Daniel Craig as James Bond
Daniel Craig as James Bond Reuters

The next James Bond film will be named today, just over a year before its release date of November 9, 2012 and Daniel Craig will return for his third outing as 007.

Dame Judi Dench is tipped to return as M and Pirates of the Caribbean actress Naomie Harris is also thought to have been cast for the 23<sup>rd film of the franchise, which will celebrate its 50<sup>th anniversary next year.

Bond 23 - widely tipped to be called Skyfall - is being directed by Sam Mendes, who won an Oscar for American Beauty in 1999. Reports from last month claimed that Mendes will tone down the action sequences - with some suggesting he will remove them altogether.

However, this is unlikely, with action scenes, car chases and explosions have featured heavily in James Bond films since 1962's Dr No.

Oscar-winning actor Javier Bardem has confirmed that he will play a villain in the film.

The James Bond franchise will be celebrating its 50<sup>th anniversary next year, and it is 50 years today since Sean Connery was announced as the first Bond in Dr No.

The new Bond film will mark the end of a four-year gap when it is released next November; the last Bond film, Quantum of Solace, was released in 2008. The franchise was put on hold and production of Skyfall was halted in April 2010 because of uncertainty over MGM's future.

MGM applied for bankruptcy protection in November 2010 and a rescue deal was constructed which saw Spyglass Entertainment take control of MGM.