Well, the James Bond franchise didn't stay dead for too long. Just weeks after news broke that the movie follow-up to Casino Royale was on hold indefinitely, the estate of Ian Fleming has announced that the character will return next year in a brand new novel.
The book, currently given the placeholder title Project X, will be the first Bond written by American novelist Jeffery Deaver, who follows in the footsteps of British writers Kingsley Amis, Sebastian Faulks and John Gardner in continuing the book series created by Fleming. The announcement comes following Deaver's acceptance speech upon receiving the Ian Fleming Steel Dagger Award from the British Crime Writers Association in 2004, according to the the managing director of Ian Fleming Publications, Corinne Turner:
I'd always enjoyed Jeffery Deaver's thrillers [but] I didn't know anything about the author himself and expected a fairly low-key response from him when he received our award... I was surprised and delighted when he spoke very fondly of Ian and about the influence that the Bond books had had on his own writing career. It was at that point that I first thought James Bond could have an interesting adventure in Jeffery Deaver's hands.
Deaver has already started work on the book, which he says will stay true to "the persona of James Bond as Fleming created him and the unique tone the author brought to his books," with a plan to publish the book next year.