It looks like James Bond is growing up a bit. News reaches us that Sam Mendes has signed up a sophisticated as well as super-sexy Bond girl for the latest installment of the 007 series. Yes, Oscar-winning actress Penelope Cruz is reportedly set to play the next Bond girl in the follow up to Skyfall.
Penelope will be 40 next April, which would make her the oldest Bond girl in history (aside from Judi Dench, of course). Honor Blackman currently holds the record - the actress was 39 when she played Pussy Galore in Goldfinger opposite Sean Connery. Considering Penelope is set to give birth to her second child any day now, we can't quite picture her emerging from the sea in a teeny white bikini...
Perhaps this possible casting is a clue that the James Bond franchise is maturing considering it's become tradition that as modelizer Bond gets older, his girlfriends stay in their 20s (he's like the Leonardo DiCaprio of the silver screen). But now it seems 007 has gone and bagged himself an age appropriate girlfriend. Are the James Bond movies becoming more pro-women with strong female leads who aren't just there to provide some eye candy? Here's hoping.
Back in October we reported on buzz that the 'sexist, misogynist dinosaur' has gone feminist. You'll remember the plot-line of Skyfall was focused around M and director Sam Mendes cast powerful female role models rather than blondes in bikinis. Yep, gone are the days when 007 bedded four women in a single movie (hello Roger Moore in A View To A Kill).
Naomie Harris said of the more feminist 007, 'Bond girls have to reflect the modern woman, and the modern woman is very talented and very capable, they're leaders in their field, they can do anything. They are equals to men and we have to reflect that in the movies.'
Naomie Harris in Skyfall
Either way, the Bond films are part of the Penelope Cruz family. The actress' husband Javier Bardem appeared in Skyfall, playing Raoul Silva - one of Bond's greatest ever villains. A source told Yahoo that, 'The producers have tried to get Penelope before, but she has never been available because of other commitments. The discussions have been going on for some time and they are working out the contract details now.'
The source also added: 'She got back into shape fast after the first baby and will no doubt regain her figure quickly this time. She’ll be a great Bond girl. Bond girls are always brainy as well as sexy, and that’s totally Penelope.'
Last week, Mendes was reported to be back to direct the next two Bond movies alongside Daniel Craig, following the success of $1.1bn Skyfall which was the most successful Bond ever.
Take a look at our pick of the most iconic former Bond girls in the gallery below...