Dame* Judi Dench is probably the biggest star in the James Bond franchise, aside from the eponymous Double-O himself, so it came as no surprise when she told a reporter last night at the South Bank Sky Arts Awards in London that she will be reprising her role as 'M' for the seventh time in the recently announced 23rd Bond film, due out late 2012.
When pressed for details on the untitled film, the veteran actress was characteristically tight-lipped. "Nothing… my lips are sealed. I can't tell you anything at all!"
"Of course, I'm looking forward hugely to working with Daniel [Craig] again and with Sam [Mendes], who I've only ever worked with in the theater. So that'll be all good fun to do! I'm so glad it's coming back, it's wonderful."
Dench first stepped into the shoes of Bond's authoritative boss, M, back in 1995's GoldenEye, opposite then newcomer Pierce Brosnan. The untitled 23rd Bond will mark nearly two decades of Dench as the fictional head of MI6.
Production on the upcoming Bond movie is set to begin in late 2011, with a planned release on November 9th, 2012. Academy Award-winner Sam Mendes (Revolutionary Road, American Beauty) is directing with a screenplay from Neal Purvis, Robert Wade, and John Logan.
* 'Dame' is actually the female equivalent of 'Knight,' as in Dame/Knight Commander of the Order of the British Empire. It is not, contrary to popular belief**, a polite euphemism for saucy British cougars (see Dame Helen Mirren).
** Possibly my belief, prior to checking Wikipedia.
Source: MI6 Fansite