1. Official: Mads Mikkelsen IS Le Chiffre

    By Athena Stamos on 2006-02-15

    Source: Variety

    Eon Productions held a press conference today at Barrandov Studios where director Martin Campbell announced that Danish actor Mads Mikkelsen (King Arthur) will play the main villain Le Chiffre, putting to rest at least one of the Casino Royale casting questions.

    Mads Mikkelsen

    Mads Mikkelsen

    As for the more burning question of who will play the Bond girl, Campbell revealed the choice is now down to “two or three” but added “you’ll just have to wait to find out.” Eva Green and Olivia Wilde are reported to be the finalists.

    New James Bond Daniel Craig, perhaps thinking of the frayed nerves caused by starting the $100 million-plus shoot without a love interest, assured that the shoot is progressing anyway: “We haven’t got there so it’s all fine.”

    True to form, one journalist from the Czech magazine Spy asked Craig what he thought of media speculation about his “orientation.” After a moment, Craig responded icily, “I didn’t know they had but thanks for the information.”

    Another local reporter got off to an interesting start by asking the assembled group, Craig, Campbell, Judi Dench and producers Michael Wilson and Barbara Broccoli, if they were aware there was a previous Casino Royale.

    Press Conference

    Campbell, Dench, & Craig at today’s Press Conference
    (click to enlarge)

    Judi Dench, who has regularly delivered a cool, scheming M to the superspy franchise, said her work with Craig on the Prague shoot usually begins with a few jokes, “and that seems to be vital. I only started working with Daniel yesterday, but we found common ground.”

    Auds will see more insight into M’s back story than they ever have to date in Casino Royale with a scene set in her London apartment, constructed in modernist beige by Barrandov, complete with Asian art and Tanqueray gin cocktail service.

    Bond himself will show his more sensitive side, said Campbell, in that the film, based on the first of Ian Fleming’s Bond books, reveals how he became “the Bond we all know and love.”

    The cast and crew jet off to the Bahamas shortly to shoot a chase sequence at seaside construction site (see exclusive pics of that location in this CBn report), then will be back to Prague for studio and location work, and Italy and the U.K.’s Pinewood.

    Casino Royale is the 21st James Bond film produced
    by franchise holders Eon Productions. The MGM/Columbia Pictures production
    began shooting in January and is due for release worldwide on 17 November 2006.

    Click here for more photos from today’s event