Actors Berenice Marlohe, left, Daniel Craig and Naomi Harris pose for photographs at a photocall for the new James Bond film, at a central London restaurant venue, Thursday, Nov. 3, 2011. The film is the 23 in the series, and goes into production on November 7, 2011. (AP Photo/Joel Ryan)
LONDON (AP) — Screen spy James Bond is returning next year in a new movie called "Skyfall" with a star-studded cast, producers said Thursday.
Daniel Craig makes his third appearance as the suave secret agent the film, directed by Academy Award-winner Sam Mendes ("American Beauty").
Spanish star Javier Bardem will play the chief villain in 007's 23rd screen adventure, producers Barbara Broccoli and Michael G. Wilson said. British actors Albert Finney, Ralph Fiennes and Ben Whishaw will play as-yet-undisclosed roles.
"There's lots of surprises," Mendes told reporters, as he confirmed filming will begin Thursday and will take place in London's government district of Whitehall, at Pinewood Studios outside the British 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 rumors — a lot of action," Mendes said.
Some have questioned the choice of Mendes, best known for his stage work and emotionally intense dramas like "Revolutionary Road" and "The Road to Perdition."
English actress Naomie Harris plays a field agent named Eve and Judi Dench reprises her role as spy chief M, while French actress Berenice Marlohe also joins the cast.
Marlohe said she plays "a glamorous, enigmatic character" named Severine.
Bond's future was thrown into doubt when studio MGM filed for bankruptcy in 2010. But its new management and the producers announced earlier this year that the spy would live to fight another day.
The movie is due to be released a year from now, four years after Bond's last adventure, "Quantum of Solace."