Update: Nikki Finke at Deadline Hollywood has gone on record to say that the talks Sam Mendes are currently in concern a consultancy status, not outright directing duties. The likely motive behind this involves the contract between MGM and Bond owners EON; were EON to officially hire a director, the troubled MGM would have to issue first payment or else EON could take their property to another studio, thus the consultant title for now.

I guess MGM wasn't bluffing when they set out to dispel the rumors that the next James Bond film would be delayed due to the studio's rather public financial woes. The Hollywood Reporter's Heat Vision blog is now indicating that American Beauty and Away We Go director Sam Mendes is in negotiations to bring the legendary spy to the big screen for a 23rd outing. THR's assertion is that production will move forward on the untitled Bond film regardless of their current For Sale status as a studio.

Writing duties currently lay in the hands of Neal Purvis and Robert Wade, both of whom were behind the word processor for Martin Campbell's Casino Royale and Marc Forster's Quantum of Solace, along with British screenwriter Peter Morgan, a man best-known for penning political dramas along the lines of The Queen and Frost/Nixon. Aside from Morgan and the now 'in talks' Sam Mendes, the rest of the core production team remains the same, with Daniel Craig of course reprising his role as the titular super spy.

Though no firm dates are mentioned, THR further notes that MGM is fast-tracking the production with a start date as early as June of this year. That last bit is actually the only item in their news break that's bothersome. Sure, Mendes has never done a big-budget, high-spectacle action movie before (Jarhead comes closest and even that is hardly classifiable as an action movie), but he seems versatile enough to bring something unique to the project; whereas Quantum's Marc Forster seemed an odd choice to begin with.

But what say you? Is Mendes a good choice to reverse the ills of Quantum of Solace? Or should MGM stick to someone with a proven blockbuster record?