Trade papers have linked Ralph Fiennes to a role in Bond 23, with filming scheduled to start this December...

[Updated 27th March 2011]: Dame Judi Dench reveals filming to start this November...

Bond 23 - March Report

26th March 2011

According to trade paper Variety, English actor Ralph Fiennes will be joining the cast of the 23rd James Bond film. The news came tacked on to the end of an announcement that Fiennes will play Prospero in "The Tempest" at the Theater Royal Haymarket in London's West End from August 27th. He is reportedly scheduled to start filming on Bond 23 in December and his other movie commitments are considered to be 'light' given his theater work. Fiennes was first linked to Bond 23 last month, but Fiennes has been routinely connected to whatever the latest 007 movie is, and has often topped polls for 'the next James Bond actor' in years past.


Fiennes' other 2011 productions include "Page Eight" (currently filming) and "Coronet" (pre-production) - which was scripted by Bond 23 scribe John Logan. He will be next seen in "Coriolanus" and "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2".

Fiennes has faced off against a James Bond actor before, in his role as John Steed in 1997's "The Avengers" against Sean Connery's villain Sir August De Wynter.

In a recent official statement, MGM confirmed that shooting on Bond 23 would start in 'late 2011' for release on November 9th. 2012. This timeline is congruent with recent 007 productions.

Due to the long delay caused by MGM's financial restructuring, this will be longest gap between Bond film releases whilst maintaining the same leading actor in the title role. It will be Daniel Craig's third adventure as James Bond.

Casting rumours on the 'Bond Girl' front are to be expected in the coming months from the tabloid press, even though EON does not typically cast 007's female foils until a short time before cameras role. In recent outings, the main Bond Girl has actually been signed after filming has gotten underway.

[Updated 27th March 2011]: Today, Dame Judi Dench has revealed that shooting is planned to start even earlier. Dame Judi revealed the start date for filming during a visit last week to Hever Castle in Kent. She said: “I am going to do the next Bond in November. I don’t know the location yet but hopefully it will be somewhere nice. I can’t tell you much more but I do enjoy ­ playing M as she is such a strong character. I like being bossy and my grandson thinks its cool that I’m in Bond.”

The 23rd James Bond film, "Skyfall", commenced principal studio photography on 7th November 2011 for a UK release on October 26th, 2012 and the USA on November 9, 2012. MGM will produce, finance and distribute 007's 23rd adventure in partnership with Sony Pictures Entertainment.

Daniel Craig will be returning as the legendary British secret agent, alongside Judi Dench as "M", with Sam Mendes directing a screenplay written by Neal Purvis, Robert Wade and John Logan. The cast will also include Bérénice Marlohe, Javier Bardem, Naomie Harris, Ralph Fiennes, Albert Finney and Ben Wishaw. The film will shoot at Pinewood Studios and on location in London, England; Scotland; Shanghai, China and Istanbul, Turkey.

It will be the longest gap between Bond movies without a change in the lead role. In addition, 2012 marks the 50th anniversary of the EON Productions series of James Bond films.

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