Daniel Craig returns as master spy James Bond in Skyfall

Nov 3, 2011 at 3:07 p.m. ET

The latest James Bond film has a new director, fresh cast and an unexpected title: Skyfall. The upcoming installment is expected to push 007, his boss "M" and the audience to their limits.

After months of speculation, Bond 23 has an official title: Skyfall. The sequel will feature Daniel Craig reprising his role as the famous spy, alongside the Oscar-caliber talents of Javier Bardem, Ralph Fiennes, Albert Finney and Judi Dench.

Cast of Sam Mendes' Skyfall

Thursday morning, all eyes were on director Sam Mendes as he unveiled the new title and cast of the latest Bond film. The highly anticipated moment couldn't have come at a more opportune time. The press conference took place in London, 50 years to the day that Sean Connery was announced as the first actor to play 007 in Dr. No.

According to The Hollywood Reporter, Mendes assured members of the press that his take on Bond will stick with tradition and contain all the suspense and drama the films are known for. The director said, "It [Skyfall], I think, has all the elements of a classic Bond movie, including, to quell any rumors, a lot of action." The last Bond film to hit theaters was 2008's Quantum of Solace, which was met with mixed reviews from both fans and critics.

Production on Skyfall starts Monday in London and will expand to Shanghai, China, Istanbul, Turkey and "the wilds of Scotland." In terms of story, Javier Bardem will play the villain, while Judi Dench will return as 007's boss "M." The rest of the cast, including newcomers Berenice Marlohe, Naomie Harris and Ben Whishaw, are keeping their identities under wraps. Mendes played coy and said, "[Bond fans] might recognize them," but, "on the other hand, they might not."

The premise of Skyfall centers on "M" and her muddled past, which comes back to haunt her. Bond's loyalty to his boss is tested when MI6 is under attack, and he's forced to protect it at any cost.

Skyfall opens in theaters Nov. 9, 2012.

Photo credit: Daniel Deme/WENN.com