Albert Finney Joins Mendes’ “Bond 23”

The legendary Albert Finney (“Erin Brockovich,” “A Good Year”) has scored a role in Sam Mendes’ upcoming 23rd entry into the James Bond franchise says The Daily Mail). Mendes surprised his high-calibre cast recently at Pinewood Studios with the news during a script reading for the project.

Finney will play “a Foreign Office mandarin with powers over the Secret Intelligence Service”, a role that’s said to be both “reasonably big and full of class”.

Sounds like he’ll essentially be playing M’s superior or something very similar to Simon Russell Beale’s turn as the Home Secretary politically jousting with MI5 section chief Harry Pearce in the BBC’s just wrapped spy drama series “Spooks”. Ironically Beale was previously linked to ‘Bond 23’ but dropped out due to scheduling conflicts, could he have been up for this very role?

The official press conference announcing the commencement of principal photography (and likely the film’s title) has been confirmed to be taking place next Thursday with key members of the cast in attendance. At last report the confirmed cast list includes Daniel Craig, Judi Dench, Javier Bardem, Ralph Fiennes, Naomie Harris, Berenice Marlohe, Rory Kinnear, Ben Whishaw and Helen McCrory.

Rehearsals and camera tests continue this week ahead of next week’s start of shooting with the film due to be released next Fall, well timed in fact for the 50th anniversary of the first film “Dr. No” which opened in the UK in October 1962.