James Bond debts spark fears Daniel Craig will quit

News that Bond is being put on hold has sparked concern about Daniel Craig's future.

EON Productions have blamed the financial difficulties of MGM studios, which is reported to have a 3.7 billion-dollar (£2.4 billion) debt.

The famous studios put themselves up for sale in November, but have not found a buyer.

The 23rd Bond film, with Daniel Craig in the role for the third time, had been set for release in 2011 or 2012.

But producers Michael Wilson and Barbara Broccoli released a statement saying: "Due to the continuing uncertainty surrounding the future of MGM and the failure to close a sale of the studio, we have suspended development on Bond 23 indefinitely.

"We do not know when development will resume and do not have a date for the release of Bond 23."

Now fans are concerned that a long delay could lead Craig, who revitalised the franchise with his Bond debut in Casino Royale four years ago, to walk away from the role.

The star, who returned as a gritty Bond in Quantum of Solace in 2008, is currently filming Dream House with Rachel Weisz in Toronto.

One fan wrote on Empire online: "Really disappointed by this news, It does seem to mirror the whole (Timothy) Dalton era when after a six-year gap he upped and left.

"I hope this doesn't happen to Craig, he's arguably the best thing to have happened to this franchise."

Another wrote: "Acclaimed re-invention with a more Fleming-esque serious Bond, followed quickly by an inferior revenge-driven sequel...followed by a long wait due to legal wrangling.

"Maybe Craig will be like Dalton and pack it in for Bond 23 in 2014 and give Clive Owen his shot."

A film-goer who was not a Craig fan said: "I do believe this will be the end of Craig, he'll get bored of waiting and move on, and he will be too old, and to me that's good news."

One fan wrote: "If it gets delayed indefinitely and Craig decides to leave, the Bond franchise could die on its ass. It would be such a shame that after all the hard work put in".

Another added: I hope it doesn't get to the point where we see a repeat of what happened with Timothy Dalton and Daniel Craig has to walk. That would be a f****** travesty!"

The next Bond film, part of the longest-running franchise in film history, was tipped to have Sam Mendes directing.

MGM owns the rights to the Bond film franchise and also has a stake in the forthcoming Hobbit movie.

Craig, the sixth James Bond, said in a statement: "I have every confidence in Barbara and Michael's decision and look forward to production resuming as quickly as possible."