James Bond's cinematic return will be in the upcoming film Skyfall, producers revealed Thursday in London.
The 23rd instalment of the espionage franchise will be directed by Oscar-winning director Sam Mendes and see Daniel Craig reprise the role of superspy Bond, MI-6 agent 007.
Producers Barbara Broccoli and Michael G. Wilson also confirmed that Javier Bardem has joined the project as the main villain, news the Spanish actor divulged recently in an interview.
Judi Dench reprises her role as spy boss M and the main cast is rounded out by actors Albert Finney, Ralph Fiennes, Naomie Harris and Bérénice Marlohe.
"There's lots of surprises," Mendes said of the upcoming film. He added that shooting will take place in London's Whitehall district, at the famed Pinewood Studios outside the U.K. 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," the director said.
Some critics have questioned the selection of Mendes, who is best known for directing dramas such as American Beauty, Revolutionary Road and The Road to Perdition, as well as his work in theatre.
The production was held up in April 2010 due to financial woes for distributor Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer. After MGM struck a merger deal with Spyglass Entertainment and was able to restructure its finances, the film was able to get back on track.
Skyfall is slated to begin production shortly, with the film to premiere in the U.K. in late October 2012 and open worldwide on Nov. 9, 2012.