Daniel Craig as Bond in Skyfall, which took $1.1bn worldwide Sony Pictures

Daniel Craig will start filming his fourth James Bond film on 6 December 2014, according to MI6 HQ.

A table reading with the principal cast will be held in late November before filming begins. Joining Craig will be returning actors Ralph Fiennes as M, Naomie Harris as Moneypenny, Ben Whishaw as Q and Rory Kinnear as Bill Tanner.

Skyfall director Sam Mendes will also return, marking the first time a director has helmed two consecutive Bond films since John Glen, who made five – For Your Eyes Only, Octopussy, A View to a Kill, The Living Daylights and License to Kill.

The same report also says that the casting process is ongoing and that location scouts have been looking at potential settings in Austria and Rome, where they believe a car chase sequence will take place.

Numerous Scandinavian actresses have been sought for a minor role, and MI6 HQ believes the lead Bond Girl will be British. This would go against recent rumours that suggested that Blue Is The Warmest Colour star Léa Seydoux might be in line for the female lead.

12 Years a Slave star Chiwetel Ejiofor has also been rumoured to play the film's villain.

In 2012 the Bond franchise celebrated its 50th anniversary with the release of its most successful ever film. Skyfall took $1.1bn (£676m) worldwide on top of winning universal acclaim from critics.

Bond 24 will be released on 23 October 2015.