An actress who has appeared in two award-nominated films is joining the cast of SPECTRE, the upcoming 24th James Bond movie.
In a post on the official James Bond website, 007.com, the producers say that they are “pleased to announce that Stephanie Sigman has joined the cast of SPECTRE as Estrella.”
Sigman is a Mexican actress best known for her lead role in the Academy Award nominated Miss Bala. She also starred in Pioneer, which was Norway’s submission for Best Film at this year’s Oscars. Recent television appearances include The Bridge and Narcos.
It is not known whether Sigman’s character will be a friend or foe of Bond. The actress — who is 28 years old — will be the youngest female cast member in SPECTRE. Other female leads include Léa Seydoux as Dr. Madeleine Swann, Naomie Harris as Moneypenny and Monica Bellucci as Lucia Sciarra.
Bellucci made headlines when the film was first announced for being named the oldest Bond girl in franchise history at the age of 50.
The franchise has modernized in recent years. Once known for its boorish attitude towards women, the Bond franchise began to soften in the Pierce Brosnan era and especially since Daniel Craig took the helm. Brosnan’s films featured several strong female roles, including Dame Judi Dench as Bond’s boss, M. Craig’s Bond character fell in love with a female lead in his debut film, Casino Royale, temporarily resigning from MI6 to pursue a family life. The cast has also diversified to include black lead roles for key supporting characters Moneypenny and CIA agent Felix Leiter. Openly gay actor Ben Whishaw played gadget-maker Q in Skyfall.
According to British newspaper The Guardian, the plot in SPECTRE “kicks off as a cryptic message from Bond’s past sends him on a trail to uncover a sinister organisation. While M battles political forces to keep the secret service alive, Bond peels back the layers of deceit to reveal the terrible truth behind Spectre. The film also stars double Oscar-winner Christoph Waltz as likely villain Franz Oberhauser and Dave Bautista as henchman Mr Hinx. Ralph Fiennes plays the new M, with Naomie Harris and Ben Whishaw returning as Moneypenny and Q.”
SPECTRE is scheduled for a theatrical release this fall. It will be the first Bond film since 2012’s enormously successful Skyfall, which was the most lucrative in franchise history. Skyfall grossed over $1.1 billion at the box office.