Stage Actor Simon Russell Beale Rumored For A Role In Bond 23

By Eric Eisenberg 2010-12-04 04:10:04discussion comments
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With things finally starting to look good for the next James Bond film, it's only natural that the rumor mill will start up once again. This past week has seen both composer David Arnold and Kate Winslet confirm that the project will be getting into pre-production shortly and will start filming at the end of next year. Because of the long hiatus, however, we still have very little clue about the casting of the film. Daniel Craig is all but 100% set to return and we can expect that Judi Dench, Jeffrey Wright and others will be returning as their characters from Casino Royale and Quantum of Solace. But what about the rest of the cast? Well, let the ride begin.

The British newspaper The Daily Mail reports that the production is beginning to take an interest in actor Simon Russell Beale for a role in the still untitled Bond sequel. The story claims that producer Barbara Broccoli has gone to see the stage actor twice in the West End production of Deathtrap and, making things even more interesting, Russell Beale will be starring as King Lear in director Sam Mendes' production of the Shakespeare play that is scheduled to play the National Theatre in 2012. Also worth noting is that the actor told The Independent back in January that he has talked to Mendes about a possible role in the spy film, saying "Every actor wants to be in Bond. I'd love to be a baddie." Deadline also says that the project may be looking at a November 2012 release date, sourcing unnamed "007 insiders," though it's unknown who will distribute the film.

Given the reliability of British newspapers it is entirely possible that this is all what the French call "bullshit." Barbara Broccoli may just enjoy Deathtrap and as we've seen many times before, just because an actor and a director work together doesn't mean that they are attached at the hip (see here, here, and here for reference). That said, Simon Russell Beale is a phenomenal actor that would undoubtedly knock any role out of the park, particularly as the villain. This is one of those cases where my fingers are crossed that a rumor is true.
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