Ralph Fiennes is slated to play the villain in the upcoming 23rd James Bond film. Daniel Craig will be playing the 007 spy opposite him. If he agrees, the film will have some heavy duty actors being a part of the franchise as Javier Bardem has also been approached for another role in the film.

Sam Mendes, the director of the film, has apparently approached Ralph to play a very complex dark character in the movie with the working title James Bond 23.

 A film executive close to the production told The Daily Mail newspaper: It's the first of a new generation of Bond films and the ideas Mendes has push the film into darker territory where the characters are modern, mature and challenging...The part is one of extreme complexity and only an actor of great ability and dexterity can take it on - and Ralph's name is top of our list.

 Javier Bardem has spoken enthusiastically about the villainous role he’s being offered; he’s just waiting to read a completed script before he makes a decision. It is to be seen whether he will be eager enough to add a James Bond film to his esoteric filmography list.

With a disappointing Quantum Of Solace and the launch of the new film facing teething troubles over MGM's finance crunch, it is believed Sam Mendes wants to push the limits with James Bond 23 and take it into deeper, darker territory. The film is scheduled for release in November 2012.