Oscar winner Sam Mendes is rumoured to be the favourite to direct the new James Bond film, starring Daniel Craig.
A source said: "Sam is one of the best directors around. His work on 'American Beauty' and 'Road to Perdition' suggest he could add even more realism to the character following on from the new direction Bond has been taken in over the last two films."
The filmmaker - who won the Best Director Oscar for 'American Beauty' - is the latest in a string of suggested directors, including fellow Oscar winner Danny Boyle and Marc Forster, who helmed the last 007 movie 'Quantum of Solace'.
Michael Sheen is said to be being lined-up to play notorious villain Blofeld and 'Slumdog Millionaire' star Freida Pinto is being considered as the secret agent's love interest.
She said: "I'd love to do some action stuff. I'd be good as the kind of character that Grace Jones played in 'A View to a Kill' - a bad Bond girl! I don't see myself doing the glamour stuff. I'm kind of edgier."