As a start date looms for the 23rd James Bond film, currently referred to simply as Bond 23, we’re starting to learn bits and pieces about the picture. The latest intel involves the film’s opening sequence, which will see the franchise returning to Istanbul. (The location was used in From Russia With Love and The World is Not Enough.)

And while that report says that a Turkish actress is being sought to play “a villain’s girlfriend,” there is a more credible report that one of the film’s major female roles may go to French actress Bérénice Marlohe.

ComingSoon points us to MI6-HQ, which has a report that Bond producers Michael G. Wilson and Barbara Broccoli met with Ertugrul Günay, Turkish Culture and Tourism Minister, to finalize plans to shoot Bond’s opening scenes in Istanbul. The minister said,

The opening scenes are planned to be filmed in Istanbul, but some other places will also be used outside Istanbul for the film… Such is the appeal of the series that many of the locations where Bond films have been filmed in the past have continued to attract Bond fans to visit many years down the line. The fact that the opening scene of the film will be made in Turkey will contribute to Turkish tourism.

Possible shooting locations include Istanbul’s historic Sultanahmet Square, and Günay said, “There are, however, a number of locations, including the waterside and shores of the Bosporus, in consideration for the 10-15 minutes of the movie that is to be filmed in Turkey.”

And then, via Twitch, comes the word that Bérénice Marlohe, who has appeared mostly on French television, will be among the new Bond girls. We’ll have to wait for confirmation and details on her role, however.

Sam Mendes directs Bond 23, with Daniel Craig returning as Bond. The film is scheduled for a November 9, 2012 release.

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