While 007 remains on ice due to MGM's money mess, star Daniel Craig is looking to keep busy until he can take his tuxedo out of mothballs.
The British thesp has signed on to star in the David Fincher-helmed remake of The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, in addition to two more sequels based on Swedish author Stieg Larsson's hugely popular crime trilogy.
So what does that mean about Craig's license to kill?
Right now, it's insurance. With Tattoo and its two follow-ups, The Girl Who Played With Fire and The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest, Craig will potentially have a new franchise to keep him busy while the 23rd Bond mission is suspended "indefinitely" until the cash-strapped MGM finds a buyer.
Meanwhile, the titular "girl" part of Lisbeth has yet to be cast.
Aside from the Larsson-based films, Craig has three other flicks in the pipeline: the currently shooting DreamWorks sci-fi Western Cowboys & Aliens, which also stars Harrison Ford and is set for a July 2011 release; Steven Spielberg's highly anticipated comic adaptation The Adventures of Tintin: The Secret of the Unicorn, hitting theaters later that year; and the Universal thriller Dream House.
For now, the only 007 project getting any traction is Activision's James Bond 007: Blood Stone video game, starring Joss Stone as a pixelated Bond girl.
"I wish we were launching a movie," franchise producer Michael G. Wilson lamented during the London launch of the game earlier this month.
Bond 23, as it's known, was supposed to go into production later this year with director Sam Mendes at the helm. But producers postponed the film, citing the financial uncertainty of MGM, which was forced to declare bankruptcy thanks to some $4 billion in debt, throwing several high-profile pictures, including Bond and The Hobbit, into doubt.
For his part, Craig has remained thoroughly committed to the superspy and is attached to star in Bond 23 and another sequel, which would be his fourth.
But a former MGM insider told the Hollywood Reporter that the Bond brain trust is worried the new delay might kill any momentum gained since the successful reboot of the iconic character with 2006's Casino Royale and 2008's Quantum of Solace.
Then again, we're talking about a 50-year-old franchise, the longest in film history, and Bond has suffered setbacks before (see the six-year layoff between 1989's License to Kill and 1995's GoldenEye).
Our guess: 007 will definitely live to die another day.