Danish actor Mads Mikkelsen has been confirmed to play villain Le Chiffre in Casino Royale, plus pictures and comment from today's press conference in Prague...

Mads Mikkelsen Unveiled As Le Chiffre
15th February 2006

Prague Press Conference
The central villain of the forthcoming James Bond film "Casino Royale" is now officially cast. Le Chiffre will be played by Danish actor Mads Mikkelsen, announced by director Martin Campbell at the Prague press conference on Wednesday.

MI6 first revealed Mikkelsen was in talks in late January, and a few days ago rumours spread that the actor's father, a taxi driver, had been telling passengers of his son's new role. 40 year-old Mikkelsen will be best known to cinema goers for his role as Tristan in "King Arthur" (2004).

Above: Mads Mikkelsen will play Le Chiffre

Variety reports that at a late afternoon press conference at the Czech Republic's Barrandov Studios, the new Bond, Daniel Craig, fielded with good humour questions that grew increasingly bizarre.

One journalist from the Czech magazine Spy asked him what he thought of media speculation about his "orientation." After a moment, Craig responded icily, "I didn't know they had but thanks for the information."

Another local reporter got off to an interesting start by asking the assembled group, Craig, Campbell, Judi Dench and producers Michael Wilson and Barbara Broccoli, if they were aware there was a previous "Casino Royale."

As for the more burning question of who will play the Bond girl. Campbell revealed the choice is now down to "two or three" but added "you'll just have to wait to find out." Eva Green and Olivia Wilde Wilde are thought to be the finalists.

Craig, perhaps thinking of the frayed nerves caused by starting the $100 million-plus shoot without a love interest, assured that the shoot is progressing anyway: "We haven't got there so it's all fine."

Above: Director Martin Campbell (left), Dame Judi Dench (centre), and Daniel Craig (right).

Dench, who has regularly delivered a cool, scheming M to the superspy franchise, said her work with Craig on the Prague shoot usually begins with a few jokes, "and that seems to be vital. I only started working with Daniel yesterday, but we found common ground."

Auds will see more insight into M's back story than they ever have to date in "Casino Royale" with a scene set in her London apartment, constructed in modernist beige by Barrandov, complete with Asian art and Tanqueray gin cocktail service.

Bond himself will show his more sensitive side, said Campbell, in that the film, based on the first of Ian Fleming's Bond books, reveals how he became "the Bond we all know and love."

The cast and crew jet off to the Bahamas shortly to shoot a chase sequence at seaside construction site, then will be back to Prague for studio and location work, and Italy and the U.K.'s Pinewood.

Produced by Michael G. Wilson and Barbara Broccoli (Eon Productions) and directed by Martin Campbell, CASINO ROYALE is scheduled for release November 17, 2006. Principal photography started on January 30th 2006, with locations in the UK, Czech Republic (Prague), Italy, and the Bahamas. It will be British actor Daniel Craig’s first outing as James Bond. He is the sixth actor to play the 007 role in the franchise.

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