<strike>MGM Sale Delays <i>Bond 23</i></strike> [Updated]

Update: As Slashfilm reports, this apparently isn't "news" -- or new, for that matter -- but rather a rehash of months-old reports. Variety has since removed its article about the Bond delay. Our original post follows:

For all of James Bond's cunning and charm, and all of Q's gadgets, 007 is still no match for MGM's continuing financial problems.

Variety has confirmed a report by Total Film that the pre-production has been halted on the repeatedly delayed 23rd Bond movie while the beleaguered studio awaits bids on its assets. An MGM spokesman said scripting is still under way.

The news comes just two weeks after reports of $500 million in fresh studio funding suggested Bond 23 could be back on track for a November 2012 release -- a particularly important date, as it marks the 50th anniversary of the first Bond film Dr. No.

The first bids for MGM, which put itself up for sale in November, are expected by mid-January. Its assets, expected to go for somewhere between $1.5 billion and $2 billion, include a 4,000-title library, the MGM logo, rights to the James Bond and Pink Panther franchises, and half-ownership (with Warner Bros.) of the upcoming Hobbit films.

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