Several characters in the upcoming James Bond film "Skyfall" were kept secret during the casting stage and so even when the actors were announced, the nature and names of their roles were unknown.
Then over the last few months or so has come hints as to what those roles are - some rumours panning out, others not so much. Naomie Harris was said to be playing Miss Moneypenny, but ultimately turned out to be a field agent named Eve (which doesn't necessarily disqualify that rumour).
Ben Whishaw was cast in an unknown role which was later confirmed to be the return of Bond's gadget guru Q. Helen McCrory was cast in an unspecified role which is now said to be a British Parliamentary minister, one of several Government higher up characters in the film which also features Albert Finney as a powerful member of the British Foreign Office.
The big question however has remained hovering over Ralph Fiennes. Initial wild speculation pegged him as the new Blofeld or a similar style of nemesis. The actor recently told The Daily Record that he is only "allowed to say that I'm a government agent" in the highly anticipated film.
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This has lead to a report over at Movieweb who has an apparent EON insider who claims the character is indeed a government agent "which we never get a name on, because he is set to play the new 'M'". If true, Fiennes would be taking over the role of the head of MI6 from 77-year-old Dame Judi Dench who has played the part since 1995's "Goldeneye".
The plot of "Skyfall" revolves around actions in M's past coming back to bite MI6 on the ass, literally at one point when it's attacked. Dench being replaced by someone younger was inevitable sometime in the next few years, this way it gives her one hell of a sendoff and brings in fresh blood for Craig's Bond to bounce off.
It would also be the return of a male 'M' which was the case for most of the series, the antagonism between Sean Connery's Bond and Bernard Lee's 007 was a welcome part of the franchise's earliest films. Throw in Fiennes' natural talent and aggressiveness, it makes for a potentially exciting combination.
The catch is there's nothing confirming this report either way, indeed the same rumour was applied to McCrory's character not that long ago. For now consider this still very much speculation.
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Bond23.net reports that the Varda Railway Bridge in the Taurus Mountains in Turkey will serve as a location for the film during January and February.
Crew are already said to be prepping the site which Daniel Craig will film at next month once he wraps sequences being shot in Istanbul. Said rail bridge could be replacing the one the producers tried to secure in India last year but ultimately opted not to use.
Meanwhile the official site at 007.com has been updated for 2012 and includes a quick new video from Producer Michael G. Wilson thanking fans. You can watch that below: