Producers Michael G. Wilson and Barbara Broccoli of EON Productions Ltd, Sony Pictures Entertainment and Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Studios announced today the start of principal photography on the eagerly anticipated 22nd James Bond adventure. Daniel Craig reprises his role as 007 in the film which is directed by Marc Forster and follows the success of Casino Royale, the latest and highest grossing film in the series.

Starring alongside Craig is an impressive international cast led by the critically acclaimed French actor Mathieu Amalric as the sinister villain, and the Ukranian actress Olga Kurylenko who plays 007’s leading lady.

Returning to Bond 22 (working title) from Casino Royale are Judi Dench in her role as M, Jeffrey Wright as Felix Leiter and Giancarlo Giannini as Mathis. Newcomer to the Bond franchise, Gemma Arterton, will play the role of MI6 Agent Fields.

Commenting on the announcement, Wilson and Broccoli said “We are fortunate to continue in the Bond tradition of attracting the finest international actors for our starring roles. Mathieu in the role of Dominic Greene, a leading member of the villainous organization introduced in Casino Royale, will be a powerful counterpart to Daniel’s portrayal of Bond. Olga Kurylenko will play the dangerously alluring Camille, who challenges Bond and helps him come to terms with the emotional consequences of Vesper’s betrayal.”

MGM and Sony Pictures will share distribution rights worldwide with Columbia Pictures and Sony Pictures Releasing International distributing the film to theaters worldwide on November 7th, 2008. Marc Forster directs the screenplay by Neal Purvis & Robert Wade and Paul Haggis. The unit includes Production Designer Dennis Gassner, Director of Photography Roberto Schaefer, Editors Matt Chesse and Rick Pearson, and 2nd Unit Director Dan Bradley.

Mathieu Amalric, one of France’s leading screen stars, is best known for his roles as Jean-Dominique Bauby in Julian Schnabel’s award-winning film, The Diving Bell and the Butterfly, and as the French information broker, Louis, in Steven Spielberg’s Munich. Last year, he was awarded Best Actor at France’s César Awards for his role in the internationally acclaimed comedy Kings and Queen, directed by Arnaud Desplechin. Previously, Amalric won the César for Most Promising Actor for his role in Desplechin’s My Sex Life.

Amalric began his career as an actor in 1984, appearing in Otar Losseliani’s Les favoris de la lune, and went on to serve as an assistant director to Louis Malle on Au Revoir Les Enfants. As an actor, he has since worked with many leading directors including André Téchiné, Olivier Assayas, Jean-Claude Biette and the Larrieu Brothers. His latest films include Desplechin’s Un conte de Noel, Claude Miller’s Un Secret, Nicolas Klotz’s Heart Beat Detector, Valeria Bruni Tedeschi’s Actrices, and Vincent Dieutre’s Fragments sur le grace. He also appeared in Sofia Coppola’s Marie Antoinette. Amalric has written and directed a number of films including Wimbledon Stage and, most recently, the documentary short Let Them Grow Up Here. This year, he directs Tournée, about American burlesque girls on tour in France.

Olga Kurylenko recently co-starred opposite Timothy Olyphant in Hitman and opposite Elijah Wood in Paris, je t’aime. She also appeared in starring roles in Eric Barbier’s thriller The Serpent and Diane Bertrand’s The Ring Finger, for which she received the Best Actress award at The Brooklyn International Film Festival in 2006. She recently had a role in Tyranny, directed by John Beck Hofman.

In her career as a top European model, Kurylenko has appeared in numerous advertising campaigns, including Kenzo, Helena Rubenstein and Just Cavalli. Her magazine covers include US Glamour, French Elle, Madame Figaro and Marie Claire.

Gemma Arterton graduated from the Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts (RADA) and made her film debut with Dame Maggie Smith and David Walliams in Stephen Poliakoff’s Capturing Mary for BBC Films. She currently stars in the hit British comedy St. Trinian’s. Arterton recently made her professional stage debut as Rosalind in Love’s Labour’s Lost at Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre.

Source: Sony Pictures Press Release