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Famed James Bond villain Richard Kiel dies at 74: Report

Richard Kiel, whose towering height and distinctive baritone voice defined his nearly 50-year career in television and films, most notably as the steely toothed James Bond villain Jaws, died Wednesday afternoon in Fresno, Calif. at the age of 74, TMZ reports. The actor had been hospitalized after breaking his leg earlier in the week, but it is still unclear if that was related to his death.

Kiel’s rep did not immediately respond to EW’s request for comment.

The Detroit-born Kiel, who grew to be 7 feet 1.5 inches, worked various odd jobs, including cemetery plot salesman and nightclub bouncer, before making his television debut at age 21 in the NBC Western Laramie. His roles were always at least partially defined by his extraordinary physicality, including in the schlocky 1962 B-movie Eegah, which got a bit of a cult boost after being featured on Mystery Science Theater 3000, where Kiel played a giant caveman who falls for a California party girl he accidentally encounters in the desert. Kiel was also one of the top choices to play The Incredible Hulka role that would end up going to Lou Ferrigno after the producers decided they needed someone more muscular (and after Kiel had already filmed some of the pilot).

Kiel continued to score a number of memorable, if sometimes bit, roles including stints as villains in shows such as The Man from U.N.C.L.E. and The Wild Wild West and in films like The Longest Yard and Silver Streak. But Kiel would ultimately be defined by his role as Jaws, the metal-mouthed James Bond villain of the Roger Moore-era who first appeared in 1977’s The Spy Who Loved Me and was apparently so popular that they had him reprise his role in 1979’s Moonraker. Those famous teeth caused Kiel immense discomfort, though. “They were nauseating,” he told The Guardian in 2009. “They were up in the roof of your mouth and gave you a gagging effect – you felt like you were going to be sick. It did add to the stoic part of my character – to keep from throwing up.”

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James Bond producers to make Edward Snowden movie

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The producers behind the James Bond franchise will make a movie about Edward Snowden and his decision to leak top-secret U.S. government secrets. Michael G. Wilson and Barbara Broccoli of EON Productions are working with Sony, which has optioned the film rights to Glenn Greenwald’s new book, No Place to Hide: Edward Snowden, the NSA, and the U.S. Surveillance State.

“Edward Snowden’s explosive revelations have raised important questions about the role of government in protecting its citizens and the balance between national security and personal freedom,” said Doug Belgrad, president of Columbia Pictures. “We are extremely proud that Michael, Barbara, and Glenn chose Sony to bring this riveting story to the big screen, and believe that Glenn’s account of this incredible international event will make for a gripping and unforgettable film.” READ FULL STORY

Casting Net: Chiwetel Ejiofor could be the next Bond villain; Plus, Ryan Reynolds, more

• Chiwetel Ejiofor (12 Years a Slave) is reportedly the front-runner to antagonize James Bond in the next film in the series. According to the report, no offer has been made yet. Daniel Craig will return to star as 007, and Sam Mendes, who directed him in Skyfall, is returning to direct. Production is supposed to begin this summer on Bond 24, scheduled for a Nov. 6, 2015, release date. [The Wrap] READ FULL STORY

Weinstein Company resurrects M to fight M.P.A.A. on 'Philomena' rating -- VIDEO

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Dame Judi Dench is a revered Oscar-winning actress, but the kids all know her as M, James Bond’s crusty boss who died a good death in last year’s Skyfall. So what better way to promote her buzzy Oscar-hopeful performance in Philomena than resurrecting M for a special mission?

“Just when you thought I was dead,” non-M M says to the camera in the new marketing gimmick for The Weinstein Company’s movie. “I have an important mission for you… Are you familiar with M.P.A.A?” READ FULL STORY

'Skyfall' director Sam Mendes is back for next Bond film after all

Sam Mendes is taking a page from J.J. Abrams’s book.

No, the Oscar-winning director isn’t learning to embrace the lens flare. Instead, he’s aping the way Abrams officially signed on to direct a high-profile franchise extension earlier this year — despite denying his involvement in the project just months before.

The team behind James Bond’s 24th big-screen outing revealed today that Mendes will in fact direct their next film, the follow-up to his extraordinarily successful Skyfall.

