MI6 reports on the latest casting news, with Israeli actress Moran Atias and Swedish actor Rafael Edholm linked to roles in the 22nd James Bond film..

Bond 22 Pre-Production Diary (17)
30th October 2007

Villain Wanted - Apply Within
Following Danish actors Mads Mikkelsen and Jesper Christensen playing villains Le Chiffre and Mr White respectively in Casino Royale, it appears that casting for the 22nd James Bond film is passing a searchlight over Scandinavia again.

Swedish actor Rafael Edholm (pictured opposite) is in contention for the role of the villain in Daniel Craig's second outing as 007, due out November 7th 2008. Edholm confirmed that he will be screen testing for the part.


The 41 year-old actor, who was first discovered by director Oliver Stone, recently moved to Los Angeles and signed a new contract with a Hollywood agency. Edholm said landing the role "would be really cool" and joked that he would love to shave his head and get a cat.

Above: Israeli actress Moran Atias


Bond Girl Hopefuls Narrowed Down
According reports in Israel, out of the six finalists competing for the role of James Bond's girl, one is an Israeli: model and actress Moran Atias. Atias is the only one who made it through the earlier stages, during which several other local beauties were considered but all were dropped.

Atias, who currently resides in Italy, has been spending a lot of time in Los Angeles. Last Sunday, she was called to the Sony Studios for a meeting with director Marc Forester. Five latina actresses were also invited. Atias is scheduled to soon begin shooting her part in Adam Sandler's "You Don't Mess with the Zohan".

Other actresses in the mix for the role have included early front-runners Camila Alves and Juliana Paes and Fernanda Lima from Brazil, who were later joined by Lívia Rossi, Juliana Galvão, Michelle Alves, Ana Paula Araújo, Fernanda Motta and Paula Franco. Casting agent Carla Hool tested Ludwika Paleta Luz Helena Gonzalez and Monserrat Olivier in Mexico. Cléo Pires, Giovanna Antonelli, Rita Guedes, Guilhermina Guinle, and Christine Fernandes were also linked to the role in Brazil.

Location Round-Up
According to press reports, Lake Garda in Italy is likely to be a shooting location for the 22nd James Bond film. Known locally as "Lago di Garga", the lake in the north of the country is said to be under consideration for scenes early in the film. Writer Paul Haggis has stated previously that Daniel Craig's second outing as 007 will take off "two minutes" after Casino Royale, which finished at a house on a lake in Italy... Locals have tipped the Grand Hotel Gardone and Locanda Punta San Vigilio Hotel as possible attractions for the location scouts. Italy seems to be a hot favourite for several scenes in Bond 22, including the Stelvio Pass in the Italian Alps, the Basilicata region in the south, and the Palio di Siena horse race (of which background shots have already been filmed).

Haggis Wraps Script
One sigh of relief went up over at Sony late last week: Paul Haggis delivered his draft for the 22nd Bond installment to Columbia execs.

With the writers guild expected to strike as early as November 1st, writers are furiously trying to get scripts completed for big projects, said The Hollywood Reporter. Haggis, who polished the script for Daniel Craig's blockbuster debut outing Casino Royale, worked on the Bond 22 first draft prepared by regular 007 scribes Neal Purvis and Robert Wade.

The work had been far from straight forward though, as Haggis told Esquire magazine in early September, "I thought I had come up with a terrific plot, and we'd worked it all the way through, and yesterday we tossed it out." Comparing this latest 007 outing to his first, Haggis said "this one's tougher than Casino Royale, which wasn't a small amount of work, but there was an existing book."

Haggis traveled to Italy to concentrate on completing the script.


Above: Writer Paul Haggis

Tabloid Talk
As MI6 reported earlier in the week, Daniel Craig has signed a record-breaking deal to play James Bond for a further four films. According to the Daily Mail, Hollywood studio MGM has tied the 39-year-old actor into a deal which could make him £30 million ($60 million USD) over the next decade. The contract will incorporate a sliding salary based on how much each consecutive film makes at the box office and, importantly, in merchandising. A further four films are likely to tie up Craig for the best part of a decade. It will mean that by the time he comes to the end of the contract, the actor will be pushing 50.

Daniel Craig may be keen to expose less skin than he did in Casino Royale but his producer Barbara Broccoli has other ideas - reports the Daily Express. “I think Barbara is going to have a word about that,” says Craig, before mimicking a whinier version of himself in conversation with his boss. “‘I’m not going to take my top off.’ ‘Yes, you are.’” Craig adds: “We’ll see. There are no plans. Bond might have to take a shower, what can I tell you?” The 39-year-old doesn’t think he will be quite as buff as he was in his first 007 outing when his appearance in skimpy blue swimming trunks raised pulses. “I’m probably not going to bulk up as much as I did last time,” he tells GQ magazine. “It was an exercise that worked and I’m very happy we did it.”