The Oscar-winning actress Halle Berry is being lined up to star in the first spin-off from the James Bond movies.
After scooping her Academy Award by playing a downtrodden waitress in last year's independent film hit Monster's Ball, Berry, 34, has upped the sex appeal for her outing as the American agent Jinx in the new Bond film, Die Another Day.
She is seen emerging from the sea in a manner made famous by the early Bond girl Ursula Andress and proves her superhero credentials by coming to Bond's rescue in the 20th adventure in the 007 series.
With plaudits all round for the Jinx mix of intelligence and good looks, Barbara Broccoli, the Bond producer, has confirmed that the idea of a spin-off movie for Berry was being seriously considered.
Berry has made it clear she would be interested. "I would do it in a heartbeat," she told one interviewer in America at the weekend. But she added, more cautiously: "What happens in this town is when you start talking about a project, when you are thinking about if you want to be involved, all of the sudden it's in the paper that you are doing it. That's how it goes. It's out of my control."
The idea of a spin-off from Bond. featuring one of his female co-stars has been suggested before. Michelle Yeoh, the martial arts star, was beset by similar rumours after playing Bond girl Wai-Lin in Tomorrow Never Dies five years ago.
Film-makers have speculated for years about the box office bankability of a female secret spy in the 007 mould. But even the James Bond series itself has moved away from the cliché of men as muscle-bound heroes and women as the secretaries and love interests.
Real life is proving less sweet for Berry. She admitted that she and her husband, Eric Benet, a musicain have been having therapy after their marriage hit "a staggering crisis". The trouble began at about the time she won her Oscar in March.
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