Benedict Cumberbatch is reportedly set be a new James Bond villain and is expected to sign up for the next instalment of the 007 franchise, which is due for release in 2014.
The 'Sherlock' actor is expected to be signed up for the next instalment of the 007 franchise, which will see him star alongside current Bond, Daniel Craig.
A source told the Daily Express newspaper: ''Benedict is considered perfect Bond villain material. 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.''
The 23rd Bond movie, 'Skyfall', is released next month while the next film - the one that will star Benedict - is due out in 2014. Craig is the only star so far absolutely certain to appear.
Benedict Cumberbatch Set To Play Next Bond Villain?Benedict Cumberbatch Set To Play Next Bond Villain?
Benedict Cumberbatch: Next Bond villain?
Benedict has already shown baddie credentials, being cast in the next 'Star Trek' film and as the villain, while voicing the dragon Smaug in the forthcoming trilogy of 'Hobbit' films, which sees his 'Sherlock' co-star Martin Freeman in the lead role of Bilbo Baggins.
His most heroic role to date, as Sherlock Holmes, was snubbed at the Emmys in favour of 'Homeland'.
However the exceptionally well spoken actor could be ruining his chance of becoming the suave secret agent himself - after all Daniel Craig can't go on forever and Cumberbatch would likely be amongst the front runners to take over when Craig decides to spend more time with his martini.
PHOTOS: Character posters for 'Skyfall'