James Bond is coming back in Bond 23!

Yesterday was a big day for Peter Jackson's The Hobbit, seeing not only Andy Serkis sign on to once again play the evil little troublemaker known as Gollum, but also Ian McKellen, who will return to play the great wizard Gandalf. The project moving forward is thanks to MGM finally resolving their financial woes, but one question still remains: where is James Bond? For all of the progress Jackson's film has made, there has been no forward motion on the 007 front. The closest thing we've gotten to a plan has been a vague promise about Fall 2011. Well, consider those promises vague no longer.

Deadline has received word that the next film in the long standing series, still temporarily titled Bond 23, has established a November 9, 2012 release date and will officially begin production late this year. The announcement was made by long-time Bond producers Michael G. Wilson and Barbara Broccoli as well as MGM chiefs Gary Barber and Roger Birnbaum. As expected, Daniel Craig will make his third appearance, after Casino Royale and Quantum of Solace, as the British super spy and Sam Mendes will direct Bond 23 based on a script by Neal Purvis, Robert Wade and John Logan.

Hallelujah! As much appreciation as I have for The Lord of the Rings franchise, I personally love me some Bond and it's been a long, hard wait since 2008 (particularly because the last film left such a mediocre taste in our mouths). Bond is back!

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