BENEDICT CUMBERBATCH is set to lock horns with Daniel Craig by starring as the next Bond villain, Day & Night has learned.
The 36-year-old Sherlock star is expected to be signed up for the next instalment of the lucrative 007 franchise, due to be released in 2014.
The news comes as fans look forward to forthcoming film Skyfall hitting the big screen next month.
“Benedict is considered perfect Bond villain material,” we’re told.
“Work on the next film will begin next year and the plan is for Benedict to be on board. He grew up watching Bond, so it would be a childhood ambition fulfilled. Playing a Bond villain is one of the plum roles in film history and he’d jump at the chance.”
Benedict has seen his star rise dramatically in recent years having won plaudits for his portrayal of Sherlock Holmes in the hit BBC series set in the present day.
As well as starring in the acclaimed BBC drama Parade’s End, which finished last week, his movie career has blossomed of late, after being cast as a baddie in the next Star Trek film and as the dragon Smaug in the forthcoming trilogy of Hobbit films, which also sees his Sherlock co-star Martin Freeman in the lead role of Bilbo Baggins.