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Category: Film Rumor News
Article Date: May 27, 2001 | Publication: The Sunday Mirror | Author: Editors

Posted by: admin

Meet the favourite four lining up to be next 007

PREPARE to be shaken and stirred. One of these four film hunks is set to be the new James Bond when Pierce Brosnan hangs up his gun.

Pierce, 48, will star in his fourth Bond movie - provisionally called Beyond The Ice - next year.

But he is then expected to bow out of the role and make way for a younger man.

The bookies are already lining up the odds on whether Jeremy Northam, James Purefoy, Gerard Butler or Colin Wells will be slipping into his famous tuxedo.

The four actors - all British - will next month be put through separate screen tests in London.

They will shoot the famous "gun barrel" sequence which starts all Bond films, slug it out in a fight scene and smooch through a love scene from From Russia With Love with former Bond beauty Maryam D'Abo - who also helped screen-test Pierce for the role.

A source at Bond film makers Eon Productions said: "Ultimately, it is up to Pierce if he wants to stay on in the role, but when the next film comes out he will be approaching 50. While he doesn't look his age, some people feel Bond should be younger. No decisions will be made right away, but there is a tradition of actors being signed up in advance.

"And, at the moment, one of these four men will be the next James Bond.""

Actors Greg Wise, Jason Patric, Jason Isaac, Ioan Gruffudd and Ralph Fiennes had previously been linked to the role.

And even pop superstar Robbie Williams and Gladiator star Russell Crowe were said to be interested in following in the footsteps of former Bonds Sean Connery, Roger Moore, George Lazenby and Timothy Dalton for the film - the 21st to be made.

Pierce, due to wed fiancee Keely Shaye Smith, 37, in August has already hinted he may retire.

He recently said: "If I had to choose between my career or my family, I wouldn't hesitate to hang up my acting hat in a second."

Steve McFadden, who plays EastEnders Phil Mitchell, is set to play a villain in Beyond The Ice alongside Bond regulars John Cleese and Dame Judi Dench.


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