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Casino Royale Producers Cast Three More Roles

Like any good Bond mystery, the clock is ticking, the movie has already started filming -- and producers have finally filled three of the key roles in Casino Royale.

New Bond Girl Eva Green [photo: Columbia Pictures]Who would be the next "Bond Girl" has been a subject of intense speculation for months. Among the names bandied about as supposed leading contenders were Golden Globe-winner Thandie Newton, Olivia Wilde and multiple award-winner Charlize Theron.

But it seems as though the filmmakers have decided to go with a lesser-known name -- French actress Eva Green.

Green, who has appeared in The Dreamers and Kingdom of Heaven, will play Bond enchantress Vespa Lynd.

"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," said producers Michael G. Wilson and Barbara Broccoli in a statement regarding the casting of Green.

New Bond villian Mads Mikkelsen [photo: Columbia Pictures]"Vesper is a pivotal role in Casino Royale and it takes much more than beauty to make this role work," chimed in 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.

Producers have also decided on another key element to the story -- the villian, Le Chiffre. Danish-born actor Mads Mikkelsen will be stepping into the role as Bond's nemesis. Mikkelsen most recently co-starred in King Arthur with Clive Owen and Keira Knightly, but has also won many Scandinavian awards for his acting.

Why Mikkelsen? Wilson and Broccoli explained, "...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."

Jeffrey Wright is cast in Casino Royale [photo: Warner Bros Pictures]American actor Jeffrey Wright, most recently seen in Syriana and Lackawanna Blues, rounds out the new casting, as undercover CIA agent Felix Leiter.

The film marks the 21st time Bond has been brought to the screen, and will be the first with new James Bond Daniel Craig. And though this is the latest of the Bonds, Casino Royale is actually based on the 1953 book, in which writer Ian Fleming originally introduced the legendary spy.

This film will also be Campbell's second time at the helm of a Bond film, having previously directed 1995's Goldeneye.

Shooting has already begun on location in Prague, and is expected to continue in the Bahamas and Italy before ending in the UK.

Because, after all, 007 is still British.

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