Slowly, but surely, the puzzles pieces that make up the upcoming James Bond movie – which is still being referred to as Bond 23 – are coming together. Seeing how director Sam Mendes is scheduled to begin principal photography on the film within a month’s time, it won’t be long before we finally have more definite answers.

Today we can offer some additional casting confirmations – including one for a previously-rumored Bond 23 cast member and the new Bond girl – as well as a scoop on yet another respected thespian who will reportedly appear in the picture.

The Daily Mail is claiming that French actress Bérénice Marlohe has indeed landed the coveted role of 007’s next female partner (in all meanings of the term). Similarly, the site says that award-winners Ben Whishaw and Helen McCrory are set for currently-unspecified roles in Bond 23.

Rumors about Whishaw – who will also play multiple roles in the Wachowski siblings’ upcoming Cloud Atlas adaptation – signing on for Bond 23 first popped up about two months ago. However, this is the first serious mention about the cast including McCrory, who’s best known for playing Narcissa Malfoy in the Harry Potter movies.

Other all-but-officially-set casting for the film includes that of Naomi Harris as the new Moneypenny, Javier Bardem as the main antagonist of Bond 23, and Ralph Fiennes in what is suspected to be a villainous role (possibly Blofeld?). You can read more about all three respective stars HERE.

Daniel Craig and Judi Dench are (naturally) locked to return as Mr. Bond and his superior, M, respectively.

Numerous rumors about what the plot of Bond 23 – which is being scripted by Casino Roayle/Quantum of Solace duo Neal Purvis and Robert Wade, along with John Logan (Gladiator) – will encompass have cropped up over the past couple of years, but there’s been no new hints or details revealed over the past several months.

One recent popular theory pegged the film as being partially based on a recent Bond novel titled “Carte Blanche” – a contemporary take on the famous secret agent that, as far as the plot goes, could arguably be amended with relative ease so that Bond 23 provides some closure to the Quantum storyline developed in the previous Craig-starring 007 flicks. However, that suggestion remains pure speculation, for the time being.

All we really know “for certain” about Bond 23 is what it will deliver on the action side of things. That includes an opening sequence set in the more scenic regions of Istanbul and a train-based set piece that was originally to be filmed on location in India – but is now instead slated to be shot in South Africa, where the bulk of production on Bond 23 is reportedly going to take place.

All will finally be revealed about Bond 23 when it arrives in U.S. theaters on November 9th, 2012.

Source: The Daily Mail