Sam Mendes To Direct BOND 23, Simon Russell Beale Eyed For Role?

I've become addicted to Sam Mendes' wonderful gangster tragedy Road to Perdition over the past month, I think I had a spell of three days in quick succession when I had it on in the background whilst I was writing copy for this site. I think it's Mendes' finest hour, and the idea that next year he will direct a James Bond movie, the first Oscar winner to ever shoot 007, well it just blows my mind quite frankly. The director has been attached to the film for nearly a year now, and has remained committed to the production. His former partner Kate Winslet reiterates the point this week confirming that she is bringing the kids from New York to up-sticks in London for the latter half of next year so they can be with their father whilst he directs Bond 23.
€œSam is doing the next Bond film, all being well, and we€™ll all be in England if that happens. It€™s such a massive commitment for him and it€™s not fair for him to commute backwards and forwards to New York from London. It would be impossible. The children will be there with me.€
Another interesting note in The Daily Mail's article is that Mendes and producer Barbara Broccoli have had €œmany meetings over casting€, a few with theatre veteran Simon Russell Beale who is being eyed for a role. Beale is a good friend of Mendes, a frequent theatre collaborator (four productions, including King Lear in 2012) and Mendes/Broccoli have visited him in his current play Deathtrap twice. Clearly the role is going to be a substantial one if they are looking at him so closely and so early, so one might think he could be the new film's villain - perhaps even the head of Quantum, this new series' version of SPECTRE which has troubled Bond in the previous two films. Indeed, Beale has already made it known he wanted to be a part of the film previously revealing;
€œEvery actor wants to be in Bond. I€™d love to be a baddie. I saw Sam just before Christmas and dropped a hint €“ and he just looked wearily at me.€
He isn't quite the A-list star that many Bond fans might have expected for the head of Quantum but he's a wonderful actor and so sparcley used on film that he could truly blow us away - Christoph Waltz in Inglourious Basterds style. So James Bond is back... it seems, and they've never had a more talented director hired, a helmer by the way who so far has got the best ever performance out of Daniel Craig in the aforementioned Road To Perdition. Shooting then, could begin Q4 2011 for a release in November 2012... now all we need to hear is a title announcement and then we can all be comfortable knowing Bond is on his way back.
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Matt Holmes is the co-founder of What Culture, formerly known as Obsessed With Film. He has been blogging about pop culture and entertainment since 2006 and has written over 10,000 articles.