Marc Forster will direct the 22nd James Bond film, producers Michael G Wilson and Barbara Broccoli announced today with Sony Pictures Entertainment (SPE) and MGM.

Forster, who directed the 2006 release Stranger Than Fiction for Sony and the upcoming adaptation The Kite Runner for Paramount Vantage and Participant Productions, will start work imminently on the screenplay with Paul Haggis from a draft by Neil Purvis and Robert Wade.

Bond 22 will begin filming at Pinewood Studios in London in December in time for a worldwide release through Sony on Nov 7, 2008.

Daniel Craig is set to reprise the role of 007 following his acclaimed performance in last year's global hit Casino Royale, which grossed nearly $600m worldwide to become the most successful release in the 45-year franchise.

'We are delighted that Marc Forster, with his exceptional talent and unique vision, has agreed to direct our next James Bond film,' Wilson and Broccoli said.

'I have always been drawn to different kinds of stories and I have also always been a Bond fan, so it is very exciting to take on this challenge,' Forster said. 'The new direction that the Bond character has taken offers a director a host of new possibilities and I look forward to working with Daniel Craig, Barbara Broccoli, and Michael Wilson, as well as the team at Sony and MGM on this new film.'

'We had a great experience working with Marc on Stranger than Fiction and we are excited to be working with him again,' SPE co-chairman Amy Pascal said. 'He's an actor's director - he approaches material with intelligence and taste. What makes him the perfect choice for Bond 22 is that he will bring to this film all the elements Bond audiences expect - action, humour, suspense, and thrills.'

'The Bond franchise is one of MGM's most treasured legacies,' Harry Sloan, chairman and chief executive officer of MGM, added. 'We share Michael and Barbara's confidence in Marc Forster's directing talents and support him in his efforts to continue the evolution of the Bond story for today's filmgoers.'

Forster's credits include Finding Neverland and Monster's Ball and he is represented by CAA and Management 360.