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Marc Forster to Direct Bond 22

Signaling a continuation of the character-driven approach introduced by last year's phenomenally successful CASINO ROYALE, Marc Forster (THE KITE RUNNER, FINDING NEVERLAND, MONSTER'S BALL) will direct BOND 22, it was announced by Michael G. Wilson and Barbara Broccoli, producers of the James Bond films, Sony Pictures Ent. and Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Studios.

Forster will commence work shortly with screenwriter Paul Haggis on a draft of the screenplay by Neil Purvis and Robert Wade.

Daniel Craig will reprise the role of James Bond in the as-yet-untitled BOND 22 production, which follows CASINO ROYALE, the highest-grossing film so far in the most successful franchise in movie history, with $600 million in worldwide box office receipts.

BOND 22 will begin filming at Pinewood Studios, London, in December 2007. Columbia Pictures will release the film worldwide on Nov. 7, 2008.

Wilson and Broccoli said, "We are delighted that Marc Forster, with his exceptional talent and unique vision, has agreed to direct our next James Bond film."

Forster added, "I have always been drawn to different kinds of stories and I have also always been a Bond fan, so it is very exciting to take on this challenge. The new direction that the Bond character has taken offers a director a host of fresh possibilities and I look forward to working with Daniel Craig, Barbara Broccoli, and Michael Wilson, as well as the team at Sony and MGM on this new film."

Amy Pascal, co-chairman of Sony Pictures Entertainment, added, "We had a great experience working with Marc on STRANGER THAN FICTION and we are excited to be working with him again. He's an actor's director; he approaches material with intelligence and taste. What makes him the perfect choice for Bond 22 is that he will bring to this film all the elements Bond audiences expect - action, humor, suspense and thrills."

"The Bond franchise is one of MGM's most treasured legacies," added Harry Sloan, chairman and ceo, MGM. "We share Michael and Barbara's confidence in Marc Forster's directing talents and support him in his efforts to continue the evolution of the Bond story for today's filmgoers."

Forster is represented by CAA and Management 360.

EON Prods./Danjaq Llc., is owned by the Broccoli family and has produced 21 James Bond films since 1962. EON Prods. and Danjaq are affiliate companies and control all worldwide merchandising of the James Bond franchise.

Columbia Pictures, part of the Columbia TriStar Motion Picture Group, is a Sony Pictures Ent. company ( Sony Pictures Ent. (SPE) is a subsidiary of Sony Corp. of America (SCA), a subsidiary of Tokyo-based Sony Corp. SPE's global operations encompass motion picture production and distribution; television production and distribution; digital content creation and distribution; worldwide channel investments; home entertainment acquisition and distribution; operation of studio facilities; development of new entertainment products, services and technologies; and distribution of filmed entertainment in 67 countries.

Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Inc. (, through its operating subsidiaries is actively engaged in the worldwide production and distribution of motion pictures, television programming, home video, interactive media, music and licensed merchandise. The company owns the world's largest library of modern films, comprising around 4,000 titles. Operating units include Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Studios Inc., Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Pictures Inc., United Artists Films Inc., Ventanazul, MGM Television Ent. Inc., MGM Networks Inc., MGM Distribution Co., MGM International Television Distribution Inc., Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Home Ent. LLC, MGM ON STAGE, MGM Music, MGM Worldwide Digital Media, MGM Consumer Products and MGM Interactive. In addition, MGM has ownership interests in international TV channels reaching nearly 110 countries. MGM ownership is as follows: Providence Equity Partners (29%), TPG (21%), Sony Corp. of America (20%), Comcast (20%), DLJ Merchant Banking Partners (7%) and Quadrangle Group (3%).

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Bill Desowitz, former editor of VFXWorld, is currently the Crafts Editor of IndieWire.