Forster back in action with 'Bond 22'


Marc Forster has signed on to direct the next installment in the James Bond franchise for Columbia Pictures and MGM.

The film will pick up where last year's "Casino Royale," the highest-grossing film ever in the Bond series, left off. Daniel Craig will reprise his role as Agent 007 in the film, which has a working title of "Bond 22."

The German-born helmer said he always has been a Bond fan and is looking forward to taking on the iconic hero. "The new direction that the Bond character has taken offers a director a host of new possibilities," he said.

Forster will team with Paul Haggis on a draft of Neil Purvis and Robert Wade's screenplay.

"Bond 22" is scheduled to begin filming at Pinewood Studios in London in December. Columbia Pictures will release the film worldwide on Nov. 7, 2008.

Producers Michael G. Wilson and Barbara Broccoli lauded Forster for "his exceptional talent and unique vision." Amy Pascal, co-chairman of Sony Pictures Entertainment, agreed, adding that Forster is "an actor's director; he approaches material with intelligence and taste. What makes him the perfect choice for 'Bond 22' is that he will bring to this film all the elements Bond audiences expect -- action, humor, suspense and thrills."

Forster -- whose credits include "Stranger Than Fiction," "Finding Neverland" and "Monster's Ball" -- recently wrapped "The Kite Runner," based on Khaled Hosseini's best-selling novel. Forster's "Neverland" was nominated for seven Academy Awards, including best picture. He is repped by CAA and Management 360.