London: Daniel Craig might soon return to the screen as James Bond for a third time, as the beleaguered Hollywood studio Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (MGM) is close to sealing a deal to make the next 007 thriller.
The debt-ridden studio had thrown its plans to make new movies, including the next 007 film, into disarray.
The 23rd Bond movie had been due for release in 2012, the 50th anniversary of Ian Fleming`s spy character`s first outing in ‘Dr No’.
However, producers Michael G Wilson and Barbara Broccoli said earlier this year that work had been halted indefinitely because of uncertainty about MGM`s future.
Craig backed the producers` decision but it left plans for him to reprise the role in limbo, reports the Telegraph.
He received strong reviews for his first two Bond outings in Casino Royale and Quantum of Solace.
MGM`s problems also cast a shadow over plans to film ‘The Hobbit’, to which the studio owns half the rights, and director Guillermo del Toro resigned after production delays.
Now MGM is on the verge of a deal with Spyglass Entertainment, which is run by Hollywood film producers Gary Barber and Roger Birnbaum, and was responsible for films including The Sixth Sense and Memoirs of a Geisha.
The deal is expected to go through within days and Spyglass would be likely to concentrate on pushing through the Bond and Hobbit movies.
MGM owes about 4 billion dollars to around 140 creditors, including a major bank and hedge fund, and has been struggling to pay interest on its debts.
The studio is currently in the hands of a consortium, which includes Sony, Comcast and several private equity firms.