Several European actors are being lined up for villain roles in the forthcoming James Bond film Casino Royale - but who will make the grade?

Villains Wanted For Royale
2nd February 2006

Villains Wanted - Apply Within
Several actors have been connected with villain roles in the forthcoming James Bond file Casino Royale over the past few days. news broke today of two new contenders in the mix.

The latest reports in the German press claim that television actor Jürgen Tarrach has been cast as a villain. Aachener Nachrichten report that although negotiations are still taking place, Tarrach has confirmed that he is inline to play a bad guy in the film. The actor commented that things are kept secret with the Bond productions and he himself is not too sure what is happening. Media reports indicate that the role will be smaller than that of the "Swiss Banker" which fellow German actor Ludger Pistor is inline for.

Pistor personally confirmed that has signed to play a substantial role as a Swiss Banker last week. Pistor said it was a dream come true for the actor who confessed, "it is not a joke, I have never missed a James Bond film in the cinema". Despite winning the role, Pistor has still not seen the complete script or all of his lines, which will not surprise those following the latest rumours that the screenplay is being hastily rewritten. "I have only seen fragments of it", Pistor said. "I do not even know whether I stand on the good or bad side. That is a secret so far". But the actor explained that even if he did know something, he would say nothing - to keep his part secure.

Above: Jürgen Tarrach, Mads Mikkelsen and Ludger Pistor

Also today, Danish media outlet Ekstra Bladet report that Mads Mikkelsen is also inline to play a villain in the movie. According to the article, Danish actor Mikkelsen confirmed that he was in negotiations. He is expecting a call in the next couple of days. Mikkelsen also commented that a small 5 minute role in a blockbuster like Casino Royale would pay more than a principal role in a Danish film - he compared the experience of fellow Dane actor Ulrich Thomsen who appeared as Davidov in "The World Is Not Enough". 40 year-old Mikkelsen will be best known to cinema goers for his role as Tristan in "King Arthur" (2004).

The French Connection
As MI6 reported in the Casino Royale Production Diary #3, French actors Michael Youn and Romain Duris screentested for the role of the main villain. French newspapers reported that Simon Abkarian had won the role over Youn. Despite this "confirmation", Youn went on the record that he had made it down to the last five contenders and was still to hear either way. It was also reported that Seybina Baldi had been cast as a villain's henchman.

MI6 also revealed that Icelandic actor Bjorn Hlynur Haraldsson had screentested for a henchman role. 31 year-old Haraldsson said that he is still hopeful of landing the role, but at the time to screentesting, the script was still not finalised.

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 began on Friday 27th January and "lensed" on Monday 30th January 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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