New Bond film 'within the next three years'

MGM boss says that a director for the next film will be announced soon

The news won't be quite specific enough for fans, but the new Bond film will be released in the next three years, according to the film's producers.

MGM's chairman Gary Barber told investors: “We are very excited about the franchise, we look forward to announcing a director soon.

[Related story: Sam Mendes turns down big money offer to direct Bond 24]
[Related story: Broccoli hit by Mendes decision]

Bond... director of new film to be announced soon (Copyright: MGM)

“We are currently developing the screenplay and working with our partners. We look forward to developing the script soon and signing a director. We are hoping within the next 3 years it will be released.”

The issue of Sam Mendes turning down a big-money offer to make a second film to follow his record-breaking 'Skyfall' was said to have 'devastated' Bond boss Barbara Broccoli.

Now the search is on for another director to make Bond 24.

Daniel Craig will be on board, however, having signed up for two more films in the series playing the iconic secret agent 007.

'Skyfall' was both the most successful Bond film ever, and the most successful British film of all time.

It hauled in $1.1 billion (£729 million) worldwide, the first ever billion-dollar Bond film.

Mendes bowed out last month, saying that he was intending to concentrate on a number of forthcoming theatre projects, including a stage version of Roald Dahl's 'Charlie and the Chocolate Factory'.