Though James Bond 23 – directed by Sam Mendes and starring Daniel Craig – is moving at a fairly steady pace toward its November 2012 release date, they’ve yet to cast the most vital piece of every Bond film besides Bond himself: The villain.

Originally, Mendes wanted his good friend Kevin Spacey to take the role, but due to Spacey being unavailable, he offered the role instead to Javier Bardem. Bardem has yet to sign on, however, and has also been offered the part of Roland in Ron Howard’s adaptation of The Dark Tower. Now, according to UK publication The Sun, Mendes wants Anthony Hopkins to play the man who will take on Daniel Craig’s Bond.

Before you go any further, keep in mind that The Sun is the UK’s answer to The National Enquirer meets TMZ meets The Weekly World News meets…I don’t know, something equally untrustworthy. So even though they do occasionally get things right (in the way that broken clocks do, I guess?), it’s best to take everything they report on with a healthy dose of skepticism (read: RUMOR ALERT).

That said, there’s something about this story that rings vaguely true to me. First of all, it seems that Anthony Hopkins will be in just about anything lately if the money’s right. From The Wolfman to The Rite to the upcoming Arabian Knights – so, why not the next James Bond?

Secondly, Anthony Hopkins playing the next James Bond villain falls in line with everything that the last two movies have been building toward. Like Blofeld and S.P.E.C.T.R.E. from the old Bond canon, Hopkins could easily play the head of the evil organization known as Quantum – which we’ve seen glimpses of in both Casino Royale and Quantum of Solace. He has the look (balding, bulky) and intimidation factor for it (see: every movie where he’s ever played a villain), especially if the filmmakers want to implicitly remind you of those old Bond flicks.

According to The Sun’s source, there’s only one problem:

“The only stumbling block seems to be the number of films he is signing up for. There is a chance the character they want him to play could become a regular feature, like Blofeld back in the day.”

Honestly, I would be happy to see Javier Bardem play the big baddie in James Bond 23 – or Ralph Fiennes for that matter, another actor rumored to be up for the part. However, I’d much prefer to see Anthony Hopkins in the role – the man is due for a bit of a comeback at this point.

Also, as much as I like Bardem, I find it harder to imagine someone as young as him being the head of this massive business/terrorist organization. I’m not saying it’s not possible, I just don’t find it all that plausible.

Interestingly, three of the four actors rumored to be up for the role of Bond’s next nemesis have played the three most famous cinematic serial killers of the past twenty-five years: Hannibal the cannibal in Silence of the Lambs (Hopkins); John Doe in Se7en (Spacey); and Anton Chigurh in No Country for Old Men (Bardem). Heck, even Ralph Fiennes played the Tooth Fairy opposite Hopkins in Red Dragon (2002).

Does this say something about the type of villain we’ll be seeing in Bond 23? Perhaps someone scarier, more brutal, and more intense than we’re used to in the world of James Bond? Boy, I sure hope so…

James Bond 23 is set to hit theaters November 9th, 2012.

Source: The Sun