Geez, more news on Sunday than there was all day Friday. Good thing we’re by the computer this afternoon. Deadline reports that Javier Bardem has been offered a starring role opposite Daniel Craig in the forthcoming and still untitled and under wraps “James Bond 23.” No word yet on what the part will be but generally speaking, the second male lead in most of the Bond films have been villains.
January has turned out to be a hellvua month for Bardem. He welcomed his first child with Penelope Cruz into the world, landed a Best Actor Oscar nomination for “Biutiful” and was recently offered the lead role of Deschain in Ron Howard and Universal‘s gestating mega-tentpole “The Dark Tower.” The world of franchise filmmaking is new to the respected actor and it will be interesting to see if he takes on any of these gigs are continues to seek more serious-minded fare. While he did turn down a role in “Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps,” Bardem isn’t averse to mainstream fare and recently starred in the Julia Roberts feel-good vehicle “Eat Pray Love” (and she reciprocated by stumping for Bardem during the awards season scrum).
Meanwhile, the cash-strapped MGM are looking for another studio to distribute the films, but the deal is apparently coming with some heavy strings attached. The deal being offered around town is that not only will the partnering studio have to distribute “James Bond 23,” but also other films in the MGM library as well as co-finance a number of future productions. And this is reportedly not sitting well with top brass at other studios, who are growing frustrated at being toyed with as MGM continues to bounce from meeting to meeting looking for the best deal.
‘James Bond’ is gearing up to shoot this fall, with both Daniel Craig and Judi Dench returning and Sam Mendes directing. It hits theaters on November 9, 2012.