Screen spy JAMES BOND is returning next year in a new movie called SKYFALL with a star studded cast, producers said Thursday.

DANIEL CRAIG makes his third appearance as the suave secret agent in the film, directed by ACADEMY AWARD winner SAM MENDES.

Spanish star JAVIER BARDEM will play the chief villain in 007’S 23rd screen adventure, producers BARBARA BROCCOLI and MICHAEL G. WILSON said. British actors ALBERT FINNEY, RALPH FIENNES and BEN WHISHAW will play as yet undisclosed roles.

“There’s lots of surprises,” Mr. Mendes told reporters. Filming began yesterday and will take place in London’s government district of Whitehall, at PINEWOOD STUDIOS outside the British capital and on location in Scotland, Istanbul and Shanghai.

“I think this has all the elements of a classic Bond movie, including — to quell any rumours — a lot of action.”

Mr. Mendes said action movies were “a world that’s new to me…and I’ve embraced it. The action needs to coexist with the drama and that’s the balance we’ve got to strike.”

JAVIER BARDEM joked that the hardest part for him was “learning the English vowels.”

English actor NAOMIE HARRIS plays a field agent named Eve and JUDI DENCH reprises her role as spy chief M, while French actor BERNEICE MARLOHE also joins the cast.

Ms. Marlohe said she plays “a glamorous enigmatic character” named Severine.

Bond’s future was thrown into doubt when studio MGM filed for bankruptcy in 2010. But its new management and the producers announced earlier this year that the spy would live to fight another day.

SKYFALL is due to be released on OCTOBER 26, 2012 in Britain and on NOVEMBER 9 in the United States, 50 years since the release of the first 007 film DR. NO.

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