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Next James Bond movie fast-tracked for production

Skyfall
Image used with permission by copyright holder

For the past several months we’ve been not-so-patiently awaiting a film called Skyfall. Though it’s unassuming name might not indicate as much, Skyfall is the twenty-third official movie centered on Ian Fleming’s super spy James Bond. As with the previous two Bond films (Quantum Of Solace and Casino Royale), Skyfall stars Daniel Craig as the debonair British agent. Unlike previous Bond films however, Skyfall’s marketing push and pre-release hype machine make this the “biggest release ever for a James Bond film.” Oh, and today marks its official public debut.

None of that is news, but what is interesting is that despite the film having only just been released, the people behind Skyfall are already working on its sequel. The film (which currently lacks an official title and is colloquially known as Bond 24) currently resides in what the UK’s Daily Mail describes as “pre-pre-production.” 

According to that Daily Mail piece, screenwriter John Logan has been tapped to write the script for Bond 24. Though Logan is largely unknown, he was brought in to re-write the Skyfall script by director Sam Mendes and EON Productions during that film’s production phase. Though Logan has yet to complete his script for Bond 24, he has created an outline for the story that has been seen by very few people. Producers Michael G. Wilson and Barbara Broccoli, as well as star Daniel Craig have all seen it, and apparently it meets their high expectations for a future James Bond movie as Bond 24 is now scheduled to start shooting toward the end of next year. Barring any unforeseen catastrophes that would put the film in theaters in the Fall of 2014.

Speaking of Daniel Craig, we’ve known since September that the actor had signed a contract to appear in both Bond 24 and the inevitable Bond 25. In that same piece we mentioned that EON Productions (the rights-holder behind the cinematic incarnation of the James Bond character) wanted to start pushing future Bond movies into production at a much more rapid rate than they have been over the past decade. The last Bond film (Quantum Of Solace) debuted four years prior to Skyfall, thus news of Bond 24 entering pre-pre-production just as Skyfall hits theaters seems to corroborate this scheme.

Of course, all of this could be derailed if Skyfall doesn’t perform as expected at the box office. As we mentioned above, it’s being heralded as the biggest Bond film to date, and studio executives are estimating an opening weekend take of just over $32 million. That seems a relatively small figure, but keep in mind that these estimates are based entirely on the 587 theaters showing Skyfall in the UK this weekend. Whether Skyfall manages to top that figure or not, it should pull in quite a bit more money here in America, the land of oversized sugary drinks, exorbitantly expensive popcorn, and ludicrously huge box office revenues.

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Earnest Cavalli
Former Digital Trends Contributor
Earnest Cavalli has been writing about games, tech and digital culture since 2005 for outlets including Wired, Joystiq…
The best materia combos in Final Fantasy 7 Rebirth
Cait Sith dances in Final Fantasy VII Rebirth.

Materia is the backbone of spell casting and stat improvement in Final Fantasy 7 Rebirth, adding tons of customizability and strategy to your characters' loadouts. Adding even another layer to the process, though, is link slots on your weapons and armor. These slots are merged together to allow you to combine the effects of two types of materia for a variety of unique and powerful outcomes. Here are our choices for some of the best materia to link together.
Healing/Fortification/Time + Magnify
Linking a Magnify materia to any other spell will cause that spell to hit additional targets or allies. The ability to hit every ally with a spell makes this one of the absolute best choices to pair with basically any healing or buff spell — especially Healing, Fortification, and Time.

Note that using Magnify with a materia will reduce the potency of the spell you're casting, but you can reduce the penalty by leveling the Magnify materia. It's not a bad idea to pair Magnify with a Level Boost materia (more on that below) as early as you can to get it ready to be paired with heal and buff materia later in the game.
Healing + Magic Efficiency
Magic Efficiency materia reduces the MP cost of whichever spell is linked to it. Because of this, there are few spells better suited to linking together than Healing and Magic Efficiency. When it reaches a 3-star level, you'll be able to have someone casting Curaga at a 50% reduction, which can make a world of difference in some scenarios.
Binding + Warding
If you link a Warding materia to any debuff materia, you'll be gain resistance to that debuff when enemies try to apply it to you. While this means you should likely swap in specific debuff materia before fighting enemies that use those attacks, one of the best options to regularly keep applied is Binding materia. This will ensure you stay protected from Sleep, Silence, and Berserk — all of which can be immensely detrimental, especially to your spell casters.
Any spell materia + HP Absorption
HP Absorption materia will grant you a small heal when casting whatever spell materia you have linked to it. This heal may not be massive, but it's free HP that can be crucial to surviving tough encounters. This alone makes it worth linking to one of your offensive spells, especially if you plan to be using it frequently against an enemy who is weak to that element.
Any materia + AP Up
AP Up materia is extremely helpful because it improves the speed in which a linked materia levels up. As such, you'll want to regularly keep important spell materia linked to this during the first half of the game. It's also fantastic to link it to HP Up materia as much as possible considering how useful 30% extra HP can be at 5-stars.
Any materia + Level Boost
Linking a Level Boost materia with any other materia will grant you the ability to use the next tier of spell from that materia. For instance, if you use it with a 1-star Fire materia, you'll be able to use Fira as long as it remains linked to the Level Boost materia. This can really come in handy during the first half of the game when you're in the midst of leveling various materia, so don't be scared to swap in certain spells to counter the elemental weaknesses of the enemies in the area you're exploring.

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After Fort Condor arrived in Final Fantasy 7: Remake Intergrade, you may not have expected an entirely new minigame to be introduced in Final Fantasy 7: Rebirth. However, after the opening hours, when you're let loose in Kalm, you will automatically be given your very first deck of Queen's Blood cards. While this minigame is entirely optional after you play your first game to learn the basics, you would be missing out on a ton of content and secrets, let alone fun, by ignoring it. Still, we understand if you feel you didn't sign up for a strange new card game in your Final Fantasy adventure. Plus, there is a lot more depth to the game than is properly explained. If you want to rise up the ranks and be a Queen's Blood champion, but are unsure how to start, we'll show you the ropes.
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