The final selection of James Bond #6 has been narrowed to a shortlist of four actors according to the latest sources...

James Bond #6 Candidates Shortlisted
20th July 2005

The search for the next James Bond has been whittled down to a shortlist of four contenders, according to the latest rumours in the British Press.

The Daily Telegraph today claimed that, "The list has been whittled down to four. The auditions have reached their most important stage: how the actors fare in the sack. So stand-in Bond girls have been hired to act out select love scenes from past Bond films with the final four actors."

MI6 confirmed last month that screentests were taking place, and it will be no surprise to long-standing Bond fans that the scene likely to be used is the bedroom sequence from "From Russia With Love" - when Tatiana is waiting for 007 in his hotel room. This scene was used as recently as "The World Is Not Enough" and "Die Another Day" when Colin Salmon stood in as 007 to screentest potential Bond girls. The scene has been used to test dozens of candidate 007s over the years, including the likes of Sam Neil, Michael Billington, Finlay Light, as well as successful applicants Timothy Dalton and Pierce Brosnan.


So who are the four contenders? Speculation varies depending on the news outlet. The tabloid press are punting Clive Owen, Daniel Craig, Julian McMahon and... Pierce Brosnan. Despite the repeated statements from 007 #5 that he will definitely not be returning, the rumours persist.

Above: Goran Visnjic - confirmed as a front runner for the 007 role.

Little known actor Gary Stretch had his name added to the list by the tabloids back in May, and Australian actor Alex O'Lachlan was thrown in to the mix as recently as last week. Late last year, Luke Mably and Matthew Goode were leaked as potentials. The most unlikely candidate though, as far as public perception goes, is Welshman soap-opera actor Geraint Owen who got a call from his agent saying that he was wanted for a screentest.

Favourite of director Michael Campbell is understood to be Croatian actor Goran Visnjic, who MI6 exclusively linked to the role back in April when it was revealed the Croatian actor had been meeting the "Casino Royale" helmer in Los Angeles. Visnjic recently confirmed his screentest had gone well and is now awaiting the call.

James Purefoy, who had screentested for the role back in 1994 for "GoldenEye" before Pierce Brosnan got the job, is also hotly tipped to be in the final four - especially as his production schedule is now clear following his withdrawal from "V For Vendetta".

Other contenders have ruled themselves out of the running. Ioan Gruffudd says he is 10 years too young to play James Bond, despite receiving the nod from rival candidate Julian McMahon, and British actor Dominic West has also ruled himself out of the 007 role despite an audition.

"Casino Royale", the 21st James Bond film, will be directed by Martin Campbell and shooting is scheduled to commence on January 17th 2006 in Prague and South Africa. No casting decisions have been made officially. The release is planned fro October 19th 2006. Stay tuned to MI6 for the latest and most accurate coverage of Casino Royale

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