Though Skyfall stars some familiar faces, including Judi Dench and, of course, Daniel Craig, the cast list also includes many more that we don’t know so much about. Some fresh info has just dropped on some of those franchise newcomers — the characters played by Javier Bardem, Naomie Harris, and Ola Rapace, to be specific. After the jump, check out new photos of Bardem in villain mode, and read up on details about what Harris and Rapace will be doing in the film.

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After months — years, really — of rumors about the next James Bond film, it’s nice to finally have some actual facts to sink our teeth into. As shooting on the film began today, director Sam Mendes, his producers, and several of his stars held a press conference giving away some tidibts about the film we’ve been referring to as Bond 23. Among the things we’ve learned: the actual title of the film, which characters some of the actors will be playing, and a basic concept of the plot. More details after the jump.

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Confirmed details on Sam MendesBond 23 are still scarce, but it seems screenwriter John Logan may have let slip a very useful detail about the villain. At a talk earlier this week, Logan hinted that iconic Bond baddie Ernst Stavro Blofeld just might be making an appearance in the upcoming film. Logan didn’t go so far as to actually announce anything, but hey, until we have a better idea of the plot, we’re gonna sit here and read into every dubious crumb of information that gets out. Read more after the jump.

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Here’s a bit of wild speculation about Bond 23 — or possibly not so wild, depending upon how much faith you place in various online translations and reports. Hint: in this case, be cautious. But let’s lay out the steps that have lead some to suspect that the twenty-third James Bond film may be based in part on the most recent Bond novel, and share with it the rather awkward title Carte Blanche. (Which is, I have to say, not anywhere near as awkward as Quantum of Solace. And, not being as awkward, it probably won’t inspire a very funny song by Attack the Block director Joe Cornish.) Read on for the steps that lead to the speculative conclusion… Read More »

We haven’t had a lot of real news about the Sam Mendes-directed Bond 23 since the release dates were confirmed, but here’s a nice batch of confirmations and one new bit of info. Javier Bardem and Ralph Fiennes, the former heavily tipped for a role (going so far as to reveal that he would be the villain if cast) and the latter rumored for some time, both seem to be confirmed for the film. And Miss Moneypenny, a staple Bond character who hasn’t been seen since the Pierce Brosnan films, will make an appearance as well, played by Naomie Harris. Read More »

Will Naomie Harris Be in ‘Bond 23′?

Briefly: We still don’t know very much at all about the twenty-third James Bond movie, other than that it will shoot this fall with Daniel Craig and Judi Dench reprising their roles as James Bond and M, respectively, under the direction of Sam Mendes. Neal Purvis, Robert Wade and John Logan are writing, and there may be parts for Javier Bardem and/or Ralph Fiennes, but those are not confirmed.

The latest report is that Naomi Harris, famous for 28 Days Later and the Pirates of the Caribbean films, is in talks for Bond 23. The first report came from the UK tabloid News of the World, but was later confirmed by EW and other outlets. We know nothing about what character she might play — ‘Bond girl’ being the only tag right now — but it’s a start. The still untitled twenty-third James Bond film will be released on October 26, 2012 in the UK and Ireland, and November 9 in the rest of the world.

Ninja Assassin Details Revealed

Rain trains for Ninja Assassin

Warner Bros has released new details on The Wachowski Brothers-produced Ninja Assassin. As you probably already know, Ninja Assassin is directed by James McTeigue (V For Vendetta) from a screenplay by Matthew Sand and J. Michael Straczynski. The film stars stars Korean pop star Rain (Speed Racer) as Raizo, one of the deadliest assassins in the world.

“Taken from the streets as a child, he was transformed into a trained killer by the Ozunu Clan, a secret society whose very existence is considered a myth. But haunted by the merciless execution of his friend by the Clan, Raizo breaks free from them… and vanishes. Now he waits, preparing to exact his revenge.

In Berlin, Europol agent Mika Coretti (Naomie Harris) has stumbled upon a money trail linking several political murders to an underground network of untraceable assassins from the Far East. Defying the orders of her superior, Ryan Maslow (Ben Miles), Mika digs into top secret agency files to learn the truth behind the murders. Her investigation makes her a target, and the Ozunu Clan sends a team of killers, led by the lethal Takeshi (Rick Yune), to silence her forever. Raizo saves Mika from her attackers, but he knows that the Clan will not rest until they are both eliminated. Now, entangled in a deadly game of cat and mouse through the streets of Europe, Raizo and Mika must trust one another if they hope to survive… and finally bring down the elusive Ozunu Clan.”

The film also stars legendary martial arts performer Sho Kosugi (Revenge of the Ninja) as the ruthless leader of the Ozunu Clan. Sounds like it could be a very cool Ninja action film. I was really impressed with McTeigue’s V for Vendetta, but The Invasion was a disaster, although I’m not sure McTeigue can really be blamed for not being able to fix the mess that was handed to him.

he behind-the-scenes creative team includes director of photography Karl Walter Lindenlaub (Independence Day, Prince Caspian), production designer Graham “Grace” Walker (Pitch Black, Gothika), costume designer Carlo Poggioli (Cold Mountain) and editor Giancarlo Ganziano. The Wachowski brothers’ longtime stunt coordinators Chad Stahelski and David Leitch are also on board as second unit co-directors. Joel Silver, Grant Hill, Larry Wachowski and Andy Wachowski are producing, with Thomas Tull, Jon Jashni and William Fay serving as executive producers.

Principal photography has started at Babelsberg Studios and on location in various parts of Berlin.

Watchman Gets Renamed

The Night WatchmanAfter months and months of people not in the know asking me “Is Keanu Reeves in Watchmen?”, Fox Searchlight Pictures has finally realized their upcoming film The Night Watchman posed a marketing challenge which was sure to create confusion in consumers, especially with buzz growing for the Warner Bros/Zack Snyder adaptation of Alan Moore’s epic superhero tale Watchmen. So Searchlight have decided to do the right thing and rename the film “Street Kings”. Besides, I’m pretty sure that the script for The Night Watchman was penned way after the Moore graphic novel was available in book stores. Although it should be noted that the film is based on a story by  James Ellroy. I do remember this film floating around the development ponds for a few years now, once attached to Spike Lee, than Oliver Stone in 2005.

Street Kings stars Keanu Reeves as Tom Ludlow, a veteran LAPD cop who finds life difficult to navigate after the death of his wife. When evidence implicates him in the execution of a fellow officer, he is forced to go up against the cop culture he’s been a part of his entire career, ultimately leading him to question the loyalties of everyone around him. The film also stars Forest Whitaker, Hugh Laurie, Chris Evans, Naomie Harris, Jay Mohr, John Corbett, Cedric the Entertainer, Amaury Nolasco, Terry Crews, Common and The Game. Street Kings will hit theaters on Friday, April 11th 2008.

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