After years and years of delays and way more rumors that we can keep track of, Bond 23, the next outing of the super spy James Bond with the rumored title Skyfall is finally ready to go into production--so ready, in fact, that on November 23rd there will be a press conference announcing the start of production. Sam Mendes will be on hand as the director, and presumably Bond himself Daniel Craig will be there with him, but the studio has been so unwilling to confirm casting rumors that they won't even announce which other cast members will be there. Javier Bardem has said himself that he'll be in the film but won't specify the part, and Ralph Fiennes has been rumored for a role for so long it must be true, but beyond that we really don't know how to separate rumor from fact.

So, in the few days remaining before we get actual confirmation of who will be in the film, add another rumor to the pile. The Daily Mail-- source of a lot of Bond rumors up to this point-- reports that the production has recruited British screen veteran Albert Finney to play a Foreign Office chief who is technically the boss of M, played by Judi Dench. Finney has the gravitas to play the role, for sure, but it's unclear how someone further up in the bureaucracy in charge of Bond might be able to fit into an action-heavy film. You could choose to read this as confirmation of that weird rumor that Mendes was trying to cut all the action out of the film, but that story still doesn't hold water for me so I'm leaving it alone.

No matter how they fit him into the story, Finney-- who hasn't acted in a movie since 2007's Before the Devil Knows You're Dead-- should be a welcome addition to the Bond universe, and with plans to reprise his role in the next Bourne movie, he seems to be making up for his brief absence.

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