EON Productions is currently seeking actors to play the female lead and primary villain in the highly-anticipated Bond 25. This news comes just a day after rumors circulated that Idris Elba is being considered to play 007 after Daniel Craig's final turn as the British super-spy in Bond 25, although Elba has since shot down those rumors. Before producers can even consider Craig's replacement, they must first contend with rounding out the cast in Bond 25.

Craig is currently the only confirmed cast member on Bond 25, but there have been no shortage of speculation about new and returning cast members. Earlier this year, Naomie Harris revealed she was unsure if she was returning as Eve Moneypenny in this action-adventure. There has also been speculation about Mark Strong coming aboard for a mystery role, which he may already be in training for, while Helena Bonham Carter has been rumored to be the producers' top choice for the villain role. There has also been talk that Jeffrey Wright could reprise his role as Felix Leiter from 2006's Casino Royale, but that has not been confirmed either.

This latest report comes from Variety reporter Justin Kroll, who revealed on Twitter that producer Barbara Broccoli and her EON Productions company are currently meeting with actors and actresses, specifically for the lead actress and villain roles. Kroll did not mention any specific front-runners who were in contention for these roles, or when a final decision may be made in regards to casting. While not mentioning Elba by name, who has been at the heart of a grass-roots campaign to land him the 007 role, Kroll also seemed to indicate that replacing Craig is not a priority at this time.

Kroll added in his tweet that, "what they are not doing is thinking about who would replace Craig when Craig hasn't even started filming this film yet." There has been no official word yet on when production may begin, but with a November 8, 2019 release date already in place, it's possible that filming could begin sometime this fall, which explains why casting is currently underway. Director Danny Boyle was confirmed to take the helm back in March, replacing Sam Mendes, who directed the last two 007 adventures, Skyfall and Spectre. Boyle will direct from a script by John Logan, who also wrote Skyfall and Spectre, with EON's Barbara Broccoli and Michael G. Wilson producing.

The potential casting of Elba aside, Bond 25 could also have a big impact in another way, with a report from April claiming that the James Bond franchise rights are being used to entice buyers in a potential sale of the entire MGM studio. If a sale doesn't happen between now and next November, when Bond 25 hits theaters, that movie's performance could play a role in who may be a potential buyer and who may not. Still, as far as this current casting is concerned, since there are no front-runners that have been mentioned so far, it remains to be seen what kind of actors the studio is looking for, in what will be the end of the Craig era in the 007 franchise.

Release Date:

. James Bond 25 (2019) release date: Nov 08, 2019