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Now that “Bond 23” has moved into development for a November 2012 release, the rumor mill involving casting has begun, and what could be more juicy then Oscar-winning actor Javier Bardem being offered a leading role in 007's next adventure?
Bardem has proven himself a talented actor, winning an Oscar for Best Supporting Actor for his performance as the calm, cold killer Anton Chigurh in No Country for Old Men and also receiving nominations for roles in Before Night Falls and this year with Biutiful. He can easily make dark, sinister characters come to life. He has shown his range with his roles in Hollywood and Spanish films and he is capable of delivering an excellent American accent. Despite there being no word about what role he has been offered, the obvious presumption is the main villain and it is easily to imagine him being a match to Daniel Craig’s Bond.
However, there is a note of caution: Ron Howard already has an offer out to Bardem to play Roland Deschain in Stephen King’s The Dark Tower, according to reports, which is another highly anticipated project. In the past, he has rejected the opportunity to star in other majors such as Minority Report, Nine and Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps. He is a man who picks his projects carefully no doubt.
What Bond fans should also know is there is serious money and politics behind this film. Sony, 20th Century Fox, Paramount and Warner Bros. are all bidding for the distribution rights for Bond after MGM's financial meltdown and it is believed that co-owners of Spyglass Entertainment, Gary Barber and Roger Birnbaum are playing the studios off each other to get the best possible deal. While Bardem certainly makes this Bond film an attractive property, there's little reason to believe he could make acquiring James Bond a bigger deal than it already is.
Daniel Craig and Dame Judi Dench have already confirmed their return to the series and Academy Award winner Sam Mendes is set to direct. John Logan (Gladiator) has co-written the script with Bond regulars Neal Purvis and Robert Wade. Rachel Weisz has also been rumoured to have a place in the film, with the role ranging from Bond’s love interest to being the real head of Quantum.
Expect tons of Bond news over the next few months as the production moves toward filming, which likely would begin in the latter portion of this year. Usually there's always a formal announcement of the film's title, so fans still have that to look forward to.