Director Martin Campbell has confirmed that the role of the Bond bad guy Le Chiffre in Casino Royale has at last been cast. The role will go to prolific 40 year old Danish actor Mads Mikkelsen. Mikkelsen has quite an expansive resume in his native Denmark but his only Hollywood role so far has been as Tristan in Antoine Fuqua's critically panned King Arthur.

Campbell also confirmed that despite the fact that they were as good as filming already, casting of Bond girl Vesper Lynd had still not been confirmed but was now down to "two or three". Wait... wasn't it down to two or three six months ago?!?!?

According to Campbell the Bond portrayed in this installment will be less hardass and more of a sap as this outing's events will apparently mould him into the Bond we have known for the last 40 years.

Variety is also reporting worrying news that there may be another annoying M subplot where we learn more about her life/character. Do we really want or need that? Especially when most Bond geeks are still trying to work out why Judi Dench is in this "prequel" at all.

After twenty movies do we really need all this retro-grade backstorying, especially for bit-part characters? Wasn't Jinx horrible enough?

I want to have faith in Casino Royale, but everything about it all smacks of studio reengineering and prequel-niche-cash-cowing. Or more precisely two producers who lost sight of what the franchise was about very shortly after Cubby Broccolli's body went cold. Maybe they never had sight of what the franchise was about at all...

For more news and information about Casino Royale check out our preview page here.

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