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Danny Boyle says no to James Bond: 'I'm not the right guy' to direct

Sam Mendes was a contrarian choice in many ways to direct Skyfall, but the result was the biggest box-office hit in the 50-year history of the James Bond franchise. Certainly, he was welcome to return for a follow-up, but when he begged-off to spend more time in the theater, speculating who will direct the next 007 installment became one of Hollywood’s best parlor games.

Well, cross Danny Boyle off the list. The Oscar-winning director of Slumdog Millionaire who oversaw a Bond production of sorts — the London Olympics opening ceremonies, which featured a Bond sendup with Daniel Craig and the Queen — told the Hollywood Reporter he’s not really interested. “I’m not really the guy for those movies,” he said, during promotion of his new thriller, Trance. “What we do, right, is we use genre — you take a genre, like [Trance] has got a few genres running in it, you use a genre to try and get you in the mainstream. It’s a vehicle to boost you into the mainstream. And then you f— with the genre. You twist it and change it and move it around. You can’t do it on those big movies. You genuflect in front of them. Too much money, too expectation. It’s the faith of the fans, it’s all that. You’ve got to be very careful. It’s very tempting of course — I love the movies, I love the books, but I’m not the right guy for those.” READ FULL STORY

Next James Bond movie will be released 'within the next 3 years,' says MGM

You might think that everyone involved with the James Bond franchise would be racing to produce a new 007 adventure, considering that 2012’s Skyfall grossed over a billion dollars and earned critical raves and won two Oscars and did all that while making the bold and lucrative argument that Bond really enjoys drinking Heineken. But don’t expect a follow-up anytime soon. Two weeks after Skyfall director Sam Mendes announced he wouldn’t return for the next Bond film, MGM CEO Gary Barber has announced in a conference call that the 24th official Bond movie could be long years away. READ FULL STORY

Sam Mendes won't direct next James Bond movie

Despite Skyfall being the most commercially successful James Bond movie ever, director Sam Mendes won’t be returning for Bond’s next go-round.

Mendes’ rep confirmed the director’s statement in Empire magazine, which explains that he will not direct James Bond’s 24th adventure.

“It has been a very difficult decision not to accept Michael [G. Wilson] and Barbara [Broccoli]’s very generous offer to direct the next Bond movie,” Mendes said. “Directing Skyfall was one of the best experiences of my professional life, but I have theatre and other commitments, including productions of Charlie And The Chocolate Factory and King Lear, that need my complete focus over the next year and beyond.” READ FULL STORY

'Skyfall' on Blu-ray: Judi Dench on the 'special relationship' between M and 007 -- EXCLUSIVE VIDEO

It was in GoldenEye that Dame Judi Dench first ripped into the “sexist, misogynist dinosaur” that is James Bond, telling the suave superspy, “If you think for one moment I don’t have the balls to send a man out to die, your instincts are dead wrong!”

Back then, it was Pierce Brosnan — not Daniel Craig — who was smirking beneath M’s withering glare, but 18 years later, she delivered on that threat in Skyfall. Stepping into the field after six previous Bond adventures that limited her to cold disapproval from behind a desk, M’s promotion into the heart of the latest story, which featured Javier Bardem as a rogue ex double-0 agent committed to exacting vengeance upon his former boss, raised the stakes for the characters and made Skyfall one of the most popular Bond movies ever. It’s already grossed more than a billion worldwide, nearly equaling the two previous Daniel Craig 007 adventures combined.

In the end, Dench proved to be the most fascinating and important Bond Girl of them all, not only proving herself his equal is every way, but bringing colors out of his “blunt instrument” of a secret agent that no bikini-clad babe ever could. Skyfall arrives on video next Tuesday, and Dench and Craig discuss their special relationship in an exclusive Blu-ray extra below. READ FULL STORY

Seth MacFarlane serves up a martini for James Bond in Oscars promo

Seth MacFarlane, what a lucky guy. He scores a gig hosting the Oscars and a job making drinks for James Bond. Or at least, he briefly plays bartender in a commercial that promotes the Academy Awards’ planned tribute to the British spy.

Following up his first round of commercials promoting the Oscars, in this latest ad, MacFarlane appears opposite Pierce Brosnan’s Bond from 1999’s The World Is Not Enough with the help of a little computer magic.

Warning, humorless Bond fans: MacFarlane’s irreverent humor in the following ad may break down your image of 007 as a constantly cool and suave. Watch it below: READ FULL STORY

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