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James Bond 23 Eyes Istanbul, May Have Found Next Bond Girl

James Bond sequels regulary end up being international affairs. The secret agent’s license to kill usually works as a passport to global hotspots. I’d be hard pressed to come up with any major international location that didn’t serve as the backdrop for at least one 007 adventure.

As director Sam Mendes puts the finishing touches on pre-production for his as-yet-untitled Bond 23, we continue to hear about new locations that plan to host 007’s crew. India was on the list, until railway officials gave Mendes a hard time about an elaborate railway stunt that would “promote” train hopping by locals (a no-no in India). South Africa was selected as an alternate shooting location. Now MI6-HQ.com, a Web site dedicated to the latest James Bond news, says longtime producers Michael G. Wilson and Barbara Broccoli met with officials in Istanbul, Turkey, to finalize plans to shoot multiple scenes in the city in November. At the very least, the film’s opening sequence – usually involving an eye-popping stunt – will be shot in Istanbul, though officials say the production could bank footage around town for use in different spots in the film.

As Turkey tourism officials point out, Bond fans often travel to filming locations to see where 007 left his mark. MI6 reports that Mendes will film in the historical neighborhood Sultanahmet Square, as well as along the shores of the Bosporus. Previously, Istanbul played host to two Bond sequels over the years: Sean Connery’s excellent From Russian With Love and Pierce Brosnan’s less-impressive The World Is Not Enough.

"It really just feels like we are coming home," Wilson told area reporters.

In other Bond-related news, Twitch is reporting that French television actress Berenice Marlohe has been cast as the next Bond Girl, a coveted role occupied over the years by everyone from Ursula Andress to Halle Berry. But nothing has been confirmed, so take this with a grain of salt until we hear something official from producers.

What do we know about Bond 23 for sure? Well, Neal Purvis, Robert Wade and John Logan penned the script, which stars Daniel Craig in his third go-round as 007. MGM will get it into theaters on Nov. 9, 2012.

Sean O'Connell
Sean O'Connell

Sean O’Connell is a journalist and CinemaBlend’s Managing Editor. He's frequently found on Twitter at @Sean_OConnell. ReelBlend cohost. A movie junkie who's Infatuated with comic-book films. Helped get the Snyder Cut released, then wrote a book about it.