Daniel Craig, Skyfall

Francois Duhamel/Columbia

It's going to be awhile before James Bond's 24th mission hits theaters.

MGM, the studio which distributes the 50-year-old franchise, said it hopes to release the next installment within three years, which means 007 fans eager to see Daniel Craig kick butt on the big screen will have to wait until 2016 or so.

Luckily, the gap won't be as long as the four-year break the series took between 2008's Quantum of Solace and last November's Skyfall—a hiatus largely thanks to the financial meltdown of MGM, which went through a restructuring after having to declare bankruptcy.

Per Reuters, the company's new honcho, Gary Barber, told investors in a conference call that MGM and Bond's longtime producers Barbara Broccoli and Michael G. Wilson have already engaged Oscar-nominated scribe John Logan (Gladiator, The Aviator) to pen the new adventure. They're also actively searching for a director after Skyfall helmer Sam Mendes passed on the follow up (and fellow British filmmaker Danny Boyle has already taken himself out of the running).

"We are very excited about the franchise; we look forward to announcing a director soon," Barber said. "We are currently developing the screenplay and working with our partners…We are hoping within the next three years it will be released."

Craig is signed for two more Bond pictures, but the production lag means he will be 48 the next time he dons the tuxedo. That's approximately the age former Bond Roger Moore was when he made The Man With the Golden Gun.

Of course, Moore did go on to make five more James Bond films so Daniel's got plenty of time yet.

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