1. Javier Bardem offered Bond 23 role

    By Matt Weston on 2011-01-31

    Oscar-winning actor Javier Bardem has been offered a key role in the upcoming 23rd James Bond film, Deadline reports.

    Details about the character remain unknown, but Deadline speculates it’s likely to be the role of the film’s villain.

    The 41-year-old Spanish actor received the offer from 007 producers Barbara Broccoli and Michael G Wilson last week, around the same time the actor received his third Oscar nomination for his role in the film Biutiful.

    However, Bardem is a highly sought-after actor; last week he was also offered the lead role in Ron Howard’s three-film adaptation of Stephen King’s The Dark Tower series. Deadline also notes that the actor turned down the villain role in Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps.

    Bardem is most well-known as the star of No Country for Old Men. He has also appeared in Collateral, Love in the Time of Cholera, Vicky Cristina Barcelona and Eat Pray Love.

    In other Bond 23 news, Deadline also reports that MGM are using the film to leverage more cash flow for the embattled studio. According to the site, MGM are seeking a studio to co-finance a number of films as part of a deal to distribute the next James Bond outing.

    An insider told Deadline, “The quick cash flow allows MGM to have revenue which it hasn’t had in a long time. Thereby their books look better, and therefore the possibility of getting more funds for production is increased. So expect whichever studio lands Bond to also announce it is several co-financing deals allowing MGM into other pics that are already shooting.”

    But this stipulation isn’t sitting well with executives at studios seeking to land the distribution deal. Top brass at Sony, Warner Bros, Fox and Paramount “are growing increasingly frustrated with the way [MGM’s co-chairmen] are playing one studio off another – and enjoying it,” said one executive. One studio said its strategy to land the deal has been reduced to “pleading”.

    Meanwhile, Dame Judi Dench has confirmed in an interview with BBC News that she’ll be back as “M” in Bond 23. The appearance will mark Dench’s seventh turn in the role; the Oscar-winning actress first appeared in 1995’s GoldenEye.

    “I’m looking forward hugely to working with Daniel again and with Sam, who I’ve only ever worked with in the theatre,” the actress enthused to the BBC. “That’ll be all good fun to do. I’m so glad it’s coming back. It’s wonderful.”

    Bond 23 will be released on 9 November 2012. The film will be directed by Sam Mendes from a script written by Neal Purvis, Robert Wade and John Logan. Details are being kept under wraps, but the film will follow on from the events of Quantum of Solace.

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