Javier Bardem to Play Villain in Next James Bond Movie

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Javier Bardem

Javier Bardem has a pretty good hit rate as a bad guy: the last time the Spanish actor “did” evil, it won him an Oscar for No Country for Old Men. Will he now be the man who kills off James Bond for good? (Probably not.)

The 42-year-old Javier Bardem has revealed that he’s to take on one of the most famous roles in cinema: that of James Bond’s arch enemy. The broadcaster Christiane Amanpour got the scoop on ABC’s Nightline when Bardem confirmed one of Hollywood’s best kept secrets.

“I’m very excited because my parents took me to watch the [Bond] movies and I saw all of them, so to play that is going to be fun,” Bardem said. “They chose me to play this man,” he continued, “but I cannot give you many details.” Because presumably if he have blabbed, he would have then had to kill off Amanpour (which might have been good for ABC’s ratings but would have done little for Amanpour’s career).

(PHOTOS: Bardem’s Career in Film)

What we do know is this: The next Bond film is officially known as Bond 23 (that’s standard procedure in Bond world), though the rumor mill is suggesting that it will eventually be called Skyfall, which would at least be an improvement on the clunkily titled Quantum of Solace.

Slated for release in November 2012, Daniel Craig takes on the role of 007 for a third time and fellow Brit Sam Mendes is directing, with the movie possibly being the first Bond to not be shot on film. Work on Bond 23 was suspended last year due to concerns over the future of MGM, which had filed for bankruptcy protection.

As for other casting choices, the Belfast Telegraph is reporting that relatively unknown French actress Berenice Marlohe has snagged the role of Bond girl, and Naomie Harris (Pirates of the Caribbean) and Ralph Fiennes will also be involved with Dame Judi Dench back as Bond’s boss M.

One could argue that Bardem spends his life with a Bond girl of his own, seeing that he’s married to fellow Spaniard Penelope Cruz. But if he feels slightly rusty in the villainous department, we suggest he rewatch his performance as Anton Chigurh in No Country. Because if he brings but a bit of that menace, both Bond and the audience are in for a sleepless night.

PHOTOS: The Best of the Bond Girls

Glen Levy is an Executive Producer at TIME. Find him on Twitter at @glenjl. You can also continue the discussion on TIME’s Facebook page and on Twitter at @TIME.

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