012?

It’s looking like there will be at least a three-year gap between 007 movies. It wouldn’t surprise us if it’s four.

Last month, the Yorkshire Post published AN INTERVIEW with Eon Productions Ltd. bossman Michael G. Wilson. (We’ll also give a tip of the cap to the Commander Bond site that did AN ARTICLE where we learned about the Yorkshire Post piece.)

This is the Wilson quote that caught our eye:

“At the moment the third Daniel Craig movie is not even a glimmer in its mother’s eye. Filming Casino Royale and Quantum of Solace back to back took a lot out of time and energy so at the moment we are all just recharging our batteries.”

To maintain an ever-other-year pace in the past, the Eon team was at least starting to develop a script around the same time a Bond movie was being released. That would seem to indicate 2010 is out of the question, or getting that way fast.

The comment about how exhausting making Bond movies on a two-year schedule raises the question about a 2011 release. Wilson made similar comments about 1999’s The World Is Not Enough. An exerpt from ONE SUCH INTERVIEW.

What plans does Wilson have for the next film? “We don’t have any ideas at this point,” he says, contemplating the rounds of publicity still ahead of him. “It just seems that this one’s been particularly hard.”

Time off for good behavior seems to be where Wilson is these days. The next Bond outing is officially slated for 2002 – that’s an extra year off. What’s clear is that there is a desire to break free of the two-year production cycle that has lead to two scripts that haven’t lived up to expectations. The year off gives everyone time to recharge their batteries and come back with a Bond film everyone will be happy with.

That extra year off resulted in 2002’s Die Another Day. After that film, the earliest talk was of a 2005 release date, eventually getting pushed back to 2006. Admittedly there was a lot going on in that period over at Eon, including the 2004 death of Dana Broccoli, mother of both Wilson and Barbara Broccoli, and the decision to recast Bond once more, with Daniel Craig replacing Pierce Brosnan.

Still, we can’t help but wonder if Eon has been running on fumes for much of this decade. Finally getting the rights to Casino Royale seemed to have recharged Eon. But that’s the past. And, assuming Eon’s policy of not using continuation novels (and avoiding paying the Fleming estate even a token second payment) holds, Eon has to start anew on a script. Plus, we can’t help but wonder if Eon will let Bond 23 slide till 2012, and tie it in with the 50th anniversary of Dr. No.

Whatever the reason, it seems safe to say the era two-year intervals for Bond movies may be at an end.

UPDATE: It would seem half siblings Wilson and Broccoli aren’t too tired (or have recharged their batteries enough) to do two non-Bond films, which would be the first since for the company since the Bob Hope comedy Call Me Bwana.

The duo want to do both a non-Bond spy film and a re-make of Chitty Chitty Bang Bang.

The latter is also based on an Ian Fleming novel, this one aimed at children. The 1968 original technically isn’t an Eon movie even though it was produced by Albert R. Broccoli. Broccoli formed a different company to make Chitty Chitty Bang Bang. For that matter, Broccoli’s then-partner, Harry Saltzman, made non-Bond movies outside the Eon fold.

In any case, it seems clear Wilson and Barbara Broccoli want to spread their wings beyond 007. We’re reminded they spent a year developing a movie based on Halle Berry’s Jinx character from Die Another Day. That went nowhere but the duo seem to want to prove something. Barbara Broccoli previously was executive producer of Crime of the Century, a made-for-cable-TV movie about the Lindbergh baby kidnapping case.

Now we’re wondering if Bond 23 can make a 2012 release date…