MGM is in trouble. Big trouble.
For a while now we've heard news about how the studio was ailing under the weight of massive debt, but it appears thing have reached the point of buckling. Putting it into perspective on how absolutely screwed the studio is, AICN got the scoop on MGM's decision to end the hiatus on production of Bond 23 by just axing the project entirely. For all intents and purposes the movie has evaporated.
Bond 23 was slated to be written by Peter Morgan (Frost/Nixon) and directed by Sam Mendes, so this news comes as a massive blow to fans of the franchise who were expecting the change in direction that pair would bring to the modern Daniel Craig era (not that recent films been bad, mind you). More importantly, though, Bond 23 joins The Hobbit as guaranteed blockbusters that the studio just can't afford to make as they wrangle with $4 billion in debt as a result of sketchy business deals (Sumatran monkey fights are never a bad investment if you ask me). If MGM can't even make the movies that will help them get out of debt, well, the former powerhouse studio best start looking for a buyer as soon as possible.
Whether or not MGM will sell off EON Productions, who actually holds the rights to the Bond franchise, remains to be seen, but it's pretty much the only move that would bring back 007 in the near future as industry insiders speculate it could be years before another film in the series gets released at this rate.