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OO7 fan Bardem to play Bond baddie

JAVIER Bardem said he was excited to be lined up as the next Bond villain after being a huge fan of the films as a child.

The No Country For Old Men star confirmed he had a leading role in the new movie -- said to be called Skyfall.

Bardem, who is married to Penelope Cruz, will be directed by Sam Mendes in the movie to be released next year.

He told US news programme Nightline: "I'm very excited because my parents took me to watch the movies and I saw all of them, so to play that is going to be fun.

"They chose me to play this man, but I cannot give you many details."

Daniel Craig will return as 007 in the 23rd Bond movie with relatively unknown French TV actress Berenice Marlohe cast as one Bond girl. Naomie Harris is expected to play Moneypenny and Judi Dench will return as M.

The film is mostly being in shot in China and Turkey, but some location filming will take place at Duntrune Castle in Scotland.

The release next year will tie in with the 50th anniversary of the series.