Hrithik Roshan to be the next Bond?

<a href='//' title='Hrithik Roshan' class='article_display_tag' data-id='hrithik-roshan' id='article_tag_data_hrithik-roshan' style='display: inline-block;'><strong>Hrithik Roshan</strong></a>Move aside Dougray Scott, Clive Owen and Hugh Jackman. According to bookmaker Smith & Wilson, India's very own Hrithik Roshan has emerged as the top favourite to play James Bond.
"There have been a succession of large bets placed on Hrithik in the last few days. It could be because there are very strong rumours in Hollywood that Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Inc. has finalised the cast of the 21st Bond film," says Smith & Wilson director Edwina Gladstone
The hunt has been on for a young actor to succeed Pierce Brosnan, 51, as the star of the next Bond film, Casino Royale, to be based on Ian Fleming's first novel about the suave British spy with a license to kill. MGM had announced on February 14 this year that filmmaker Martin Campbell would be directing Casino Royale.

The Roshans' family friend and US-based producer Sameer Durrani, who suggested Hrithik's name for the role of Agent 007, says the actor will make the best Bond ever. "He will be better than even Brosnan. Hrithik has rediscovered himself with a brilliant performance in Koi Mil Gaya and then again in Lakshya last year. I am sure he will bring the same intensity to Casino Royale. I believe in his talents and so will the whole world after they have seen him on screen. They won't be looking for a new Bond for many years to come!" he quips.

Hrithik is however playing his cards close to his chest. "I really can't say anything at this stage," was his only comment when contacted.

Production on Casino Royale, slated for release in 2006, will start as soon as the New Zealand-born Campbell wraps up filming on his sequel to The Mask of Zorro, MGM said.

Casino Royale is being adapted from the 1953 Fleming novel that introduced the Bond character.

It also was the title of a feature spoof of the Bond stories released by Columbia Pictures in 1967 starring Peter Sellers, Woody Allen and David Niven.

MGM acquired the title and rights to Casino Royale in a settlement with Columbia's corporate parent, Sony Pictures Entertainment. MGM is now in the process of being sold to a group of companies led by Sony Corp.

The Bond franchise is one of MGM's biggest assets. The most recent Bond film alone, 2002's Die Another Day, grossed more than $425 million in ticket sales worldwide.

Courtesy: HT Tabloid