007 questions for Nov. 3 Bond 23 news conference

According to the MI6 James Bond fan Web site, Eon Productions will conduct a Nov. 3 news conference to discuss Bond 23. What follows are 007 questions that may not be asked.

001. Does Eon Productions have a succession plan? Michael G. Wilson, stepson of co-founder Cubby Broccoli, is in his late 60s. Since the late 1990s — more than a decade now — he has commented about how exhausted he is after the most recent 007 movie. Has succession planning started? That’s not the kind of thing entertainment reporters ask. The other co-boss of Eon, 51-year-old Barbara Broccoli is quite a bit younger. Still, many businesses do succession planning.

002. Are you prepared to have another Bond film out two years from now? Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, when it was in bankrutpcy court, said part of its plan to exit bankruptcy was to have Bond 24 out in 2014. Is Eon on board with that?

003. Do you take issue with any news media story about your film? Until now, there has been one, very short, official news release. It said Bond 23 would star Daniel Craig, would be produced by Michael G. Wilson and Barbara Broccoli, woulg be directed by Sam Mendes and be written by Neal Purvis, Robert Wade and John Logan. No mention of Judi Dench coming back (she announced that herself), no mention that Javier Bardem would play a villain (reported but only recently confirmed by the actor in an ABC interview) and no mention that the title woule be SkyFall (or Skyfall, depending on spelling), all of which have been reported by various media outlets.

004. Are you hoping to get an Oscar nomination? There have been reports, such as one in the U.K, newspaper The Express that the film creators of 007 want this movie to be “Oscar-friendly.” Is that the case?

005. Mr. Mendes, what James Bond movies have you actually watched? Star Daniel Craig, in interviews like this chat with his Cowboys And Aliens director Jon Favreau, has said repeatedly that bond 23 director Sam Mendes is a big 007 fan. Is this genuine or a PR talking point? It might be worth asking Mendes at the news conference but we won’t hold our breath.

006. Daniel, what do you mean by a “classic” Bond movie? Craig has thrown the “classic” Bond label quite a bit in recent months in describing Bond 23. So what is his actual definition of a “classic” 007 movie?

007. Is your budget significantly less than Quantum of Solace? If so, what will the effect be on Bond 23? There have been a number of reports that Bond 23’s budget will be much less than the reported $230 million budget for the 22nd James Bond film released in 2008. We suspect the entertainment reporters won’t touch the subject.