Story by: Jack Foley
BOND bosses at Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer are refusing to be drawn on
speculation surrounding the future of Pierce Brosnan, who has
reportedly withdrawn from the franchise.
Responding to the increased speculation, ahead of the release
of Bond 21 in November 2005, MGM President, Chris McGurk maintained
that ‘casting issues’ had yet to be resolved since
Brosnan, 51, was reported as saying he would no longer be 007.
Intriguingly, he also refused to count Brosnan out - heightening
suggestions that Brosnan’s comments may have been made in
an attempt to increase the actor’s bargaining power.
McGurk added, in a statement, that the next film in the 42-year-old
series was still in development - although a script was complete.
However, a director will be hired before the issue of who would
play Bond gets addressed.
"At that point, we're going
to address the casting issues", he added. "It's the
same process we went through with Die
Fears about Brosnan’s imminent departure from the franchise
he helped to rescue were heightened in the week, when Brosnan
said in an interview with EW.com that ‘Bond is another lifetime.
The website also quoted him as saying: That’s it. I've
said all I've got to say on the world of James Bond."
But according to a report on the BBC, David Black, chairman of
the official James Bond International Fan Club, refused to believe
that the popular star had made his last Bond film until there
was official confirmation from Eon or MGM.
In the meantime, the bookies have started to take odds on which
actor could be brought in to replace Brosnan, with the lead contenders
believed to be English, and capable of taking on the role for
15 years and really make it his own.
William Hill’s shortlist includes Scottish actor, Gerard
Butler, who plays the lead role in the forthcoming Phantom of
the Opera film, as well as King
Arthur star, Ioan Gruffudd.