Good and bad news for Bond fans; good news – long-time James Bond producers Michael G Wilson and Barbara Broccoli are producing a new film; bad news – this likely means the new Bond film won’t be coming as soon as we hoped.

Based on Mark Burnell’s novel The Rhythm Section and directed by The Handmaid’s Tale‘s Reed Morano, Blake Lively has been cast as Stephanie Patrick, a woman who becomes an assassin, vowing to avenge the deaths of her family. Shooting is planned to begin as soon as late this year, meaning we could expect to see this film sometime in 2018.

Stuart Ford of IM Global, which is financing the film, has stated that he believes it will be “fresh, realistic and bold” and that Lively’s Stephanie Patrick will be “a unique female heroine who turns so many of the current cinematic cliches surrounding so-called ‘kick-ass’ female leads on their head”. Lively herself too has said that she and the director already have a “strong vision for this very compelling story driven by a female protagonist”.

Currently this novel is the first of four books, making it very possible that Wilson and Broccoli are keen for a female-led Bond-style saga of films. With these two producers behind it, there’s a strong possibility that this could do well and become the female version of Bond films that we need today; with the current socio-political climate, a female-led franchise would likely be very well-received. Lively too has proven her worth with a diversity of projects, from Gossip Girl and Woody Allen’s CafĂ© Society to recent shark thriller The Shallows she’s shown what she can do as an actress.

Personally I’m very excited about this as there’s a good team behind the project with producers who have a proven track record of keeping a successful franchise going. But can they manage to get one off the ground and make it successful from the first film? We’ll just have to wait and see, hoping they can use the Midas touch of their goldfingers to make this movie pure gold.

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