The next James Bond film is facing further delays.
17:37 01 October 2004
With Pierce Brosnan poised to hand in his standard issue Walther PPK and relinquish his license to kill just short of his fifth outing as the smooth-talking British superspy 007, producers are struggling to find the next James Bond.
According to studio MGM the search for a suitable director is the main reason for the pushing back of the planned release date pencilled in for November 2005.
The script has already been penned by Neal Purvis and Robert Wade, the team behind Die Another Day and The World Is Not Enough.
However, with Brosnan as yet remaining tight-lipped on whether he will return to the role that has made him a global superstar, speculation is mounting that the next time we see Bond save the world it will be a much younger, more robust spy filling the impeccably tailored black tie ensemble.
Predictably the same old names and faces that have been bandied around ever since Brosnan's sprouted his first grey hair have come to the fore, with staple Bond-wannabes Jude Law, Clive Owen and, dare we utter it for fear of being struck down by lightening, Robbie Williams.
Thankfully some fresh, and somewhat more credible faces have joined the ever-expanding list of aspirant spyharders, with soft-spoken Aussie Eric Bana, most famous for his smashing performance in Ang Lee's doomed blockbuster The Hulk, and Mission Impossible 2 villain Dougray Scott both reported to be frontrunners.
With regards finding a suitable director for the project, producers Barbara Broccoli and Michael Wilson have refused to deny that Lock, Stock And Two Smoking Barrels producer Matthew Vaughn could fill the shoes of the outgoing Kiwi Lee Tamahori.