With Bond 23 officially greenlit with an established start date and the return of Daniel Craig confirmed, it won't be much longer until we get a new flood of casting rumors (just as we did before the project was put on hold during the sale of MGM). But before we find out who the new villain is or who will be playing the next Bond girl, it's equally important to know which vital characters from the previous films will be making their way back. Today we can count M in.

MI6 recently saw Dame Judi Dench at the South Bank Sky Arts Awards at confirmed that she will indeed be returning in the next 007 film, though refused to give any details away about the movie. According to the actress, she very much looks forward to returning to the project and working with the cast and crew, both new and old.
"Of course, I'm looking forward hugely to working with Daniel [Craig] again and with Sam [Mendes] who I've only ever worked with in the theatre. So that'll be all good fun to do! I'm so glad it's coming back, it's wonderful."

A mainstay of the franchise since first appearing in 1995s Goldeneye, a Bond movie without M at this point is not a Bond movie. Having appeared in the last six films in the series, Dench's character has always been a wonderful foil to Bond, both in the Pierce Brosnan and Daniel Craig movies. The project is expected to go into production later this year and currently has a scheduled release date of November 9, 2012. I think I speak for a lot of people when I say that I can't wait.

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