Bond Gets A New Director

James Bond has a new handler.

Marc Forster will direct the next Bond adventure, due out Nov. 7, 2008.

“I have always been drawn to different kinds of stories and I have also always been a Bond fan, so it is very exciting to take on this challenge,” Forster said in a statement Tuesday from Sony Pictures, one of the studios behind the Bond franchise.

“The new direction that the Bond character has taken offers a director a host of fresh possibilities,” said Forster, director of last fall’s Will Ferrell comedy “Stranger Than Fiction,” “Monster’s Ball,” which won Halle Berry the best-actress Academy Award, and “Finding Neverland,” a best-picture Oscar nominee.

Daniel Craig will return to play Bond after his debut as the British superspy in last year’s “Casino Royale,” a hit with critics that became the top-grossing Bond movie with nearly $600 million worldwide.

The not-yet-titled 22nd Bond movie begins shooting in London this December.

Forster worked with Sony on “Stranger Than Fiction,” which starred Ferrell as a meek tax accountant suddenly able to hear the voice of a mysterious narrator in his head recounting his life and foretelling his death.

“He’s an actor’s director,” said Amy Pascal, co-chairman of Sony Pictures. “He approaches material with intelligence and taste. What makes him the perfect choice for `Bond 22’ is that he will bring to this film all the elements Bond audiences expect — action, humor, suspense and thrills.”

The Bond films are produced by Michael G. Wilson and Barbara Broccoli for Sony and MGM.

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