The race to become the next Bond Girl is hotting up, with Brazilan actress Cleo Pires the media favourite. MI6 reports the latest news on the 22nd James Bond film...

Bond 22 Pre-Production Diary (18)
5th November 2007

Bond Girl Race Hots Up
The media in Brazil has lit up with the prospect of one of their actresses becoming the next Bond Girl. According to local reports, soap-opera actress Cleo Pires is the favourite to land the role opposite Daniel Craig in the 22nd James Bond film.

The 25 year-old, who has won awards for her work on "América" and "Benjamim" has just completed work on feature film "Meu Nome Não é Johnny".

Pires was amongst the final group of actresses competing for the part. If reports hold true, the other finalists from Brazil are Guilhermina Guinle, Rita Guedes and the much-tipped Juliana Paes.

It is understood that another round of tests is to take place in the coming days. Israeli model and actress Moran Atias is reportedly the only non-South American actress left in the running.

Right: Brazilian actress Cleo Pires.


Other actresses that have been considered 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.

Strike Hits Hollywood
The Writers Guild of America have gone on strike over residual payments for DVD and online content. Paul Haggis, who took over the Bond 22 script from regular scribes Neal Purvis and Robert Wade, delivered his screenplay to Columbia execs two weeks ago.

But the script may not be ready for shooting according to comments Haggis made yesterday to the LA Times. He called the dispute with producers "another example of corporate greed." He accused them of trying to "shut down the entire town in a very cynical way."

Haggis said he’s prepared to walk the picket line for as long as it takes. He said he has been a WGA member since 1975, and "it’s my job as a member of the guild to be here."

Before the strike, he was at work on the new James Bond film, set to start filming in a month. "They haven’t gotten the polish finished yet," he said.


Above: Writer Paul Haggis

In a report on the current writers strike in the USA, Deadline Hollywood has revealed pay details on the script Paul Haggis turned in for Bond 22. According to the site, "Paul Haggis walking the picket line during the morning shift at Sony, the studio that's paying him $4+ million (rumoured near $5 mil) for the new Bond script. Then again, screenwriters were told to picket their primary place of employment ... or else."

On Her Majesty's Secret Service
The Queen visited Pinewood Studios on Friday 2nd November, where she had a sneak preview of a Bond 22 set under construction. Accompanied by the Duke of Edinburgh, the Queen also opened a new gateway at the studio in Buckinghamshire. The James Bond set is being kept under wraps, and none of the media covering the event had access.

Sony - You Only Distribute Twice
Variety have confirmed long-running rumours that MGM will be taking back control of the James Bond franchise from Sony after the 22nd James Bond film. According to the tradepaper, Sony will distribute the 22nd Bond film that begins production in January with Marc Forster directing a Paul Haggis script, but MGM takes back distribution after that. Daniel Craig is locked into a deal for the first three of those films (following Casino Royale and Bond 22 under Sony). Before Casino Royale was released, and news of the MGM resurgence broke, Sony chief Amy Pascal said "It's upsetting. I feel an investment in this movie and I'd like to have been making these movies forever.

Tabloid Talk
Female Bond fans my be offering three cheers for Barbara Broccoli. James Bond star Daniel Craig may be keen to expose less skin than he did in Casino Royale but his producer 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.”