He's jumping off tall buildings again, but this time it is just rehearsals ahead of the next James Bond blockbuster due in theatres in 2008.

British actor Daniel Craig, who won over the skeptics with his dark and dangerous interpretation of the world's most famous spy in his hit Bond debut Casino Royale, is set to reprise the role in an as yet untitled sequel.

We are rehearsing stunts and I'm throwing myself off tall buildings ... again, Craig said in a recent interview.

Asked whether Bond 22 would be based on an Ian Fleming novel in the same way as Casino Royale, he replied:

It's a completely new story and it does go straight on from the end of the last one. We've picked some themes that come up in the last movie ... They are pretty fundamental ones and they're good fun to do.

The 39-year-old hesitated before accepting the role of Bond in Casino Royale, aware that he would be expected to commit to several more films in the hugely successful franchise and run the risk of being typecast as an action hero.

But Craig said he had had few problems doing what he wanted to do since then, and the clout that Bond has given him had actually opened up new possibilities.

I produced a movie this year which has been a new experience, he said of Flashbacks of a Fool due out next year. Craig also stars in the tale of a fading Hollywood star who examines his past after the death of his best friend.

It may happen (that I am typecast), he told Reuters. Maybe I should just relax and let it happen. Maybe I'm just working too hard.


Craig next appears in cinemas in early December in The Golden Compass, a big-budget adaptation of Philip Pullman's acclaimed novel Northern Lights.

A fan of the books, Craig always saw himself playing the explorer Lord Asriel. As with Bond, the role will probably mean having to commit to more films, because Northern Lights is the first installment in a trilogy.

On a completely selfish level ... I would really like to continue telling this story, he said.

Pullman fans are concerned that the Hollywood version has watered down the theme of religion, while a U.S. Catholic group has called for a boycott of The Golden Compass, fearing it will attract young readers to books it says are anti-Christian.

Craig defended the film, which also features Nicole Kidman.

I think it does stand up. It's an incredibly enjoyable couple of hours.

But he would have welcomed the inclusion of more overt religious content.

I wish there was, because I think the debate that Philip Pullman raises is incredibly healthy, he said.

I think the thing that Philip Pullman has done so spectacularly is using the platform of a children's book to deal with very adult themes. My hope is that people will watch this film and read the books.

(Editing by Paul Casciato)