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The James Bond franchise is an exceptionally long-lived one. Every few years a new Bond film comes out, although there isn't a set schedule for when they do so. However, looking at a chronology of Bond film release years shows a general pattern of 2-3 years between releases if they're using the same actor as Bond. When there's a change in actor, there are larger gaps.

However, the recent films had a 4 year gap between Quantum of Solace and Skyfall. This seems particularly odd given that Quantum of Solace continued a reboot of the franchise started with Casino Royale, so a steady stream of frequent films is a good idea. Indeed, between Casino Royale and Quantum of Solace there's only a 2 year gap. This makes the 4 year gap between Quantum and Skyfall all the stranger.

What's the reason for the delay for making Skyfall?

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Production of Skyfall was delayed for several months in 2010-11 due to the bankruptcy and delayed sale of studio Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (MGM), with the production being officially suspended on 19 April 2010.

The press release from producers Barbara Broccoli and Michael G. Wilson, for the film, then known as 'Bond 23', stated: "Due to the continuing uncertainty surrounding the future of MGM and the failure to close a sale of the studio, we have suspended development on 'Bond 23' indefinitely. We do not know when development will resume and do not have a date for the release of 'Bond 23'". During this period, some development and pre-production work continued on the film despite the canceled financing, with the goal to have this Bond film in theaters for the 50th Anniversary of the franchise. Production resumed in January 2011.

See Production Notes in http://jamesbond.wikia.com/wiki/Skyfall

That's why it took time to release Skyfall. It also wriitten in Trivia of Skyfall

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+1 Definite and correct answer to a question which seemed a bit vague at first. Man, I remember the times of the MGM bankruptcy, fearing Bond 23 wouldn't ever come out or take so long that they might search another actor. I'm glad they managed to turn this chaos into the great experience Skyfall became. –  Napoleon Wilson Jan 29 '13 at 9:25
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