Daniel Craig has let slip that Ralph Fiennes and Javier Bardem are both up for roles as villains in the 23rd James Bond film...

Villain Casting

27th September 2011

They have both been long rumoured to be under consideration for roles in the 23rd James Bond film, but 007 star Daniel Craig himself let slip today that the actors are up for parts as villains in the movie. In an interview with MTV, Craig said "I hope so, I hope so," when asked whether Javier and Ralph would be keeping company on the film. If true, it means that the two actors may still be in negotiations, but with principal photography only a few weeks away, casting confirmations should be expected soon.

Above: Ralph Fiennes (left) and Javier Bardem (right) may be officially confirmed soon.

Javier Bardem was first linked with Bond 23 back in January, but was almost ruled out when he landed the lead role in a planned "Dark Tower" franchise. As that studio deal has been sunk for the foreseeable future, it appears Bardem is Bonding again. Just a month later, Ralph Fiennes was also linked with Bond 23 for 'a darkly complex role' because 'the part is one of extreme complexity and only an actor of great ability and dexterity can take it on’. Trade press backed up the rumour a month later. It is understood that Bardem's role is the central villain, with Fiennes playing another, more complex, character. Tabloids subsequently ran away with the idea that Fiennes would appear as Blofeld, a rumour stoked by screenwriter John Logan earlier this month.

Also in the interview, Craig said: "We've got a great script this time. I'm as excited about this script as I was about the 'Casino Royale' script. I think in Sam [Mendes] we've got the perfect director. The cast is coming together now. I can't wait to get going on it."

Daniel Craig starts work on Bond 23 next week, with principal photography scheduled to commence in November. Craig will be shooting through June 2012 for its release on 26th October 2012 in the UK.

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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