16/02/2006. Contributed by Jessica Martin
Michael G. Wilson and Barbara Broccoli at Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Studios have announced that actress Eva Green has been cast to play the enticing Vesper Lynd opposite Daniel Craig in his debut appearance as James Bond in the highly 007 adventure thriller, Casino Royale.
It was also announced that Danish-born actor Mads Mikkelsen has accepted the role of Le Chiffre, Bond's nemesis in the film and Jeffrey Wright has joined the cast as Felix Leiter.
Casino Royale reunites Wilson and Broccoli with Martin Campbell, who directed the 1995 Goldeneye, and will be the 21st James Bond film produced by the franchise holders, EON Productions. The MGM/Columbia Pictures production began shooting in January this year and will be released worldwide on November 17th 2006. It will be filmed on location in the Czech Republic, the Bahamas, Italy and the UK.
Wilson and Broccoli told Sfcrowsnest.com, "We are thrilled that Eva and Mads have joined the cast of Casino Royale completing a first rate international cast. They bring exceptional talent to the characters Ian Fleming described so vividly in his first James Bond novel. After an extensive search we have found the perfect actress. Eva is one of France's most accomplished young actresses, now receiving international acclaim. She brings to the complex role of Vesper an exciting combination of enigmatic and seductive beauty. Likewise Mads has such a compelling onscreen presence and his riveting performances in Open Hearts and "Adam's Apples" convinced both us and director Martin Campbell that he was ideal for the role of Le Chiffre."
Neal Purvis and Robert Wade wrote the screenplay based on author Ian Fleming's first novel. Additional writing was contributed by writer, Paul (Crash/Million Dollar Baby) Haggis.
"Vesper is a pivotal role in Casino Royale and it takes much more than beauty to make this role work," said Amy Pascal, Chairman of the Columbia Pictures Motion Picture Group. "When you think about the great James Bond adventures, of course you think about action and espionage, but you need to have palpable sexual tension in the movie and in casting Vesper, we really needed to up the ante, because this character is very much an equal to Bond and central to our story. We believe Eva as Vesper, Mads as Le Chiffre and Jeffrey Wright as Felix Leiter are perfect additions to our cast and we couldn't be more excited about the way this project has come together."
Described by Bernardo Bertolucci as "so beautiful it's indecent," Eva Green was born in Paris, France, and made her debut in Bertolucci's The Dreamers. Green then starred opposite Kristin Scott Thomas and Romain Duris in Jean-Paul Salome's French-language film, Arsene Lupin. In 2005 she made her Hollywood debut, starring as the female lead in Ridley Scott's Kingdom of Heaven with Orlando Bloom and Liam Neeson.
Mads Mikkelsen made his American debut opposite Clive Owen and Keira Knightley in Disney's King Arthur, directed by Antoine Fuqua (Training Day) and produced by Jerry Bruckheimer. Mikkelsen has won many Scandinavian awards for his work on screen and television. He is best known for his starring role in Susanne Bier's Open Hearts for which he was nominated for Best Actor for the Robert (Danish Academy Award) and Bodil (Danish Film Critics' Award) in 2003.
Mikkelsen has recently appeared in Anders Thomas Jensen's Adam's Apples, Susanne Bier's After The Wedding and the Swedish thriller Exit, directed by Peter Lindmark, due for release later this year.
The stage actor, Wright, who first came to film audiences' attention as the doomed artist Jean Michel Basquiat in Basquiat, has subsequently appeared in HBO's miniseries Angels in America, and in such films as Shaft, Ali, The Manchurian Candidate, Broken Flowers, Syriana and HBO's recent Lackawanna Blues. He will soon be seen in Lady in the Water and The Visiting.
The producers stated that the cast would be rounded out by other international actors in feature roles, including; Giancarlo Giannini as Mathis, Caterina Murino as Solonge, Simon Abkarian as Dimitrios, Tobias Menzies as Villiers, Ivana Milicevic as Valenka, Clemens Schik as Kratt, Ludger Pistor as Mendel, and Claudio Santamaria as Carlos.
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