It looks like the excitement generated over the “final four” may have been premature.
MKKBB and CBn’s own sources have confirmed that Martin Campbell will head back to England to conduct yet another series of screentests in search of a new James Bond for Casino Royale, the 21st James Bond film due for release in late 2006.
Campbell is now dividing his time between final post-production work on The Legend of Zorro in L.A. and pre-production work on Casino Royale in England. Preparations for these new tests began last month.
So who will be tested?
As first reported in the CBn podcast, one person who is back in serious contention is Layer Cake star Daniel Craig.
Craig’s Bond candidacy has been somewhat mysterious. Craig was “announced” as Bond by the worldwide news media in April of this year. Even CNN reported this as fact. But when CBn tried to investigate the Craig question, we were told Craig was not in the running. Craig later said he was offered the part by the studio (then MGM) but not Eon. Last week the Hollywood Reporter wrote that Barbara Broccoli liked Craig, but Michael G. Wilson did not.
But now reliable sources are telling CBn that Craig is very much back in the Bond #6 race and will be screentested. Despite Craig being 37, Eon is still committed to the concept of Casino Royale portraying an early mission in 007’s career. Screenwriter Robert Wade confirmed this last week by saying, “It is the story that shows what formed his character.”
Fresh rumours that Eon may go back to Pierce Brosnan were shot down by the actor himself. “I won’t be part of the next James Bond,” said Pierce at a press conference for his new film, The Madator. “All the rumours that have been going around for the last few months about me being part of Casino Royale or not are just rumours, nothing more.”
Reports that the difficulty in finding a new 007 might delay the production of Casino Royale are, as yet, only speculation. While it’s true that some aspects of the production are lagging behind, other departments are moving forward on schedule, with the possibility of Italy substituting for the problematic South African locations.
Keep watching CBn for all the latest news on Casino Royale.