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Bond’s Royale nemesis picked

Los Angeles, Feb. 16 (Reuters): The cast of Sony’s Casino Royale remake is near completion.

Mads Mikkelsen will fill the shoes of James Bond nemesis Le Chiffre, sources confirmed. The Danish actor joins Daniel Craig and Judi Dench in the Martin Campbell-directed film, which began shooting on January 27 in Prague.

All that’s missing now is a leading lady for the martini-loving agent. The studio is expected to make an announcement within days.

In the book, which was Ian Fleming’s first in the long-running series, Bond matches wits with Le Chiffre while playing high-stakes baccarat. The evil genius, also known as the Number or the Cipher, is a banker for terrorists and criminals with a penchant for torture. Baccarat is a gambling card game in which players bet against a banker.

Le Chiffre is rumoured to have been inspired by British occultist Aleister Crowley. Orson Welles played the role in the star-studded 1967 film adaptation of Fleming’s novel.

Mikkelsen’s casting had been widely expected after reports surfaced this week that the actor’s taxi driver father told fares that his son had won the coveted role. Mikkelsen’s credits include King Arthur, The Green Butchers and Wilbur Wants to Kill Himself.

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