James Bond is back in action, and he's bringing a new girl along for the ride.
Actress Olga Kurylenko ("Hitman") is the latest addition to the cast of the 22nd superspy movie, joining returning stars Daniel Craig, Judi Dench (M), Jeffrey Wright (Felix Leiter) and Giancarlo Giannini (Mathis). In recent weeks, Mathieu Amalric ("The Diving Bell and the Butterfly") and relative newcomer Gemma Arterton had been leaked as the new villain and Bond girl (an MI6 agent), respectively.
Production on the "Bond" flick starts today at the famous Pinewood Studios in London, the first ever to serve as a direct sequel to another in the series.
Commenting on the casting, series producers Michael G. Wilson and Barbara Broccoli said in a statement: "We are fortunate to continue in the Bond tradition of attracting the finest international actors for our starring roles. Mathieu in the role of Dominic Greene, a leading member of the villainous organization introduced in 'Casino Royale,' will be a powerful counterpart to Daniel's portrayal of Bond."
"Olga Kurylenko will play the dangerously alluring Camille," they continued. "Who challenges Bond and helps him come to terms with the emotional consequences of Vesper's betrayal."
"Kite Runner" director Marc Forster steps in to direct his first Bond flick, based on a screenplay by Neal Purvis, Robert Wade and Paul Haggis. Amalric is best known for as French information broker Louis in Steven Spielberg's "Munich," while Kurylenko was recently seen opposite Timothy Olyphant in "Hitman" and Elijah Wood in "Paris, je t'aime." Arterton, a graduate of the Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts, recently made her stage debut as Rosalind in "Love's Labour's Lost" at Shakespeare's Globe Theatre.
The extremely-likely-to-be-retitled "Bond 22” is due to hit theaters worldwide on November 7th, 2008.