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Ralph Fiennes To Play Villain In 'Bond 23'?

Feb 04, 2011 | 9:12am EST

Hollywood.comVery little is known about director Sam Mendes's untitled 23rd Bond, but the caliber of the cast lining up alongside the already-confirmed Daniel Craig as Bond and Judi Dench as M is almost enough to make us forget about the disappointment that was 2008's Quantum of Solace.

Last Monday we reported that No Country For Old Men star Javier Bardem could be accepting an adversarial role in the upcoming Bond, pending delivery of the final script. But according to UK tabloid The Daily Mail, Bardem wouldn't be Bond's only nemesis: perennial villain Ralph Fiennes (Voldemort in the Harry Potter series) is also in discussions with producers and director Sam Mendes to play one of 007's arch-antagonists.

Apparently Fiennes was unenthusiastic about taking part in the "usual run-of-the-mill action picture," but was intrigued by Mendes' description of the character's "darkly complex" role. The talented British thesp is being courted because, say insiders close to the production, "the part is one of extreme complexity and only an actor of great ability and dexterity can take it on."

"It's the first of a new generation of Bond films, and the ideas Mendes has push the film into darker territory where the characters are modern, mature and challenging."

Kevin Spacey was previously approached for the same role, but was already committed to playing Richard III, which Mendes is also directing at the Old Vic in London. Now Fiennes' name is at the top of the Bond producers' list.

Of course, neither Feinnes nor Bardem have confirmed their involvement, with both likely waiting to see the screenwriting team's (vets Neal Purvis and Robert Wade, with Gladiator‘s John Logan) final product before signing on. Still, the mere possibility of such a high-caliber cast is building advance buzz about the plot of Bond 23 and driving speculation as to what tricks Mendes has up his sleeve for 007's latest adventure.

Source: Daily Mail

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