There’s been so little concrete information released about the 23rd James Bond flick – which is still being referred to as simply Bond 23 – that confirmation of the film’s shooting location(s) alone is worth reporting on.

However, we also have a much more tantalizing bit of information, for all you 007 fans out there: Bond 23 has reportedly snagged an actress to portray the feisty female lead, opposite Daniel Craig’s deadly government agent.

Twitch has it on good authority that the Bond 23 production team has decided against casting an established actress as the latest Bond girl. They are instead going with French thespian Bérénice Marlohe, who has been looking to make the jump from TV actress to film starlet. Needless to say, landing a gig like this will more than help the actress accomplish such as task.

As for whether or not Marlohe has the potential to become one of the more memorable Bond girls… well, her untested screen presence aside, she will definitely suffice in the looks department (see: the image below).

Bond 23 Opening Sequence

The majority of 007’s new adventure is expected to be filmed in South Africa, since plans to shoot in India had to be scrapped due to Indian railroad officials’ objections to certain details of the Bond 23 script. However, we now know what other country Mr. Bond will be visiting/fighting criminals in during the picture’s opening sequence.

MI6 has confirmed that Bond franchise producers Michael G. Wilson and Barbara Broccoli are in the midst of finalizing a deal for the series’ latest installment to be partly filmed in Turkey – specifically, in Istanbul and certain other (undisclosed) regions around the country.

Turkish Culture and Tourism Minister Ertugrul Günay issued the following statement, on the matter:

“The opening scenes [of ‘Bond 23′] are planned to be filmed in Istanbul, but some other places will also be used outside Istanbul for the film. Such is the appeal of the series that many of the locations where Bond films have been filmed in the past have continued to attract Bond fans to visit many years down the line. The fact that the opening scene of the film will be made in Turkey will contribute to Turkish tourism. The ministry has been providing big support to the film sector for five years. We have made a concerted effort in the past five years to support the film sector and our aim continues to be to welcome international film crews to our country for filming.”

Those previous Bond films that Günay mentioned include From Russia With Love (1963) – which was partially filmed against the backdrop of famed landmarks such as the Hagia Sophia Mosque and Sirkeci Train Station – and The World Is Not Enough (1999).

Sean Connery’s Bond visited Istanbul in ‘From Russia With Love’

Somewhere around 10-15 minutes of Bond 23 will be shot in Turkey, (primarily) around Istanbul’s historical Sultanahmet Square and along the Bosporus strait. That means the film’s opening sequence will not involve the previously-reported train set piece (ie. the one that was originally to be shot in India) – and will likely instead see Craig’s Bond caught up in a foot chase, or tracking/beating down some villainous types with his bare hands (as he’s wont to do).

Bond 23 producers are also reportedly on the lookout for a Turkish actress to play “the villain’s girlfriend.” Seeing how we still do not know for certain whether the film’s primary antagonist will be played by either Ralph Fiennes or Javier Bardem – both (unofficially) appear to be locked in to portray bad guys in the movie – it’s anyone’s guess as to how significant a part that might be.

Bond 23 begins principal photography in just over a month, so as to make its designated November 9th, 2012 U.S. theatrical release date.

Source: MI6, Twitch