A press conference for Oscar-winner Sam Mendes’ still officially-untitled James Bond movie (the 23rd installment in the blockbuster spy thriller franchise) is scheduled to take place at Pinewood Studios next week. It is expected that there will not only be some official confirmation of the many casting announcements revealed up to now, but that the film’s actual title shall also (at last) be revealed.

However, in the meantime, we have yet another casting tidbit – one that suggests Mendes’ 007 flick will indeed boast more highly-respected and decorated thespians than any previous entry in the series.

The Daily Mail‘s Baz Bamigboye says that five time Academy Award-nominated actor Albert Finney is the latest addition to the cast of Mendes’ Bond flick. Finney’s work schedule has been restricted over the past several years, due to his ongoing battle with prostate cancer. However, he’ll pull double-duty in 2012 by also reprising his turn as the guileful Dr. Albert Hirsch (from The Bourne Ultimatum) in another secret government agent franchise flick, The Bourne Legacy.

Finney’s part in Bond 23 will reportedly be that of “a Foreign Office mandarin with powers over the Secret Intelligence Service, [described as a] reasonably big role and full of class.” In other words, he will be a boss figure to M (Judi Dench) and her chief of staff, Bill Tanner (Rory Kinnear).

Besides Daniel Craig once again playing the deadly-but-debonair Agent 007, Bond 23’s cast will also include high-caliber stars like Javier Bardem as a villain, alongside Ben Whishaw and Helen McCrory in (currently) undisclosed supporting roles. Naomie Harris, by comparison, is all-but-confirmed to play the new incarnation of Moneypenny.

French actress Bérénice Marlohe is also onboard as the new Bond girl (a.k.a. the latest femme fatale who crosses paths with Craig’s spy) and Ralph Fiennes‘ part in the film is being kept secret… though, there’s been speculation that his character could essentially amount to a contemporary version of classic Bond antagonist Blofeld – minus the actual name, for legal reasons.

Daniel Craig will (at last) return as James Bond.

Multiple Oscar-nominated screenwriter John Logan (Gladiator, The Last Samurai, The Aviator) has seemingly been made responsible for writing the bulk of the Bond 23 script. Combine that matter with the high-pedigree cast, plus Mendes at the helm, and there’s good reasons to think that new 007 flick could please moviegoers as much (if not more) than director Martin Campbell’s Casino Royale did back in 2006. That’s especially comforting news for longtime fans who were left disappointed by the second entry in Craig’s run as Mr. Bond (ie. Quantum of Solace).

Principal photography on the 23rd James Bond movie officially gets underway next week, in order to make a November 9th, 2012 U.S. theatrical release date. Look to learn more about the film in the very near future.

Source: The Daily Mail (via The Playlist)