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James Bond forced to take a sabbatical?

world Updated: Jan 04, 2010 13:16 IST

Daniel CraigIt might be hard for the fans of 007 to digest but the indomitable secret agent James Bond is reportedly set for a sabbatical not to return on the big screen until 2011 for it's next outing.

Pre-production has been halted and filming postponed while the future of the Bond franchise hangs in the balance as The 23rd Bond film was to have been bankrolled by MGM but the Hollywood studio is up for sale in a bid to clear mounting debts, Daily Express reported.

"In the words of another great British hero, Antarctic explorer Captain Oates, the next James Bond movie may be some time," said Terence Doyle, editor of British Film Magazine.

With the sale of the studios, the 007 blockbusters which are a lucrative franchise could also be sold off.

"We just don’t know enough about the situation to comment but we know it’s uncertain," Michael G Wilson, who produces the Bond films with Barbara Broccoli said.

The earliest a new film will go on floors is at the end of this year, for release in 2011, a full three years after the last Bond, Quantum Of Solace was released.

The Pre-production work on the next film, which will again star Daniel Craig has been put on hold until next month.