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Last Updated: Friday, 1 October, 2004, 11:40 GMT 12:40 UK
Search for Bond actor delays film
Pierce Brosnan as James Bond
Pierce Brosnan is the fifth actor to play James Bond
James Bond's next mission has been put on hold as the search goes on for an actor to play the secret agent.

Current Bond Pierce Brosnan has not been ruled out for a fifth film, but numerous actors including Eric Bana and Jude Law have been linked to the role.

Production company MGM also says it is yet to sign up a director, delaying the planned November 2005 release.

Filming on the next spy thriller - the 21st in the series - had been due to start early in the new year.

'Development stage'

The script has already been written by Neal Purvis and Robert Wade, who were behind Die Another Day and The World Is Not Enough.

But producers, Barbara Broccoli and Michael Wilson, and Eon Studios have moved the release date to some time in 2006.

A spokesman for MGM said: "We're not going to be the slave to a release date or shoe-horn it in so we can make a date.

"We're still in the development process."

Director talks

The spokesman added that no one has been cast to play Bond and that Brosnan fulfilled his MGM contract with his 2002 appearance in Die Another Day.

But he said Brosnan had not been ruled out for a fifth picture.

Lock, Stock And Two Smoking Barrels producer Matthew Vaughn has been named as a possible director on the film.

Vaughn, whose new gangster film Layer Cake opens in the UK on Friday, said he had held talks about the role.

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