Bond Back In Business, Beale Joining?

With MGM having been approved to begin Chapter 11 reorganization later this month, plans for getting back to work on the James Bond franchise are beginning to firm up over at EON it would seem.

On Wednesday composer David Arnold, who has scored the last five Bond films, tells FilmMusicMag (via MI6) that he “only just got the news that we’re back on” and he’s currently awaiting a script before he can begin work.

Then last night came an interview with Kate Winslet in The Daily Mail where the actress indicated her husband Sam Mendes is still attached to direct.

“Sam is doing the next Bond film, all being well, and we’ll all be in England if that happens. it’s such a massive commitment for him and it’s not fair for him to commute backwards and forwards to New York from London” says Winslet. The article also says Mendes and producer Barbara Broccoli have had several meetings over casting, and Winslet herself laughed off the idea when asked if she’d be interested.

However stage veteran and Mendes’ friend Simon Russell Beale is apparently being heavily considered for a role. Beale has appeared in a few films like “An Ideal Husband,” Kenneth Branagh’s “Hamlet,” “Persuasion” and the upcoming “The Deep Blue Sea”.

Beale has also already had exposure to the spy world on screen, playing the British Home Secretary William Towers in BBC’s “Spooks” this past season. He’s expected to reprise that character when the next season begins shooting early next year, how long he will last though is anybody’s guess as his two predecessors were poisoned by MI5’s Section Chief and died in a hotel bombing respectively over the course of just two episodes.