It has been a tumultuous journey to the big screen but with MGM finally giving the greenlight to the 23rd Bond film the cast and crew are slowly assembling.

There is excellent news today with a report that Naomie Harris’s role, which was rumoured a month ago and is now in final negotiations, will be that of Miss Moneypenny, marking the character’s return to the franchise after the sparse ‘reboot’ of Casino Royale and Quantum of Solace.

Lois Maxwell is perhaps the actress most often associated with the role, though I enjoyed Samantha Bond’s take, and Harris’s previous form, notably in 28 Days Later and the recent TV adaptation of Andrea Levy’s Small Island, shows great promise and it will be interesting to see if her role is in any way expanded. While taking Q out into the field would seem a little too much for Bond purists, exactly how far Mendes will take Moneypenny in this new film isn’t clear.

According to The Daily Mail’s report (via The Playlist) she will be joined in the as-yet-untitled Bond film by Javier Bardem and Ralph Fiennes, who have been associated with the film during its protracted development, Bardem as the villain of the piece, but now are apparently all signed up.

In the two films thus far Daniel Craig has made the character his own and though audiences and critics were unimpressed with Quantum of Solace (which  I rather liked) the 23rd Bond film brings with it a lot of expectation not least from the director Sam Mendes, and the cast is shaping up to be one of the best the series has seen for years. November next year is the date to scratch into your diaries.