Back in the summer of last year there was some talk of Penelope Cruz securing a role in Sam Mendes' developing follow-up to Skyfall. While no more was heard in the immediate weeks and months following, Cruz has now once again been linked to Bond 24, via what seems to be a credible source. The French Premiere magazine has spotted her name next to Daniel Craig, Ralph Fiennes and Naomie Harris on a Sony release update.
If that's accurate, and not just an admin cock-up within Sony's PR, it marks a pleasing casting symmetry with Skyfall, which starred Cruz' husband Javier Bardem as the villainous Silva.
As a Bond-girl - whatever that now means in these slightly more enlightened Bond days - Cruz would be an unusually high-profile choice, and the first Oscar-winner to take such a role (Halle Berry won her Academy Award post-Bond). But she's picking her roles carefully lately, turning out only for Ridley Scott, Woody Allen and her old mucker Pedro Almodovar in the last couple of years, and a big Bond role would make sense alongside her swashbuckling outing in Pirates Of The Caribbean: On Stranger Tides in 2011. She's not averse to a blockbuster in the billion-dollar box office club.
Noticeably absent from the Sony document is any mention of Chiwetel Ejiofor, recently mooted as Bond's next adversary. That may be because the list was written before that news broke, or more likely, it's because most casting aside from the names confirmed as returning from last time is still very much up in the air. Sony, of course, are not commenting.
The still untitled new Bond adventure is expected to kick off shooting in November ready for an October 23 release next year.