The next James Bond adventure is at least a year from going in front of the cameras, thanks to the fact that franchise producers Eon Productions are so married to the idea of having Skyfall director Sam Mendes back to oversee this new film that they are willing to wait while he finishes off other commitments over the rest of this year. But have they started casting the film? Yahoo seems to think so, reporting that Penelope Cruz has been picked to be the female lead opposite franchise star Daniel Craig for the as-yet-untitled Bond 24.
Yahoo quotes a source “close to the production” as saying –
The producers have tried to get Penelope before, but she has never been available because of other commitments. The discussions have been going on for some time and they are working out the contract details now.
Eon has not made an official announcement yet, so proceed with a bit of caution on the veracity of this report until they do. Personally, I’m of two minds on this. On the one hand, it feels really early to start doing any casting for the film. Especially considering that given Mendes’ work schedule won’t put Bond 24 into production until sometime in mid-to-late 2014.
On the other hand, Eon has been displaying a tendency towards casting higher profile actors in the franchise of late. Just in Skyfall we saw the likes of Albert Finney, Ralph Finnes and Javier Bardem (perhaps not so coincidentally Cruz’s husband) taking significant roles. All three have at least been nominated of Academy Awards, with Bardem being the sole winner Oscar winner of the three. Cruz is a three-time Oscar nominee, winning an Oscar statue for Best Supporting Actress in 2008 for her role in Woody Allen’s film Vicky Cristina Barcelona. If Eon is looking to continue that trend of high-caliber actors, they may need to be acting now to secure a spot on the Cruz’s schedule this far in advance.
Of course, Yahoo’s report wants to make some hay out of Cruz’s age, pointing out that at 40 when production starts next year, she’ll be the oldest Bond girl since the then 39-year-old Honor Blackman’s memorable turn as Pussy Galore in 1962’s Goldfinger. It’s an interesting piece of trivia, but that is all.
The history of the Bond franchise is littered with crazy rumors and false stories that have swirled around in the media. We’ll see where this one falls on the veracity scale in time.