By Kevin Jagernauth | The Playlist February 4, 2011 at 4:56AM
It looks like director Sam Mendes' plans for the next installment of the James Bond franchise is attracting some major interest from heavyweight thesps. Javier Bardem has spoken enthusiastically about the villain role he's being offered (he's just waiting to read a completed script before he makes a decision) and now another major talent is showing interest.
Baz Bamigboye at the Daily Mail is reporting that Ralph Fiennes is "in discussions" for a role in the still untitled "James Bond 23." The "darkly complex" part is being kept under wraps, but it's apparently not the same part that is being offered to Bardem and that Fiennes was approached because according to Bamigboye's source, "the part is one of extreme complexity and only an actor of great ability and dexterity can take it on."
"It’s the first of a new generation of Bond films, and the ideas Mendes has push the film into darker territory where the characters are modern, mature and challenging," a film executive told Bamigboye with Fiennes apparently excited by the "revolutionary" approach of the upcoming film.
More big name actors are apparently being courted and while no names have been given, you can bet they will trickle out soon enough. After the disappointing "Quantum of Solace," it looks like "James Bond 23" is shifting to be something even grittier than what we've seen before. Daniel Craig and Judi Dench are currently the only two thesps confirmed for the film that is eyeing a fall start date and is set for release on November 9, 2012.